Of all the quarterbacks in the 2012 rookie class, Russell Wilson is one of the best. When he was the surprise pick as the Seahawks' starting QB coming out of training camp, Russell Wilson rookie cards soared.
Although he may not have the same hype as Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, a big part of Wilson's upside comes from the fact that he's joining a strong team. Collectors love winners. And that's exactly what they got with the former Wisconsin Badger. In just his second season, Wilson helped lead the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl.
Wilson was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Wisconsin. Prior to that, Wilson played at North Carolina State University. A former baseball standout, he was also picked by the Colorado Rockies in 2010, which led to a handful of Russell Wilson baseball cards.
Russell Wilson Rookie Card Guide
The 2012 Absolute Russell Wilson rookie card is bolstered by its on-card autograph and trio of jersey swatches. Numbered to 299, over time it will be somewhat difficult to find but not impossible. The card also has several parallels with different combinations of numbering, color and jersey displays.
The first licensed set on the market, rookie photos in 2012 Bowman Football don't have any logos. They do have a distinct look that's somewhat polarizing among collectors. Although 2012 Bowman Football hobby boxes are pricey, this is mainly because of the plentiful autographs. This is one of the most affordable Russell Wilson rookie cards.
While it may not have a serial number or an autograph, don't underestimate the 2012 Bowman Sterling Russell Wilson rookie. It comes from a high-end product that doesn't deliver many base cards per box. As a result, this card could become relatively tough to find.
Numbered to 799, the 2012 Elite Russell Wilson rookie is somewhat rare. However, without an autograph or other major selling point, its price remains somewhat reasonable. It's a great choice for collectors who want something nicer without have to spend a significant amount.
The quarterback is a redemption in 2012 Panini Certified. Redeemed copies will have a pair of player-worn jersey swatches as well as a sticker autograph. Because it's a redemption and the print run is higher than rookies from similar brands, this should be a more affordable option for those simply looking for a hits-focused Russell Wilson rookie.
Part of the popular Rookie Ticket Autographs subset, the 2012 Panini Contenders Russell Wilson rookie card was inserted in packs a redemption. Historically, even without serial numbers, Contenders has some of the most popular rookie cards of the year. In fact, even with a higher print run and no serial number, it outsells most every other rookie. The base version has a confirmed print run of 550 copies. There's also a variation (white jersey) that has just 25 copies.
The 2012 Panini Gridiron Russell Wilson rookie card comes with an autographed jersey swatch. Numbered to 299, the jersey swatch also slides out the top of the card.
Part of the Rookie Silhouette subset, the 2012 Panini Crown Royale Russell Wilson comes with a player die-cut layered over top of a large jersey swatch. It's also got an autograph at the bottom of the card, making it one of the year's more distinct rookie designs. Numbered to 349, it's actually one of the quarterback's more plentiful premium rookie cards. That said, over time, it should still be fairly difficult to find. The card is also a redemption.
The 2012 Panini Limited Russell Wilson rookie card comes with both an autograph and a large jersey swatch displayed with a window that reads "Phenom." Limited to 299 numbered copies, the card is inserted in packs as a redemption.
2012 Panini Momentum is a high-end brand where rookies come with both an autograph and jersey swatches. However, because of the sticker signature and numbering to 599, which is on the high side for hit-centric rookies, this Russell Wilson rookie card probably won't reach the same heights as cards from similar brands.
If you're looking for the most valuable Russell Wilson rookie card, this is it. Numbered to 99, the card comes with an autograph and large patch swatch. The National Treasures brand has also emerged as a top brand for high-end football card collectors. The card is inserted in packs as a redemption.
Key rookies in 2012 Panini Playbook are an impressive sight. They book cards that have an autographed and a patch piece on one side and a second jersey swatch along with a pair of player images on the other. Wilson is a redemption.
With a clean design and an on-card autograph, 2012 Panini Prime Signatures has one of the most attractive Russell Wilson rookie cards. Numbered to 199, it's also tough to come by -- especially with the set's one-hit-per-box format. The card is a redemption, but it's already being sent to collectors.
No autographs, no jersey swatches, no serial numbers. As a result, the 2012 Panini Prizm Russell Wilson rookie card should remain affordable. That said, the set is giving collectors strong value. The big money can be found in the rare parallel versions. Russell Wilson is also featured on one of 25 variation cards.
Like all of the biggest rookies in 2012 Panini Prominence, Russell Wilson has five different rookie cards, each with their own distinct design. All are autographed and each is numbered to 150 copies. Both the Rookie Jersey Prime Signature and Rookie Helmet Signature cards are redemptions.
Another card featuring both an autograph and jersey swatch (an over-sized one at that), the 2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Russell Wilson comes from an established brand. It also has a bright design that squeezes a lot onto the card front without being overly busy.
Inserted as a redemption, the final card comes with a wild design with etched foil, an autograph and a jersey swatch that's displayed with a die-cut window that reads "Rookie." The low print run is one of the card's key selling points.
One of the quarterback's cheaper rookie options, the Prestige design got an overhaul in 2012. Russell Wilson's card is readily available for only a couple of dollars. For those looking for an attractive card and not worried so much about value, this is definitely one of the best options.
One of the first sets of the year, 2012 Score Football is always popular with casual collectors who are enticed by the low pack price. Although this card will never bring significant riches, it's a solid choice for those on a budget. That said, other more attractive cards are also available in roughly the same price range.
2012 Topps Football was a big hit with collectors. Bolstered by an attractive design, the card is bolstered by being readily available and affordable. For those wanting a greater challenge, the set also has a rare variation.
2012 Topps Chrome Football has proven to be one of the most popular sets of the year. But that doesn't mean the Russell Wilson rookie is expensive. In fact, without an autograph, jersey swatch or serial number, it's very affordable. For those looking for a chase version, there are variations, autographs and Refractor parallels galore.
The 2012 Topps Finest Russell Wilson has an upscale design, but without a signature, it's also relatively affordable. While the card does have an autographed version, it's considered an insert. A lot of collectors also chase after the many Refractors in the set.
The rarest Russell Wilson rookie, it might also represent something of a bargain for collectors with high-end tastes. Like National Treasures, Five Star rookies have on-card signatures and patch swatches. However, Five Star rookies are selling for noticeably lower price. But with half as many copies, excluding parallels, this card has the possibility of solid growth over the long-term.
After being an online exclusive in 2011, 2012 Topps Magic returns to traditional distribution. The cards have an old-school look and feel. It's a solid choice for retro collectors not too concerned about future riches.
Very similar in standing to the 2012 Topps Finest Russell Wilson, 2012 Topps Platinum the same sort of style and composition. With much of the set's attention going to the autographed and memorabilia inserts, this rookie card will fly under many collectors' radars.
2012 Topps Prime Football has two Russell Wilson rookies, one for hobby and one for retail. The hobby version, which is printed on thicker card stock, shows a stadium crowd in the background. Wilson thrown arm is also raised. The retail version is notable for the field behind him.
The 2012 Topps Strata Russell Wilson follows a similar pattern as Topps Prime. Both hobby and retail packs have different rookie cards. The hobby version is on much thicker card stock. The image has the quarterback throwing the ball. The thinner retail version pictures Wilson running with the football.
For most, the hits are the main focus of 2012 Topps Supreme Football. It's not that the base cards are forgotten, but they could very easily be overlooked. They come numbered to a reasonable 462 and have an elegant design enhanced by gold foil.
High-end brand? Yup. Autographs and jersey? Check. Low-numbering? Just 99 -- time two. There are two different versions of the 2012 Topps Triple Threads Russell Wilson rookie card. They're nearly identical with the same photo, autograph and triple-swatch. The only difference is the jersey display windows. Both versions come numbered to 99 making the actual rookie print run for the set closer to 200.
Offered originally as an online-exclusive, 2012 Topps Turkey Red caused quite a stir upon its initial release. The mini box format and unconventional distribution method means singles are relatively scarce, although not impossible.
With just 170 copies, this is one of Wilson's rarest rookie cards. But without the autograph that his high-end rookies have, it remains reasonably priced. For those on a tighter budget, this is a great option to target. It comes with a bold look that makes it stand out from his other rookies as well.
Ryan CracknellE-Mail Author |
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.