MINT 2023
Drip Banner
LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards Guide and Checklist

LaDainian Tomlinson

Date of Birth: 6/23/1979

Rookie Card Year: 2001

Investment Rating: 6.5


Arguably the top overall running back in the NFL during his playing days, LaDainian Tomlinson was one of the most exciting, all-purpose backs in modern football. Best remembered for his explosive career with the San Diego Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson rookie cards continue to see strong interest from collectors.

Shop for LaDainian Tomlinson rookie cards on eBay.

Known to many as simply "LT," LaDainian Tomlinson first made his name on the football field with Texas Christian University. After sharing time in the backfield during his first two seasons, Tomlinson exploded during his final two years. He totaled 1,950+ rushing yards and 20+ touchdowns in both his junior and senior year, winning the WAC Offensive Player of the Year each season. This put him high on the 2001 NFL Draft radar.

The San Diego Chargers selected LaDainian Tomlinson with the fifth overall pick and added Drew Brees in the second round. Tomlinson wasted no time taking the league by storm and rushed for 1,236 yards in his rookie season. From 2001 through 2008, LaDainian Tomlinson never had less than 1,100 rushing yards and 51 receptions per season. This period also includes notable stats in 2003, where he caught 100 passes, and 2006, where he rushed for 1,815 yards. Tomlinson was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2006 AP Offensive Player of the Year.

An injury near the beginning of 2009 derailed his previous stat steak and he was never the same, posting the lowest totals of his career. San Diego released Tomlinson in 2010 and he spent the next two seasons with the New York Jets before returning to the Chargers and officially retiring in 2012. LaDainian Tomlinson will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2017 and most expect him to be inducted on his first ballot.

Offering a great reminder of how bloated the football industry had gotten, there are over 60 official rookie cards for LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 products. Although most are inexpensive, a few of the signed options are among his popular options. However, two of the LaDainian Tomlinson rookie cards stand out above the rest.

Top LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards

2001 Playoff Contenders LaDainian Tomlinson RC #150 Autograph (PR=600)

As the preferred LaDainian Tomlinson rookie card, most collectors are likely familiar with the 2001 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph. Relying heavily on the Chargers' color scheme and logo, the card adds a foil sticker autograph. With an announced print run of 600 copies, the card is really not that rare, but that has not kept values down. A PSA 10 version sold for $750 in April of 2015.

LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards Guide and Checklist 1

2001 Topps Chrome LaDainian Tomlinson RC #221 #/999

Contrary to the traditional Topps Chrome format, the rookie cards in 2001 were numbered to 999 copies and all were Refractors. While that may seem to be on the higher side, the cards actually don't surface that often, and command strong values when they do. An ungraded version of the LaDainian Tomlinson rookie card sold for $232.50 in February of 2015.

LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards Guide and Checklist 2

Top eBay Listings Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Rookie Cards

LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Card Checklist

Budget Rookie Cards

LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards Guide and Checklist 3

2001 Bowman #210
2001 Fleer Focus #185 #/1850
2001 Fleer Game Time #128 #/2001
2001 Fleer Premium #206 #/2001
2001 Fleer Tradition #414
2001 Fleer Tradition Glossy #414 #/2001
2001 Hot Prospects #118
2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars #212
2001 NFL Showdown First & Goal #115
2001 Pacific Dynagon Retail #108
2001 Pacific Impressions Retail #203
2001 Pacific Invincible Retail #290
2001 Quantum Leaf #210
2001 Score #283
2001 Stadium Club #140
2001 Titanium Retail #196
2001 Topps #350
2001 Topps Gallery #103
2001 Topps Heritage #136 #/1956
2001 Ultra #253 #/2499
2001 Upper Deck #230
2001 Upper Deck MVP #294
2001 UD Top Tier #227 #/1500
2001 UD Victory #416
2001 UD Vintage #252

Mid-Range Rookie Cards

LaDainian Tomlinson Rookie Cards Guide and Checklist 4

2001 Absolute #158 Jersey #/850
2001 Bowman Chrome #190 #/1999
2001 Bowman's Best #124 #/1499
2001 Donruss Classics #109 #/475
2001 Donruss Elite #114 #/500
2001 E-X #133 #/1000
2001 Finest #132 #/1000
2001 Fleer Authority #113 #/1350
2001 Fleer Genuine #143 Jersey #/1000
2001 Fleer Legacy #99 #/999
2001 Fleer Showcase #124 #/500
2001 Leaf Certified #128 Jersey #/400
2001 Pacific Impressions #203 #/117
2001 Pacific Invincible #290 Jersey #/250
2001 Pacific Prism Atomic #189 #/506
2001 Playoff Honors #229 Jersey #/725
2001 Playoff Preferred #201 Jersey #/400
2001 Private Stock #161 #/200
2001 Private Stock Retail #161 #/500
2001 Select #283 #/275
2001 SP Authentic #120 Jersey #/500
2001 SP Game Used #96 Jersey #/500
2001 Titanium Post Season #77 #/750
2001 Topps Reserve #104 #/999
2001 UD Game Gear #108 #/500
2001 UD Graded #53 #/500
2001 UD Legends #112 #/750
2001 UD Ovation #146 #/250
2001 UD Pros & Prospects #104 #/1000
2001 UD Rookie F/X #293F #/750
2001 Vanguard #141 #/450

Trey is 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.

User Comments


Seen the Contenders PSA10 sold at my LCS for 1800.00 on 4/25/16. This card is steady on the rise as it should be. LT was a great player & even better person. HOF bound !!!


I purchased the psa10 for 1500+ and I was willing to go another 300 on it. It is sharp n clean, very happy with it.

Stanley Agbulos
Stanley Agbulos

Interestingly enough, a PSA 10 Tomlinson Playoff Contenders sold for $1400+ in July 2015 and $1500+ on Ebay in December 2015, double the price of the card that sold in April. The card is on the move and I believe the investment rating is far to low.

Leave a Comment:

will not be published