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  1. #1

    Jerry Rice Rookie card

    Jerry Rice was drafted in 1985, yet his rookie card is an 86 print run. Am I missing something? Does this happen?

  2. #2
    This happens often. It doesn't necessarily matter that he was drafted in 1985 and his rookie is in 1986. It surely doesn't hurt the value. It just happens to be the first time a card of his was made, thus making it his rookie.

    This is the case for several other high profile athletes. Marino and Elway were both drafted in 1983 and have rookies in 1984 Topps.
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  3. #3
    And the farther you go back in pro football history and cards the more commonly you see this and in some cases, the greater the gap between their draft year and their first RC. Y.A. Tittle was drafted in 1948 but didn't show up in a Leaf or Bowman set until 1950. Norm Van Brocklin was drafted in 1949 but didn't show up in Bowman until 1951.

    Card companies were trying to "speculate" who would be a success and would pass on producing certain player's cards until the appeared to be something of a success. Rice was considered a slow receiver out of a small college, so some suspected he would be a bust until he had nearly 1000 yards receiving as a rookie.

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  4. #4
    Yes but historically all players were done that way up until the more modern releases. There was only one Topps release annually and they arrived before the season started. ™There were few pics and not enough time or interest to put rookies in the set. ™So up until aroun 1990, all rookies had heir rookie card made the year after he had his rooke season.

    Joe Montana drafter 1979, rookie card 1980
    Art monk drafted 1980, rookie card 81
    Lawrence taylor drafted 81, rookie 82
    Marcus Allen drafted 1982, rookie 1983
    And I could go on and on elway, Marino, rice Simms, Reggie white.

    It didn't have to do with potential, many of these guys were top 10 picks. It was about technology, timing and demand.


    It has less to do with what they considered potential as the needs of the market. There we only One set made, it needed to be printed, shipped and on shelves before the season began and the rookies had never played. So they took rookie Pics in their first year and printed them the next year.

    The NFL Rookie Premiere didn't start until 1995 and that's when most of the early rc pics are taken now.
    Last edited by chajones; 07-26-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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  5. #5
    chajones is correct. Topps never printed any rookies until after their rookie season. They waited to get action game photos of them in their pro unis. The "draft pick" cards weren't started yet. Two minor corrections from the above post - Montana RC is 81 and It was 1989 when you started to get draft picks rookies in the year they were drafted. I am sure Pro Set and Score had something to do with starting that trend. It did force Topps to come out with their first "update" set for football.

  6. #6
    This happened with hockey cards too. Because there was on Topps and O'Pee'Chee producing cards, say in 1989, you'll see a ton of guys who were playing for 3+ yrs have their RC in the 1989 sets. It's because that was, as someone above posted, it was the first time the player appeared on a card from that company.

    I have a graded Jerry Rice RC and never noticed what you mentioned lol.

  7. #7
    This one of the reasons why 1989 Score has so many RC's. It has two rookie classes in it.

  8. #8
    I find it funny this is asked. It is because RC were really rookie cards. Now a days everything is prospect card, or a draft card. Card makers figure they can really get two rookie cards out of it, in football a player drafted this years are all the draft year cards in baseball, then next year they put RC on the cards and it is still a rookie.

  9. #9
    Here is my favorite... Seahawks current CB Brandon Browner was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2005 and both Panini and Upperdeck made several rc cards of him like this one


    Then in 2011 Topps finally makes a card of Browner and the card says RC card on it...


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Seahawks Fan View Post
    Here is my favorite... Seahawks current CB Brandon Browner was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2005 and both Panini and Upperdeck made several rc cards of him like this one


    Then in 2011 Topps finally makes a card of Browner and the card says RC card on it...


    Sorry topps you are 6 years late
    That is funny. Silly Topps

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