Now this might just be impossible….
Winning one Super Bowl is tough enough.
Two? Definitely starting to become a lot more difficult.
Adding a World Series appearance into the mix?
Achieving a touchdown and a home run in two completely different sports in a week?
That’s just Deion Sanders normal territory.
This is the only man to appear in a Super Bowl and the World Series. In fact, he is the only man in history to accomplish many things.
As you can imagine, when you have a guy this talented, all of his sports cards will be highly desirable, and few of them will be more desirable than his rookie cards. After all, this guy hit the absolute top of the game in multiple sports.
Luckily for you, there are several different options out there!
We will go through his career in MLB and the NFL on this page.
Near the end, we will start introducing you to what we think are the 7 best Deion Sanders rookie cards.
Who Is Deion Sanders?
We are going to tap into his career over the next few sections. However, we figured we would kick things off by giving you an overview of Deion Sanders. Who he is. What sort of things he does nowadays, etc.
On August 9th, 1967, Deion Sanders was born in Fort Myers, Florida. As soon as he attended High School, it was evident that he would do great things in sports. In fact, he almost had a third pro sport added to his name. Deion played baseball, football, and basketball at High School. He was regarded as one of the best players in the state. In college, he added track to that list. As you can probably guess, he was incredibly successful at that too.
Nowadays, Deion Sanders is perhaps best-known for his appearances as a pundit on a whole host of different shows while, in his full-time job, he is working as head coach at Jackson State.
We suppose that he wanted to continue working a couple of major jobs even after retirement.
Deion Sanders in Baseball
Let’s start with Deion Sanders and his baseball career. While it wasn’t quite as illustrious as his career in the NFL, it did start marginally earlier. Plus, when we say “not quite as illustrious” he still managed to achieve much more than other players did.
The Start of His Baseball Career
Sometimes, we make decisions that impact our entire life. That is exactly what Deion did in 1985.
In 1985, Deion was a sixth-round draft pick for the Kansas City Royals. Signing for them could have been so easy. It is unlikely that he would have ever become a footballer if he did. Fortunately he didn’t. While receiving an offer from Kansas City Royals, he decided to give them a skip that year.
It wasn’t until 1988 that Deion received his next offer. While we certainly do not intend to be mean toward Kansas City Royals fans, it is fair to say that the next offer was a lot better. The New York Yankees decided to come in for him. After a couple more minor league games, he went to Spring Training with the Yankees, and his baseball career began.
Somewhat interestingly, even now, it wasn’t clear that he would be spending his time in the world of baseball. He never intended to stick around with the New York Yankees for long. His goal was to always play in the NFL. However, a contract dispute kept him tied to the New York Yankees.
On May 31st, 1989, Deion made his first appearance in the MLB.
By the end of the 1990 season, the New York Yankees decided to get rid of him. They believed that he wasn’t developing anywhere near as fast as they had hoped. They felt that his NFL career seemed far more important. Luckily for Deion, another team was willing to take a chance on him.
The Middle Of His Baseball Career
For the 1991 season, Deion signed with the Atlanta Braves. He performed exceedingly well, although his deal was still governing his life in the NFL. Every time he managed to have a little bit of success with the Atlanta Braves, he was also slipping off to play football. We can’t imagine many of his teammates were too happy with him. However, we suppose that this will always be the case for the great multi sports players.
1992 was the best year of his baseball career. This was also when he made an appearance in the World Series. As we said earlier, this is a key point in the man’s career.
Deion Sanders remains the only person to appear in a Super Bowl and a World Series. The team made it to six games before being knocked out by the Toronto Blue Jays. However, the blame cannot be placed on Deion here. At the time, he was one of the best players for his team.
The End Of His Baseball Career
It is hard to say when Deion Sanders’ career in baseball started to come to an end. There is no doubt that he was playing well for an incredibly long time. However, he didn’t have much success after his World Series appearance. The NFL was his life.
Some would argue that it began in 1994 when he signed for the Cincinnati Reds. He only lasted a season there before he was off to the San Francisco Giants. After a short stint there, he disappeared from baseball for a couple of years.
He finally returned in 1997, and, up until 2001, he played exceedingly part-time for the Cincinnati Reds again. Even as a part-timer, he accomplished more in the game than many full-time baseball players. However, eventually, he no longer belonged in the MLB. He was shifted over to minor league baseball. He had to give this up because his football contract did not allow him to play in the minor leagues.
So, Deion’s career as a baseball player was over. We are sure he didn’t mind.
- Batting Average: 263
- Home Runs: 39
- Runs Batted In: 168
- Stolen Bases: 186
Deion Sanders in the NFL
Deion’s career in the NFL was a lot less sporadic than in the MLB. Every team he played for in the NFL dictated exactly how much time he would be spending on MLB games and training. We are sure that Deion didn’t mind. He was lucky enough to grab a couple of Super Bowl appearances by now.
Some would argue that Deion Sanders’ NFL career began in 1985, even if it was a while before he signed for an actual NFL team.
While in High School, Dion Sanders was named one of the best 33 players ever to play the sport in Florida. This probably prevented him from joining an MLB team when he was first drafted. He just knew that sooner or later, an NFL team would come for him.
Early NFL Career
In 1989, Deion Sanders became a 5th pick draft choice for the Atlanta Falcons, and his career was off to a flying start. He stuck around with the Atlanta Falcons until 1993. In his time there, he managed to score ten touchdowns. Of course, he was playing MLB at the same time. During the Atlanta Falcons run, he became the first player to score a home run and a touchdown in the same week. He almost became the only player ever to play an NFL and an MLB game on the same day, although that never happened.
At the start of the 1994 season, he signed for the San Francisco 49ers. His first season for the team was absolutely fantastic. He was classed as the best defensive player in the league, and, of course, this was the season when he managed to play in his first Super Bowl. One would argue that this is when we really started to get a sense of who this player was.
Deion’s early career was rounded off with an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. The San Francisco 49ers beat San Diego Chargers.
Middle Of His NFL Career
You would think that after a Super Bowl win, Deion Sanders would be sticking around with the San Francisco 49ers. This wasn’t to be the case.
He knew how good he was, so he started looking into other teams, many of which needed a player like him. He ended up signing for the Dallas Cowboys and stuck around until 2000.
Of course, he picked up his second Super Bowl ring while playing with the Dallas Cowboys. At Super Bowl XXX, the team beat the Atlanta Falcons.
End Of His NFL Career
Arguably, the tail end of his career began when he was released from his Dallas Cowboys contract in 2000.
He signed a multi-year contract with the Washington Redskins, but his contract was terminated just one year later. Nobody knows why. He was playing a decent season.
After a brief retirement period, Deion signed for the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. He played 16 games and then retired for good. This was the official end of a major career in MLB and the NFL.
Deion Sanders Rookie Cards
We know that Deion Sanders has been a major influencing force in various sports. You are probably itching to get to know his rookie cards. As we said way back at the start, he does have a few different options available. We will cover a few of the more popular ones and give you a general overview of the sort of cash that you can expect to pay for each of them.
Availability of Deion Sanders Rookie Cards
Deion Sanders was playing at a time when a lot of different companies had their hands in the sports card production pie. This means that there are several rookie cards available.
Football Rookie Cards
Let’s start with his football rookie cards. This is arguably where he had the most success in sports, so it only makes sense.
Topps Traded Rookie Card 1989
Topps trading cards are among the most desirable in the world of sports. Because Topps also produces baseball cards, you can pick up a matching set. If you get your hands on just one rookie card from Deion Sanders, make it this one. Both his rookie cards were released in 1989.
The Topps card can be found in the Traded set for 1989. It is also one of the rarest of his rookie cards. We will talk a little bit more about the price later on. However, for now, it is safe to say that if you want a Topps Traded rookie card for Deion Sanders, you will probably need to have a sizeable amount of cash spare!
Score Rookie Card 1989
We have always been fans of Score cards. While Topps Traded cards always focused on capturing the player’s images on the field, Score cards opted for profile shots. With their green borders, they boasted a lot more color too.
The great thing about Score cards is that they tend to be much higher quality than Topps cards. Because of this, they were a favorite of collectors back in the 1980s.
Many collectors managed to keep them in good condition, which has resulted in the average Score rookie card ending up in better condition than the Topps equivalent. The Deion Sanders rookie card, even in mint condition, is considerably cheaper than the Topps Traded version.
Pro Set Rookie Card 1989
There were a LOT of these cards produced. They were produced when a lot of people were trying to keep their football cards in good condition.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to pick up a quality card. If you want the cheapest Deion Sanders rookie card, you need to look at the Pro Set.
The issue is that all of these cards have a printing error. They all say that Deion Sanders was a first draft pick. As you know from earlier, he really wasn’t.
Baseball Rookie Cards
There are four different baseball rookie cards for Deion Sanders.
Topps Traded Rookie Card 1989
If you love Deion Sanders, this is the card to go for. You already know that he had a football rookie card released the same year. As they both come under the Topps Traded series, the art style is roughly the same, although the baseball cards prefer the portrait shots.
Baseball card production was in full swing in the 1980s, and many of the cards were being produced exceedingly cheaply. As a result, there are a lot of his rookie cards floating around. There are actually a couple of Topps Traded rookie cards with his picture. You will barely have to pay anything for it.
However, a version was printed on a slightly higher card stock (known as the Tiffany card). That card is scarce, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you were left paying several thousand dollars for it. Still, it is probably worth it if you love Deion, right?
Donruss Rookie Card 1990
Donruss baseball cards were for those that wanted to buy baseball cards but didn’t exactly have the cash to splash on Topps Traded. These cards were printed in huge quantities, and there are many Deion Sanders rookie cards out there now. Still, if you want something cheaper, it may be worth checking them out.
If you are after the cheapest rookie card imaginable, you need to look to the Leaf rookie card set. These cards were not popular at the time. Many cards were left unsold, which resulted in many mint condition trading cards entering the market several years later.
Upper Deck Rookie Card 1990
Finally, we have the rookie card from Upper Deck. As you may well know, Upper Deck (along with Topps) was one of the most popular brands. This means that there are a lot of Upper Deck rookie cards out there. However, they tend to be in high demand, which pushes the secondary market price up slightly.
The Value of Deion Sanders Rookie Cards
Because there are so many different Deion Sanders rookie cards, the price can vary considerably.
Although collectors do benefit from the fact that sports cards were produced in huge quantities around the time, Deion Sanders hit his rookie year, which means far more Deion Sanders rookie cards out there than most other athletes.
Some of his less popular rookie cards sell for just a few dollars apiece. If you are happy with going ungraded and aren’t too fussed about the set that the card comes from, you will probably be able to score a card for around $10 to $20.
Once you start getting into the world of PSA graded, you are looking to pay a minimum of $100, with GM Topps Traded Tiffany cards easily stretching into the thousands of dollars.
We suppose that Deion Sanders fans benefit from the fact that while he did play two sports, he was playing at a time when everybody wanted to get involved with the sports trading card business. This means that there should be a card to suit every budget.
Where To Buy Deion Sanders Rookie Cards
For most people, sites like eBay are probably the go-to for picking up Deion Sanders rookie cards. As we said before, these cards are widespread. Dozens are being listed on the site every single week. While the demand is high, you will probably be able to score yourself a good deal.
Alternatively, you can look at trading card stores. Most of them should have a good selection of Deion Sanders cards in stock, many of which will be graded. While the price is likely going to be a little bit higher, you will have much more of an opportunity to inspect the quality of the card before you part with your cash.
Most Expensive Deion Sanders Card
The highest price achieved that we have found so far was $504 for a 2014 Panini Flawless Greats Patch Autograph Emerald that was sold on Ebay.
The most valuable Deion Sanders cards are the newer issues that have limited production and especially an autograph and or a Relic Swatch seems to be sought after by collectors. Especially if you can find one with PSA 10 certification.
Deion Sanders had a great career. It is no surprise that Deion Sanders rookie cards are so popular. If you really want to do one of the most successful sports players justice, then grab one of his baseball and his football rookie cards. Ungraded, you can probably pick up a pair for under $100.
If you are interested to learn more about Rookie Cards then why not start here.