An early playoff exit and then surgery last summer put this future Hall of Famer on the back burner, but now you might want to reserve some room in your collection/portfolio.
It’s been ten seasons since Peyton Manning first appeared on a football card.
The Ryan Leaf/Peyton Manning debate, remember?
Manning struggled with a poor Colts team back then, but it didn’t take long to realize who had gotten the better of that comparison. Archie’s boy has met–and surpassed–many of those early expectations.
Playing in one of the NFL’s smallest markets hasn’t hurt a player who has already cemented himself as a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer when he decides to hang up the cleats. Winning a Super Bowl two years ago exorcised one monkey. Now, Manning’s triumphant return from injury could be setting the stage for a return of his cards to the top of the league’s list of hot rookies.
Not that he ever left, really, but in the twilight of a possible MVP season, collectors who bought low are poised to reap the rewards. While his brother Eli enjoyed the spotlight at the end of last season and the pre-season hype in 2008, Peyton spent the first few games of the regular season getting in synch with his teammates. His recovery from knee surgery just before training camp pushed him to the sidelines for the entire exhibition schedule. Once the rust wore off, though, Manning was back in form. The Colts enter the playoffs as a dangerous team capable of reaching Tampa in February.
Manning’s career morphs toward Canton with a quandry for collectors, though. He’s the first true superstar whose rookie cards appear in an explosion of product variety. The NFL was free and easy with its trading card licenses and Manning appears on literally dozens of different cards in the 1998 roster of sets. So which one do you buy?
If you’ve got the money, it’s hard not to like the 1998 SP Authentic Manning rookie (#14). Released in very limited quantities, the card generally commands between $700 and $1000 in mint condition. A PSA 9 copy sold Sunday night on eBay for $799. A BGS 9.5 brought $900 last week. The SPx Finite is another high dollar Manning card, selling lately for $300-500 each.
Topps Refractors, in Finest, Bowman Chrome and Bowmans Best are among the more attractive and desirable Manning rookies, with no shortage of buyers. Peyton Manning signed rookie cards seem like a bargain considering the prices of his autographed memorabilia like jerseys and helmets. The Playoff Contenders Rookie Autograph card is one target for many Manning maniacs but there are several others.
You don’t have to be holding a wad of cash to get into the Manning rookie card game as a collector or investor. The multitude of rookie cards means there are plenty of options and there aren’t many that would be considered a bad investment in the current market. Graded cards would be the way to go for investors. They’re usually easier to buy and sell and take on more of an investing appeal if graded and authenticated.
Some of Manning’s rookie card lines are defunct but other brands are still alive and well. The 1998 Upper Deck Manning rookie is the #1 card in the set–another selling point for collectors and those looking to hold for potential profit.
If you can’t swing the high end Upper Deck or autographed rookie cards, we’d focus on the Topps Finest issues–refractors and regular issues. In fact, there may be more growth in high grade Manning rookies from recognizable brands collectors have been chasing for a number of years.