Top 10 Calvin Johnson Rookie Cards
Based on his impressive play, Calvin Johnson has put himself in a rare group of football players. Not simply one of the best current wide receivers, Megatron is rapidly approaching the discussion of the best wide receivers in NFL history. He is not quite there, but if he continue his high level of production, he might one day stand alongside the greatest receivers of all-time. Because of this continued success, Calvin Johnson cards are climbing quickly in value.
Although he has been in the league since 2007, Calvin Johnson did not get as much early publicity because he was one of the few bright spots on some terrible Detroit Lions' teams, including the 0-16 team of 2008. With more talented players in the fold, Johnson has taken his game to another level and the Lions are hoping to build on that. In 2012, Calvin Johnson set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season, with 1,964 yards. He looks to top the number in 2013, and amassed 329 yards in a single game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The only thing that could derail his ascension to football royalty is his history of injuries. While he has proven capable of playing at an elite level while injured and regularly misses practice to save himself for Sundays, it remains to be seen if Johnson can continue to do that as he gets older. However, despite his many ailments, he rarely misses games. At this point, Calvin Johnson seems destined for Canton and collectors will seen significant bumps in value along the way.
The following list documents the top ten Calvin Johnson rookie cards available to collectors. All feature autographs and limited print runs.
Top Calvin Johnson Rookie Cards
Although it is one of several Calvin Johnson autographed jersey rookie cards that are numbered to 99, 2007 Exquisite takes the top spot because of the brand recognition and appealing look. With an on-card autograph, medium jersey patch and limited print run, this is the top Calvin Johnson rookie card on many collecting lists.
National Treasures has proven to be a worthy competitor to Exquisite Collection. Depending on individual preferences, the layout for Calvin Johnson's National treasures rookie card might be a better card due to the clean design. In any case, the card is a close second to Exquisite rookie as it matches up in every category except hobby clout.
*Gold parallel (#/25) is shown.
It may not feature a jersey piece like many of the other cards on this list, but the 2007 Ultimate Collection rookie card for Calvin Johnson really works. The vivid blue pops off the card and the silver foil signing area does a great job showcasing the signature. While it is not on-card, which may disappoint some collectors, the trapped cut signature is well-incorporated into the design.
Calvin Johnson's 2007 SP Authentic rookie card may have one of the highest print runs of the group, but it makes up for that with a great design and on-card autograph. It also adds a small jersey piece, making it one of the better overall Calvin Johnson rookie card values.
On paper, this card may not seem as worthy as other Clavin Johnson rookie cards to be featured on list list. However, Playoff Contenders has established itself as popular option for rookie collectors based on its short printed autographs. Even though the announced print run of 525 is on the high side and the card includes a sticker autograph, values remain strong for this top rookie card.
Like a slap in the face, the 2007 Topps Triple Threads rookie card for Calvin Johnson makes its presence known. A foil sticker autograph is centered amongst a vivid red background, with a trio of patch pieces below. It may not win style points, but the print run of 99 keeps it popular with collectors.
Basically a more-subtle version of the Triple Threads card, the inaugural 2007 Upper Deck Premier Football tones down the color and doubles the print run. While the sticker autograph is not as apparent, the large single-color jersey piece is a bit of a letdown. The Upper Deck Premier Football brand did not last long in the hobby, and only saw one more release in 2008 before it was scrapped.
2007 Limited features another Calvin Johnson rookie card that presents a good value. Including a jersey piece, sticker autograph and print run of 99, it matches up with most of the top cards on this list. Despite this, it can generally be found for more reasonable amounts.
2007 SP Chirography was another short-lived brand from Upper Deck, but it remains relevant due to the 2007 rookie class that included Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. While the card itself is nothing special, and the background just appears to be heavy clouds, a low print run of 149 and sticker autograph helps keep it on the collecting radar.
SPx is known for its loud designs and 2007 was no different. An X-shaped layout splits the card into four, with a refractor finish. The SPx die-cut jersey logo does dominate the card and tends to overshadow the sticker autograph below.