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Calvin Johnson Football Cards: Rookie Cards Checklist and Buying Guide

Calvin Johnson

Date of Birth: 9/25/1985
Rookie Card Year: 2007
Investment Rating: 7.5


Calvin Johnson is on pace to become one of football's greatest receivers of all-time. And Calvin Johnson cards? They're pretty hot too.

After dominating ACC competition playing for Georgia Tech, Calvin Johnson was selected as the second overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2007 NFL Draft. A naturally gifted athlete that combines size, strength, and speed, he is a cornerback's worst nightmare. The two-time All-American was the recipient of both the Fred Bilentikoff Award and the Paul Warfield Trophy in 2006 as the best collegiate wide receiver in the country.

Johnson has the rare talent to create separation from a defender and create his own openings. His ability to out-leap defenders has made him a perfect red-zone weapon in both college and pro ball. Already a Pro Bowler, the future is bright for this extremely gifted receiver. This came to fruition in 2012 when Johnson broke Jerry Rice's record for most receiving yards in a single season.

All of Johnson's rookie cards come from 2007 products, many of which feature autographs and memorabilia swatches. The remaining cards are traditional base football cards, some of which are serial numbered. This means Calvin Johnson rookie cards are available to collectors of all budgets.

Top Calvin Johnson Rookie Cards

2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Calvin Johnson RC #130 Autographed Patch #/99

2007 UD Exquisite Collection Calvin Johnson

The definitive high-end Calvin Johnson rookie card is, without a doubt, his 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite card. It features a posed action photograph, a large memorabilia jersey swatch, an on-card autograph and is limited to only 99 copies.

2007 Playoff National Treasures Calvin Johnson RC #107 Autographed Jersey #/99

2007 National Treasures Calvin Johnson

This is another high-end Calvin Johnson rookie card that carries top-dollar on the secondary market. Also limited to just 99 copies, the vertical layout is a nice contrast to the Exquisite. Also featuring a large jersey swatch, often a patch, and an on-card signature, the photograph used is from a game day.

2007 SPx Calvin Johnson RC #220 Autographed Jersey #/299

2007 SPx Calvin Johnson

Picking a third card to round out the Top 3 Calvin Johnson rookie cards is certainly up for debate. He has several additional autographed memorabilia cards to choose from, some of which are more limited. However, SPx gets our vote for thanks to a classic design and the brand's loyal following. Limited to 299 serial numbered copies, the sticker autograph, while unfortunate, doesn't detract from the card's aesthetic value.

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Rookie Cards

Calvin Johnson Rookie Card Checklist

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Autograph Guide

Calvin Johnson Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Calvin Johnson autograph 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. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Calvin Johnson Cut Signature Exemplar

Calvin Johnson Cut Signature Example  

Calvin Johnson Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Calvin Johnson signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item signed or when in his career, look for these signature characteristics:

Signature Characteristics

  1. The entire signature appears to consist of just (3) letters
  2. The letters "C-J" are discernible
  3. The third letter looks nearly identical to the letter "J" but their is not a second "J" in his name
  4. Instead of discerning letters, it is better to notate the 45 degree angle of the signature and the increasing and consistent size of each character
  5. All of the letter formations end with a right extending line of various sizes
  6. He almost always includes his jersey number "81"

Signed Football Pricing:

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Calvin Johnson Signed Football

Signed Jersey Pricing:

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Calvin Johnson Signed Jersey

Signed Helmet Pricing (Full-size and Mini):

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Calvin Johnson Signed Helmet

Signed Photograph Pricing:

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Calvin Johnson Signed Photo

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Other Resources

Additional articles about Calvin Johnson cards and memorabilia:

For general information and player statistics visit:

 |  E-Mail Author | 
Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

User Comments

  1. Link to my Calvin RC Autograph Collection, not huge but some nice monsters in it!!!

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