Barry Sanders Cards and Memorabilia Guide

Barry Sanders

Date of Birth: 7/16/1968
Rookie Card Year: 1989
Investment Rating: 8.0


Overview

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.

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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

1989 Pro Set Barry Sanders RC #494

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.

1989 Score Barry Sanders RC #25

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.

1989 Topps Traded Barry Sanders RC #83T

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.

Top eBay Listings

Barry Sanders 2012 National Treasures #105 (His #20 Jersey) Detroit Lions 20 99
$84.50

PLAYOFF PRIME SURPRISE 1996 BARRY SANDERS + 2 PACIFIC PROTEGES +PLAYER WEEEK + G
$19.35

1993 SCORE BARRY SANDERS PROMO+ INSCRIPTIONS 1997 PRMO + 2 HOLO +MEMBER'S STAMP
$16.93

44CT 1996 NITRO REDEMPTION + 12THE MAN W FAVRE MARINO BARRY SANDERS EMMITT
$18.14

1993 SCORE BARRY SANDERS PROMO +8 1992 PACIFIC PRISM ISNERTS +22 PLAYER'S CLUB
$18.14

2000 QUANTUM LEAF #QLP-1 BARRY SANDERS "PROMO" CARD - DETROIT LIONS, HOF
$7.16

Emmitt Smith Auto Joe Montana John Elway Dan Marino Barry Sanders Booklet
$1,400.00

2015 Topps Tek BARRY SANDERS Drama Tek Performers SP 37 50! LIONS Legend
$9.99

1997 Leaf Hardwear 5 Barry Sanders 548 3500
$7.99

1998 Bowman's Best Mirror Image Fusion 3 Skip Hicks Rookie Barry Sanders
$7.99

Barry SANDERS HOF NFL LEGEND Oscar Mayer Detroit Lions ROOKIE CARD L.E * HI END
$8.00

1995 Pacific Gold Crown Die Cuts #DC6 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
$7.50

1995 Collector's Edge 22K Gold #69 Barry Sanders lions
$24.00

2004 LIMITED BARRY SANDERS TRIPLE GAME WORN JERSEY #D 50 OKC-LIONS HOF RARE
$59.99

2015 National Treasures Barry Sanders # 94 99 Loins Card 94
$6.99

Barry Sanders National Treasures Auto 1 1 2012 One of a Kind!!
$499.99
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Autograph Guide

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:

  1. 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.
  2. The signature begins with a large "B" that does not connect at the bottom, and loops around back to the remainder of the signature.
  3. The pen lifts and then starts with the "a" and moves quickly to the "y" with a slight squiggle to imply the "r-r".
  4. The last name starts with a large "S" that resembles a figure eight.
  5. Again, the "a" is legible but only the "d" is clear among the remaining letters.
  6. The signatures ends with an outward line that loops and comes back.

Barry Sanders Signed Football Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Footballs

Barry Sanders Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Jerseys

Barry Sanders Signed Helmet Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Helmets

Barry Sanders Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Photographs

Top eBay Listings

Steiner Barry Sanders Signed Running Horizontal 18x24 Photo
$194.99

Barry Sanders signed Detroit Lions TB Riddell Mini Helmet- Steiner Hologram
$185.00

Barry Sanders signed Detroit Lions Full Size Proline TB Helmet- Steiner Hologram
$425.00

Barry Sanders signed Lions Full Size Replica TB Helmet 97 NFL MVP- Steiner Holo
$343.00

Barry Sanders signed Lions Full Size Proline TB Helmet 97 NFL MVP- Steiner Holo
$458.00

Barry Sanders SIGNED Detroit Lions Logo Football - PSA DNA Authentic Autograph
$229.99

Barry Sanders Vintage Signed Cut PSA DNA Detroit Lions
$149.99

BARRY SANDERS SIGNED PHOTO 16X20 AUTO FRAMED PSA DNA COA DETROIT LIONS #2
$299.99

BARRY SANDERS SIGNED F S REPLICA HELMET - JSA LOA
$349.95

BARRY SANDERS DETROIT LIONS AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED AUTHENTIC PROLINE HELMET JSA
$429.99

BARRY SANDERS SIGNED OSU OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS #21 RUSSELL ATHLETIC JERSEY JSA
$399.00

BARRY SANDERS AUTOGRAPHED HAND SIGNED DETROIT LIONS MINI HELMET HOF 04 PSA DNA
$299.99

Barry Sanders signed Detroit Lions Full Size Rep TB Helmet- Steiner (blue sig)
$319.00

Barry Sanders Signed Official NFL Duke JSA #N04510 HOF Detroit Lions
$299.99

Barry Sanders Lions Signed 16x20 Photo w "Lion King , HOF 04" Insc Steiner COA
$399.99

BARRY SANDERS HAND SIGNED DETROIT LIONS FULL SIZE AUTHENTIC PRO HELMET PSA DNA
$479.99
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More Info

For general information and player statistics visit:


 |  E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute or Google+.

User Comments

  1. Hi There,
    I have a white t-shirt with Barry Sanders in blue letters across the top and 1989 NFL Rookie of the year on the bottom. There is a pic of Barry in #20 jersey carrying a ball. on the top right shoulder is a faded but legible signature of Barry Sanders. Shirt has the NFL logo, Captions Illustrated Inc and “TM/C 1990 NFL”. Can you tell me what the value would be and where I could sell it? Thank you
    Karen Ryan

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