Rookie Card Year: 1989
Investment Rating: 8.0
Barry Sanders was a rare talent who took the NFL by storm, becoming one of football's greatest running backs of all-time. He then shocked everyone when he walked away from the game at the height of his ability and popularity. Now a Hall of Fame player, Barry Sanders cards and memorabilia remain in high demand.
Lightly recruited out of high school due to size concerns that were leveled at him throughout his career, Sanders accepted a football scholarship to play at Oklahoma State. Showing the incredible depth the team had at running back, Sanders spent two years as Thurman Thomas' backup before getting his chance to handle the majority of the carries. Although he only played one season before declaring for the draft, Sanders made the most of it by setting 34 college records and leaving with the Heisman Trophy.
Despite the aforementioned size concerns, the Detroit Lions took the 5'8" running back with the third pick overall of the 1989 NFL Draft. Barry Sanders was the first running back selected in the draft which featured multiple elite players, including Troy Aikman, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. Barry Sanders made an immediate impact with the Lions and was awarded the 1989 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The ten-year veteran was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in every season and never rushed for less than 1,100 yards in any of those years. Sanders retired in 1998, one year removed from his best season where he ran for 2,053 yards and 14 touchdowns. He retired less than 1,500 yards away from breaking Walter Payton's all-time rushing record and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2004.
For years, Sanders would not publicly acknowledge why he left the sport, but eventually let it be known that the strain of losing had ruined his competitive spirit. Barry Sanders is one of the greatest running backs and football players of all-time and his rookie card deserves a place in any football card collection.
In spite of Sanders' amazing ability and NFL contributions, his rookie cards are very reasonably priced. All three Barry Sanders football rookie cards are highlighted below. The cards were part of the huge print runs of the late-1980's, so prices are generally cheap outside of Gem Mint copies.
Barry Sanders Rookie Cards
Another common rookie, the card shows the only action shot of the group and the image is from Sanders' college days. The borderline-obnoxious, orange/red boarder almost matches the main color of his alma mater, Oklahoma State. The lined sides give the card a choppy look and make it easy to spot the centering issue that a lot of these cards have.
Barry Sanders' 1989 Score card is the pinnacle of his rookie cards. The close-up image of Sanders shows a young player who looks more suited for a high school classroom than an NFL field. It would not be long until he was one of the most-feared running backs in the NFL. Overall, the card has a classic feel but the green boarder tends to dominate the card.
Barry Sanders' Topps Traded card has a nice and simple layout. This card is the only one that shows Sanders in his Lions' uniform and offers collectors the best rookie image of the three.
2009 Donruss Certified Immortals 201 Barry Sanders Swatch card #082 250
SPORTKINGS 'B' SILVER PATCH BARRY SANDERS 20
1998 Bowman Interstate #120 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
1998 Aurora Gridiron Laser Cuts #7 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
1998 Bowman Chrome Interstate #120 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
1998 Bowman Chrome Preview #BCP8 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
1998 Black Diamond Premium Cut #PC5 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
1998 Absolute Red Zone #20 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
Barry Sanders Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Barry Sanders' authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Tristar, and Mounted Memories.
Barry Sanders Cut Signature Exemplar
Barry Sanders Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Barry Sanders signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on when in his career the item was signed. Other characteristics that play into his signature style are the particular item and venue. Look for the following signature features:
- Barry Sanders' signature is not as consistent as other signers. It can vary greatly between legible and messy, but still exhibits the same general look.
- The signature begins with a large "B" that does not connect at the bottom, and loops around back to the remainder of the signature.
- The pen lifts and then starts with the "a" and moves quickly to the "y" with a slight squiggle to imply the "r-r".
- The last name starts with a large "S" that resembles a figure eight.
- Again, the "a" is legible but only the "d" is clear among the remaining letters.
- The signatures ends with an outward line that loops and comes back.
Barry Sanders Signed Football Pricing:
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