Learn All About the Jerry Rice Rookie Card

By: Marty Beets

Jerry Rice is widely considered the greatest receiver of all time.  He played most of his career for the San Francisco 49ers and rewrote the receiving record book duing his 20-year career.

His rookie and early cards are very sought after and valuable. Let's take a look at some of these vintage Jerry Rice cards:

1986 Topps

Card #161

This is the card that is universally considered to be the primary Rice rookie card.  

The 1986 Topps card #161 card is the first major release Jerry Rice card. This is hard to find in mint condition because of centering issues and a border that shows ware.

1986 McDONALD'S Jerry Rice

Four different versions of this card were released as part of a McDonald's promotion. This is considered an Oddball Rookie card.

The 1986 McDonald's Jerry Rice was a promotional card released in San Francisco.  The scratch-off portion has four different colors. Blue was the 1st released and is slightly more rare.

1987 Topps


This is the 2nd major release Topps card for Jerry Rice. It is a nice early card, but isn't a rookie card.

The 1987 Jerry Rice card #128 is not a rookie, but is an early Rice card. The photo shows Jerry Rice throwing a pass on a trick play. It was incomplete.  

1987 LEaders 

Card #228

This leader card honors the receiving leaders from 1986, but it's from the 1987 set. It is not a rookie card.

The 1987 Topps "1986 Reciving Leaders" card #228 honors Rice for leading the league in receiving.  He had 1,570 yards in 1986. The 2nd highest total of his career. 

Here's a summary of Rice's early cards. 

1986 McDonald's Considered an oddball rookies

1986 Topps Universally considered a rookie card

1987 Topps Cards Not considered rookie cards