Learn All About the Barry Sanders Rookie Cards

By: Marty Beets

Barry Sanders is considered one of the greatest running backs in football history. Sanders ended his career second to only Walter Payton in all-time rushing yards.

His rookie and early cards are very sought after. Some are valuable while others are more affordable. Let's take a look at some of these vintage Barry Sanders cards:

1989 Score

Card #257

This is the most recognized Barry Sanders rookie card. It is universally considered a rookie card.

The 1989 Score set is one of the best sets from the wax junk era.  In addition to Sanders, this set contains great Troy Aikman and Dion Sanders rookie cards.

1989 Topps Traded

This card is from the 1989 Topps Traded set. It is considered a rookie although some consider it an extended rookie.


The 1989 Topps Traded Barry Sanders rookie was only available in the full Traded set.  This is his first Topps card.

1989 Pro Set

Card #494

This is a regular-issue Sanders rookie from a mass-produced set. It is considered a Barry Sanders rookie.

Pro Set is regarded as a cheap and overproduced set, but this is still a Sanders rookie card. His only rookie in the OSU jersey. It has a decent value in mint condition. 

1989 Detroit Lions Police

These were given out by police officers in Detroit and Ontario.  It is considered an oddball rookie.

Card #11

This Sanders rookie from the Lions Police set is a very interesting Sanders rookie. It is affordable because it isn't very rare. A lot of these were made and still exist.

Review of Barry Sanders cards:

1989 Topps Traded Considered a rookie or XRC.

1989 Score Considered a rookie.

1989 Pro Set Considered a rookie

1989 Lions Police An oddball rookie