The Rare Ones
The Rare Ones List (Updated May 20th, 2020)
The irony here is that one of the most common words used on ebay is the word "Rare". Everybody is selling that "Rare" card, that "1 of 1", the "Only one on ebay". The reality is, is that most of those cards are NOT. Sellers will use any word to make a buck and the word "Rare" is their most common form of advertisement. The list below are truly "Rare" cards that I have discovered, (and when I say, discovered, I mean, I contacted Beckett with the ebay posting to insure that they were aware of the card for future price guides.) So after searching for years and years on ebay I think you'll agree with some of the cards on this list.
The cards listed below are some of the "Rare" cards that I've uncovered on ebay.
1) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts - Originally this card was not listed in Beckett. Not until I informed Beckett of its existence on eBay in 2016. What is not to like about a "Rare" unlisted Peyton Manning rookie autograph card?
1998 Skybox Premium: “Peyton Manning” Autographics #XX RC
2) Michael Vick, QB, Atlanta Falcons - The Beckett price guide always listed an Exchange card for this Vick Auto, but never listed an actual autograph. At least not until I discovered this beauty back in 2015.
2001 Fleer Focus: “Michael Vick” Certified Cuts RC #CCMV
3) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts - This card appeared on ebay in 2017. A Press Pass insider could only confirm that it looked legit. Regardless, a Game-Used Jersey autographed by Peyton Manning that is #'d to 700 isn't too shabby.
1998 Press Pass: “Peyton Manning” Game Used Jersey / Autograph RC #'d 6 / 700
4) Michael Booker, CB, Atlanta Falcons - Although this card doesn't have the ring to it that a Peyton Manning card does, it's still extremely rare. I actually bid $77.77 on this card and lost....to a Nebraska fan.
1997 Proline: “Michael Booker” Rookie Autograph #NNO
5) LaVar Arrington, LB, Washington Redskins - When you do see this card on ebay it's in the form of the infamous "Cut-Out" card. Seeing this card as a whole is extremely rare.
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “LaVar Arrington” #189
6) Mrs. Santa, Wife, North Pole - I have no idea what made Proline actually create these crazy cards, but the football card hobbyists went after them anyway. This card was actually included in a lot of Proline autograph cards that I bought online. I was going to sell it until I realized that it was different from the one I already had. (Note that the Santa picture is also signed.)
1992 Proline Portraits: “Mrs. Santa” Autograph Variation #X
7) Dorsey Levens, RB, Green Bat Packers - I've actually seen this card a few times so it's not as "Rare" as the cards above, but it's still extremely under-priced for how many are out there.
2001 Upper Deck SP Game-Used Edition: “Dorsey Levens” Authentic Fabric #DL
8) Joe Namath, QB, New York Jets / Los Angeles Rams - Here is another card that I've only seen one time. I wonder if this card was placed in packs at a very low rate or released at a later date by some unconventional method. Either way, this one is a beauty. Even if my scan isn't.
1997 Upper Deck SP: “Joe Namath” Mark of a Legend #ML8
9) Cris Carter, WR, Minnesota Vikings - I promise I saw this card, but at that time it just didn't dawn on me to take a picture of it. Not only was it signed, but the seller also provided a snap shot of the card back which had the standard "Congratulations" to the collector. And the card went for measly $34 dollars.
1994 Proline Live: “Cris Carter” Autograph #NNO
10) Reggie White, DE, Green Bay Packers - Although early Beckett Annual price guides say this card existed only as a "Century Mark" auto #'d to 100, I did see one that was NOT a "Century Mark". Collectors knew this one was a rare find because it went for a solid $179 bucks.
1997 Skybox Premium: “Reggie White” Autographics #NNO
11) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts - This card appeared on eBay in late 2017 for a hefty price of $8,500. Obviously, a price set to send your children to Yale, but not set at a price to move. I will say, that this proves that the Pinnacle vault is massive and has a plethora of cards that we have never seen.
1998 Pinnacle Inside: “Peyton Manning” Behind the Numbers #20
12) Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit Lions - Although the seller didn't list this card as another $8,500 windfall, this one was another high priced card. I found this card along with the Dan Marino and Jerry Rice cards to complete the trifecta.
1998 Score Select: “Barry Sanders” Unstoppable #NNO
13) Dan Marino, QB, Miami Dolphins - This was another one of those Pinnacle cards that appeared in late 2017. This one though appeared with a much more respectable $450 price tag. And it didn't appear alone, the Marino card was accompanied by a Peyton Manning Selected card, as well. So that means that there are at least 3 cards from this mystical set; Marino, Manning and Elway, (The Elway card being the most common).
1998 Score Select: “Dan Marino” Selected #7
14) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts - This card appeared on eBay in late 2017 for a hefty price of $9,500. Obviously sending one of your children to Yale isn't enough, I guess the other one wants to attend Columbia. Either way, this guy wants you to break the bank for these cards. Sometimes owners of these cards, really don't want to part with them, but they will for a hefty sum.
1998 Pinnacle Inside: “Peyton Manning” Conference Clash #AFC-8
15) Terrell Owns, WR, San Francisco 49ers - I always noticed that the Beckett Price Guides called out an "Exchange" card, but I never thought I'd actually see an autograph card from Terrell for this set, well, here it is. I've only seen it one time too.
2000 Upper Deck SP: “Terrell Owens” Sign of the Times #TO
16) Rob Bernstein, RB, San Diego Chargers - I saw this card one time many, many years ago and it didn't dawn on me at the time just how rare it was. I needed several cards at that time so missing out on one common card didn't faze me. However, when I was watching that auction and the price kept going up and up, I began to wonder. It wasn't until the bidding stopped at $310.50 that I found out just how rare it was. I've never seen it again and now the Bernstein card remains the only card I need.
1994 Proline Live: “Rob Bernstein” Autograph #11
17) Phylicia Rashad, Wife, Minnesota Vikings - This is one of those cards that you see once every 20 years. The last time I saw this card on eBay was in May of 2020 and it sold for a whopping $810.00. Per Beckett, there are less than 15 of these cards in existence. How is it possible that one of the most expensive cards from the 1991 Proline Portraits autograph set is from one of the women from one of the subsets? Unreal.
1991 Proline Portraits: “Phylicia Rashad” Wives Autograph #7
1991 Proline Portraits: “Rashad Family” Special Autograph (F) #SPC1
18) Rashad Family, Minnesota Vikings - Per the Beckett Annual this card only exists in the un-signed form. Well, here it is. No idea how many of these cards are out there, but it could far less than 15. The only time I've seen this card was in May of 2020 by the same seller who sold #17 above. It went for a staggering $685.00. It should be noted that this is 1 of 2 cards that have a husband and a wife's signature on the card. The 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics card with Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon is the other.
1991 Proline Portraits: “Rashad Family” Special Autograph (B) #SPC1