Barry Sanders College Card Breakdown

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In today’s card world, seeing players featured in their college uniforms is common—in fact, at the beginning of the football card season, you’ll only see newly-drafted players in their college uniforms for a number of early releases.

But this wasn’t always the case! I mean, do you know what college Jerry Rice went to and how many 1980s cards do you have of him in his Mississippi Valley State uniform? In fact, the only way you might in fact have a Jerry Rice college card at all is thanks to modern football card brands and releases like immaculate and others.

Bringing us back to the subject of this blog post, Barry Sanders. While rookies before Sanders didn’t have much of any college uniform cards (and while those in current day have a ton) Barry Sanders was in that sweet spot of the hobby (ahem, the junk wax era) where Pro Set, Wild Card, Upper Deck, and other sets featured the game’s youngest stars in their university uniforms.

1990 Pro Set #494

If you’re looking for Barry Sanders in his collegiate Oklahoma State uniform, this is the card to grab. From the photo of Barry leaping and side-stepping defenders in way that only he could do (and reminiscent of the Heisman Trophy, which) to the coincidental color match of the Pro Set orange border and the Oklahoma State pants and lettering, this card is certainly one of the best during a time when there were a LOT of cards being produced (it’s certainly not the rarest Barry Sanders card to chase).

In terms of where this card ranks among other Barry Sanders’ rookies, Topps is always a great name in rookie cards, but perhaps less so among football collectors (and more for baseball). Not to mention that Barry’s Topps rookie is found in the Topps Traded set and not in the flagship release. Values between the two are close, with PSA 10s of each available for around $150 on eBay right now, but fall well short of the most valuable Sanders’ rookie, 1989 Score.

1991 Wild Card Draft #106

This Wild Card Draft…card is a curious case. One, it is a 1991 release, so two years after official Barry Sanders cards have hit the market. Thus, as you’d might expect, the values for this one don’t come close to rookie releases. This is even in the face of relatively low pop counts for graded cards:

So again, even though Barry is in a college uniform here, the card is still getting the non-rookie treatment, as it should.

Second, though, notice the floating numbers around the black border of the card above. And then also take another look at the PSA pop report I added in. You see “5 stripe,” “10 stripe” etc. Back in the day the deal was you could hit a striped card out of a pack or you could do something like trade in 100 copies of a card for a 100-stripe version of that card.

I’m not sure exactly, but I’ve heard a 1000 stripe was one per case…pretty rare!

So, while a graded base version of this card isn’t worth much, a 100-stripe BGS 8 looks to be valued around $80 based on comps, and given the rarity, you’ll have to use your imagination for what higher-stripes might be worth!

Modern Editions

In addition to the cards listed above, you can find Barry Sanders in his Oklahoma State uniform across a number of the best football card brands released today and over recent years. It would take a while to describe the all, but here is a list of what I’ve found so far:

Barry Sanders College Card List

YearSetCard #
2022Chronicles Draft Picks Illusions20
2022Panini Select Draft Picks137
2022Immaculate Collegiate Ink AutoSN1
2021National Treasures College Silhouette AutoTBD
2021Flawless Collegiate Campus AutoTBD
2020Prizm Draft Picks11
2020Contenders Draft Picks9
2019Prizm Draft Picks Stained Glass33
2019Contenders Draft Picks13
2019Prizm Draft Picks13
2019Prizm Draft Picks All-Americans29
2019Contenders Draft Picks Legacy3
20192019 Flawless Collegiate Dual Patch AutoTBD
2018Panini Elite Draft8
2018Contenders Draft Picks Old School Colors3
2018Contenders Draft Picks8
2017Contenders Draft Picks10
2017Immaculate Collegiate Ink AutoTBD
20162016 Immaculate Collegiate Dual Auto TBD
2011UD College Legends Inscriptions AutoTBD
2004Leaf Limited Patch AutoTBD

About Ryan from Ballcard Genius 206 Articles
Ryan is a lifelong member of the hobby and sports card expert. Specializing in baseball cards, and showcasing a love for flashy 90s inserts and all things A's, Ryan enjoys sharing the ins and outs of collecting, while highlighting the best cardboard options to add to your collections. Last Time Ago LLC dba Ballcard Genius.