As soon as his stock bloomed in Minnesota, Randy Moss and any cards/memorabilia associated with the Vikings' star receiver skyrocketed to unbelievable heights.
Moss put up some all-pro numbers as a rookie - 69 catches, 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. His record also had 20 teams wondering why they hadn't jumped on the Marshall star in the 1998 Draft.
After reviewing the latest Beckett Football Magazine, I can see why collectors might snub Moss the way NFL owners passed him over in the draft.
According to the April issue of Beckett, you will have to shell out some bucks for the following Moss autographed cards:
- 98 Topps Autograph (#A1) - $125-$225
- 98 SP Authentic Player's Ink (#RM) - $125-$225
- 98 Score Rookie Autograph (#24) - $150-$300
- 98 SkyBox Autographic (#57) - $175-$250
- 98 Playoff Contenders Ticket (#92) - $175-$300
While the rookie season numbers have contributed to his soaring prices, I can remember many other players whose careers started out as quickly. How many of you still are sitting on Jeff George or Rashaan Salaam autographs/cards? I know that I've been burned by this syndrome many times. Collectors have a bad habit of spending money on the hot cards and autographs, instead of staying with more stable items.
Without paying the big bucks for Moss, you can purchase some great quality autographs from certified companies for the same amount you'd spend on the Vikings' receiver. By way of illustration, I've listed some certified autographs that could hold a better value in the long run.
- Upper Deck autographs from Dan Marino and Joe Montana: Two of the greatest of all time. Marino holds all the passing records. "Super Joe" reigns as a king of the Super Bowl. Mini-helmets of these stars can be purchased for $100-$150 based on dealer prices. An Upper Deck dual-signed framed Sports Illustrated magazine can be purchased for $150-$200 with a dual-signed photo in a Josten holder selling from $90-$150. These two have been commanding $100 per autograph at national shows.
- Pro Line certified autographed cards: While Score Board has left a bitter taste in collectors' mouths, these cards started by Classic in 1991 offer hobbyists the chance to get certified autographed cards of their favorite players at relatively inexpensive prices. Some of the stars in the set include Muhammed Ali, John Elway, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, and many others.
- UDA Legends autographs: The market has cooled on this product, but the quality and quantity of players makes it worth spending a few bucks on these cards. While the big names like Starr and Payton might be out of the question, you can pick up Dan Fouts, Len Dawson, Fred Biletnikoff and many other good players at a relatively inexpensive price compared to a Moss autograph.
Just remember not to give into the "Freshman Phenom" so quickly. Moss may or may not break the mold of the 21st century receiver... but I'll take a player from that century over him any day.
Darron Markwood grew tired of paying outrageous prices for cardboard, after collecting cards from 1978 to 1991. He's now been collecting autographs for seven years, using mail order, attending shows, and going through certified companies. His collection boasts more than 500 autographs from all sports and celebrities. Darron is a former reporter who has interviewed Joe Dumars, Grant Hill and even Bobby Hull. In his free time, Darron collects autographs. If you'd like to contact Darron, you can send him an email care of: firstname.lastname@example.org