Rookie Card Year: Baseball 1986, Football 1988
Investment Rating: 7.5
Bo Jackson is one of the greatest multi-sport athletes in the history of professional sports. A serious injury kept him from achieving his full potential, but collectors still respect his contributions as a football and baseball player, as well as his relevance to both sports. Bo Jackson rookie cards and autographed memorabilia remain strong sellers and there has been a resurgence in value for his collectibles in recent years.
View a detailed listing of all Bo Jackson rookie cards below. The checklist includes his baseball and football rookie cards, along with notable minor league cards and college-themed cards.
Bo Jackson Football Rookie Cards
The sole Bo Jackson rookie card from his football career, 1988 Topps shows a young Bo in a non-action shot, looking off into the distance. The mass-produced release keeps most card values low, although high-grades sell for solid amounts.
Bo Jackson Baseball Rookie Cards
It is important to note that although Bo Jackson made his major league debut in 1986 and several cards were issued to reflect that, some view his 1987 cards as his rookie cards. This is because his Donruss The Rookies and Topps Traded cards came in factory sets, with limited availability, and not all collectors considered Sportflics a true baseball card product, despite being licensed by the MLB.
Wrapped in late-80's goodness, the diagonal cutout image includes a posed profile photo of Bo Jackson and a striped green border. Like his football rookies, values remain low.
There is also another 1986 Donruss card for Jackson which came in Donruss Highlights. The 56-card set commemorates events from the season and recognized Bo Jackson for the "Longest HR in Royals Stadium." A rare error includes white text for "Highlights" instead of yellow and commands a significant premium.
Utilizing a 3-D technology called lenticular printing, 1986 Sportflics did not enjoy much initial popularity. Despite being MLB-licensed, it was generally overlooked by the masses and is less available than other Bo Jackson rookie cards. By rotating the card, three different images can be viewed. This includes a pre-swing image, post-swing image and close-up shot of Bo Jackson.
The 1986 Topps Traded rookie card uses a very similar image of Bo Jackson as the 1986 Donruss The Rookies card. Again, values are on the low side, but higher prices can be found with the Tiffany parallels. The limited-edition cards had a print run of just 5,000 sets, which was a minuscule amount at the time.
Bo Jackson Minor League & College Cards
Bo Jackson was not in the minor leagues for long, but a few cards were produced that are still easily found and popular.
With a more intricate look than the typical minor league design from this period, the Donn Jennings Southern League All-Stars card pays homage to the successful campaign put forth by Jackson while playing for Memphis. The 25-card checklist also includes Tom Glavine, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.
With a simple design and smiling image of Bo Jackson, the Memphis Chicks team set from Time-Out Sports features one of the very first baseball cards for Bo Jackson. The gold base version is limited to 10,000 sets and the silver version is half that, with only 5,000 sets.
There is also an unauthorized card that features a similar design but a different image of Jackson. The main difference is that the unauthorized card includes an image of Jackson wearing the gray Memphis jersey seen in the Donn Jennings cards above.
Painting a perfect picture of his love of two sports, the Auburn grad gestures with a baseball bat while dressed in his football uniform. Gem mint copies sell for hundreds.
Also, while they are not minor league cards, the Tiger Great cards issued by Auburn University as part of a 16-card set include Bo Jackson. Jackson is featured on both a baseball card and a less common football variation. These football versions have proven to be some of the most valuable Bo Jackson cards and gem mint copies sell for huge sums. Frank Thomas is also included, but is part of the base set.
Bo Jackson Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Bo Jackson's 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, Steiner, Schwartz Sports and Tristar.
Bo Jackson Cut Signature Exemplar
Bo Jackson Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Bo Jackson signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on what point in his career it was signed.
- The signature beings with a large, swooping "B," which can resemble a trash bag with a drawstring or a drawing of an apple or tomato.
- Next, a "J" overlaps the "B" and gives the appearance of "Bo." The "J" is reminiscent of a "9."
- The pen lifts and a tiny "a" goes directly to a large "k," bypassing the "c" in Jackson.
- The signature finishes with a standalone "s" and cursive "o-n." The "n" generally ends with a downward flush.
Bo Jackson Signed Baseball
Bo Jackson Signed Football
Bo Jackson Signed Bat
Bo Jackson Signed Football Helmet
Bo Jackson Signed Batting Helmet
Bo Jackson Signed Baseball Jersey
Bo Jackson Signed Football Jersey
Bo Jackson Signed Photograph
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