This is a key rookie card featuring the most dominant running back of the 1990s. Barry Sanders, despite a shocking retirement from the game in 1999, had a 10-year run of epic proportions with the Detroit Lions. For 10 straight seasons, Sanders rushed for at least 1,000 yards (the first man to accomplish the feat), proving that he was not only quick and powerful, but durable as well. Keep in mind that Sanders kept that streak alive despite missing five games in 1993. Sanders would also become the third player in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards when he finished with
2,053 yards in 1997 on 6.1 yards per carry. Sanders was awarded the NFL MVP that same year. His career rushing total of 15,269 yards currently ranks third behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton, but Sanders had a better yards per carry average than either of them at 5.1. He also scored
99 touchdowns in his career. This 10-time Pro Bowl selection and former Heisman Trophy winner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. This card, like the aforementioned Jerry Rice rookie, is susceptible to chipping along the green borders.
Barry David Sanders (July 16, 1968-) (RB) was one of the most gifted, elusive and explosive running backs the National Football League has ever seen, despite playing on the struggling Detroit Lions. Barry originally gained national attention after replacing Thurman Thomas as Oklahoma State University’s lead running back in 1988. His 1988 season was one of the most productive in NCAA history as he rushed for 2,850 yards and 42 touchdowns en route to the Heisman Trophy and consensus All-American honors. The Detroit Lions took Barry with the third overall pick of the 1989 NFL Draft and he made an immediate impact on the NFL winning the 1989 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Sanders rushed for 1,470 yards and 14 TDs in his rookie year, beginning a string of ten consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards or more, becoming the first player to ever do so. In 1997, he became only the third player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. He led the National Football League once in rushing touchdowns, twice in all-purpose TDs and yards from scrimmages and four times in rushing yards and yards per game.
Barry was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in each of his ten NFL seasons, all of which he played with the Lions (1989-1998), and he was a six-time NFL All-Pro First Team selection. Sanders’ best season came in 1997 when he rushed for league leading 2,053 yards, 128.3 yards per game and 2,358 yards from scrimmage. He was named the 1997 NFL AP, PFWA and News Enterprise Association Most Valuable Player Award winner, as well as the AP Offensive Player of the Year and Bert Bell Award winner (Player of the Year). Barry shocked the football world and saddened fans as he retired abruptly and unexpectedly in July of 1999 at the top of his game, later citing Detroit’s consistent losing as having doused his competitive fire. Barry Sanders retired second on the all-time rushing list with 15,269 rushing yards, behind Walter Payton’s 16,726 yards. He is now third behind Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Payton. In ten seasons in Detroit, along with his 15,269 rushing yards, Sanders also posted 99 rushing touchdowns and a 99.8 yards per game average over the course of 153 contests. In all, Barry Sanders amassed 18,308 total yards, scored 654 points on 109 all-purpose touchdowns and recovered 13 fumbles. Barry Sanders was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.