Rookie Card Year: 2004
Investment Rating: 8.0
Larry Fitzgerald is not your typical star wide receiver. In a sport dominated by large egos, he seems to have found a way to stay humble and hungry. Several years with less-talented quarterbacks did not diminish his love of the game or his productivity. Now that he is paired with an above average talent at quarterback in Carson Palmer, Fitzgerald is again putting up big numbers and collectors are revisiting his cards.
Larry Fitzgerald played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and, as a true freshman, immediately emerged as one of the best receivers in college football. During his sophomore year, Fitzgerald took his play to another level and the awards poured in. In 2003, he was named a unanimous All-American, Big East Offensive Player of the Year, and was awarded the Fred Biletnikoff, Paul Warfield and Walter Camp trophies. Fitzgerald came up just short in the Heisman Trophy race, narrowly losing to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White.
Despite only playing two college seasons, Larry Fitzgerald successfully petitioned the NFL to count his additional time spent at a college preparatory school in order to enter the 2004 NFL Draft. Normally the NFL requires players to be three years from their high school graduation before they can declare for the NFL Draft. Fitzgerald was ultimately selected third overall by the Arizona Cardinals, joining other rookie standouts, such as Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Steven Jackson, and Wes Welker.
Just like in college, it did not take long for Larry Fitzgerald to be considered one of the top receivers in the NFL. Likely a lock for the hall of Fame, his many Pro Bowl selections seem even more impressive considering he has caught passes from 15+ different quarterbacks in his time with the Cardinals.
There are a whopping 50 Larry Fitzgerald cards for rookie collectors to chase. The checklist has it all, from low-value base cards and jersey cards to low-numbered base cards and autographs. A few autographed options have emerged as the most popular and are featured below.
Top Larry Fitzgerald Cards
With lots of dark colors and a metallic autograph sticker, this may not immediately jump out as one of the top Larry Fitzgerald cards. However, with the announced print run of only 50, it starts to make sense why this is the preferred card. Although not numbered, this incredibly low print run, especially for the Contenders brand, ensures considerable interest for the elite wide receiver's rookie card.
The Ultimate Collection design is normally a strong point for Upper Deck. They seem to do so much with so little. The gold foil frame highlights Fitzgerald without dominating focus and the white border makes for a perfect canvas for housing Larry Fitzgerald's on-card signature. The numbered run of 150 also adds to the appeal.
Although the design is much busier, especially in comparison to the Ultimate card, SP Authentic adds a jersey piece to the on-card autograph and a relatively low print run. The autograph and jersey piece do seem like they are a little congested in the corner.
Larry Fitzgerald Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
- 2004 Bazooka #175
- 2004 Bowman #125
- 2004 Fleer Tradition #332
- 2004 Greats of the Game #75 #/999
- 2004 Playoff Prestige #152
- 2004 Score #373
- 2004 Topps #360
- 2004 Topps Collection #360
- 2004 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects #140
- 2004 Topps Pristine #108
- 2004 Topps Total #400
- 2004 UD Diamond All-Star #92
- 2004 UD Diamond Pro Sigs #92
- 2004 Upper Deck #202
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
- 2004 Absolute Memorabilia #201 Jersey #/750
- 2004 Bowman's Best #110 Jersey
- 2004 Bowman Chrome #118
- 2004 Donruss Classics #239 #/500
- 2004 Donruss Elite #163 #/500
- 2004 E-X #43 #/500
- 2004 Finest #100
- 2004 Flair #62 #/799
- 2004 Fleer Genuine #77 #/500
- 2004 Fleer Inscribed #77 #/750
- 2004 Fleer Platinum #141 #/299
- 2004 Fleer Showcase #103 #/599
- 2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs #88 #/999
- 2004 Leaf Certified Materials #201 Jersey #/1250
- 2004 Leaf Rookies and Stars #251 Jersey #/750
- 2004 Leaf Rookies and Stars Longevity #251 Jersey #/299
- 2004 Playoff Hogg Heaven #151 Jersey #/750
- 2004 Playoff Honors #201 Jersey #/750
- 2004 Reflections #147 #/450
- 2004 SP Game Used #147 #/425
- 2004 Topps Chrome #215
- 2004 Ultra #206 #/500
- 2004 Upper Deck Foundations #260 Jersey #/499
- 2004 Upper Deck Legends #136 #/650
Premium Rookie Cards
- 2004 Fleer Authentix #138 (w/Dennis Green) Autograph #/250
- 2004 Hot Prospects #75 Autograph Jersey #/140
- 2004 Leaf Limited #201 Autographed Jersey #/150
- 2004 Playoff Contenders #151 Autograph, Announced print run of 50
- 2004 Playoff Prime Signatures #155 Autograph #/99
- 2004 SkyBox LE #63 #/99
- 2004 SP Authentic #215 Autographed Jersey #/299
- 2004 SPx #219 Autographed Jersey #/100
- 2004 Sweet Spot #289 Autograph #/150
- 2004 Topps Signature #75 #/99
- 2004 Ultimate Collection #129 Autograph #/150
- 2004 Upper Deck Finite HG #268 #/99
Larry Fitzgerald Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Larry Fitzgerald'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, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Larry Fitzgerald Cut Signature Exemplar
Larry Fitzgerald Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Larry Fitzgerald signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- Signature is usually written on an upward angle.
- The most distinguishable letters are the "L" and "f."
- The letter "L" is over-sized with two closed loops including a significantly larger one on the top.
- The "a" is not closed.
- The letters "r-r-y" are absent as the "a" flows directly into the "f" of Fitzgerald, however it is a lower case "f" with narrow closed loops on top and bottom.
- The remaining letters are not very legible.
- The inscription "#4" is often included.
Larry Fitzgerald Signed Football Pricing:
Larry Fitzgerald Signed Jersey Pricing:
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Larry Fitzgerald Signed Photograph Pricing:
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