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Collecting the Quarterbacks of Super Bowl XLVIII: Russell Wilson

by Rob Bertrand (01/31/14).

Genuine, authentic memorabilia items of Russell Wilson can be very expensive. Additionally, the short supply unfortunately means that Wilson’s signature has been an easy target for forgers, looking to cash in on the success of the league’s fresh face.

In part one of our discussion on collecting the quarterbacks of Super Bowl XLVIII, we took a look at the wily veteran, Peyton Manning. It seems only fitting that this year’s Super Bowl paired the best in the league’s veteran and a representative of the new breed as the NFL is clearly experience a changing of the guard.

Russell Wilson was a bit of a gamble when he selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the team’s third-round pick (75th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. Playing at a non-traditional school for top skill position players at the University of Wisconsin, many questioned how Wilson’s skill set would transition to the NFL. Suffice it to say he has answered the critics loud and clear.

Wilson’s officially licensed football cards debuted in 2012. Unlike Manning, who has just one autographed rookie card and no memorabilia rookie cards, more than half of Wilson’s 35 rookie cards are accompanied by either an autograph, swatch of game-used memorabilia or, in some cases, both. The price range for Wilson’s rookie cards range from just a couple of dollars to several hundred depending on the elements included. Serial-numbered cards having a low overall print run with autograph and memorabilia, understandably command the most money. However, there are plenty of plain rookie cards that easily affordable as well.

A complete checklist is provided below including serial numbering where applicable and a breakout of Wilson’s higher-end cards.

The Topps Five Star car, number 159, is certainly a solid choice to pick as Russell Wilson’s top rookie card in terms of value. Featuring a horizontal layout, the card incorporates an on-card signature and game-used jersey swatch, while being limited to just 50 total copies in existence.

2012 Bowman #116
2012 Prestige #238
2012 Score #372
2012 Topps #165
2012 Topps Magic #181
2012 Topps Prime Retail #78
2012 Topps Strata Retail #29 – running
2012 Bowman Sterling #5
2012 Elite #190 #/799
2012 Panini Prizm #230
2012 Topps Chrome #40
2012 Topps Finest #140
2012 Topps Platinum #168
2012 Topps Prime #78
2012 Topps Strata #29 – throwing
2012 Topps Supreme #23 #/462
2012 Topps Turkey Red #99
2012 Topps Valor #35 #170

Memorabilia and/or Autographed

As would be expected, Wilson-autographed memorabilia is seeing incredibly high demand, which is currently exceeding supply. Being just his second year in the league compared to Manning’s 15 years, there is simply not enough genuine material to meet the demands of fans and collectors.

2012 Absolute #230 #/299
2012 Panini Certified #346 #/499
2012 Panini Contenders #225
2012 Panini Crown Royale #280 #/349
2012 Panini Gridiron #320 #/299
2012 Panini Limited #225 #/299
2012 Panini Momentum #131 #/599
2012 Panini National Treasures #325 #/99
2012 Panini Playbook #205 #/149
2012 Panini Prime Signatures #269 #/199
2012 Panini Prominence #235 (4 versions) #/150
2012 Panini Prominence #226 #/70
2012 Panini Rookies & Stars #246 #/499
2012 Panini Totally Certified #230 #/199
2012 Topps Five Star #159 #/50
2012 Topps Triple Threads #131 (2 versions) #/99

Determining Wilson’s top rookie card, in terms of value, is much more challenging with so many more examples to choose from. However, if you look at the components incorporated into the card’s design and couple it with the lowest print run, the Topps Five Star car, number 159, is certainly a solid choice. Featuring a horizontal layout, the card incorporates an on-card signature and game-used jersey swatch, while being limited to just 50 total copies in existence.

A Russell Wilson-signed Seattle Seahawks authentic replica jersey is rare and sure to increase in value.

As would be expected, Wilson-autographed memorabilia is seeing incredibly high demand, which is currently exceeding supply. Being just his second year in the league compared to Manning’s 15 years, there is simply not enough genuine material to meet the demands of fans and collectors. As a result, genuine, authentic memorabilia items of Russell Wilson can be very expensive. Additionally, the short supply unfortunately means that Wilson’s signature has been an easy target for forgers, looking to cash in on the success of the league’s fresh face.

For more information on the authentication process and finding reputable resources, please see part one of this two-part article.


Rob Bertrand has been an active collector of sports cards and memorabilia for more than 20 years. His involvement in the hobby community is well documented, having been the content manager for the Card Corner Club website before the company’s merger with CardboardConnection in 2011, where he is now a staff writer and multimedia content producer. Rob is also the co-host of the sports collectibles hobby’s only live and nationally broadcast radio show, Cardboard Connection Radio. He is the author of the highly respected and trafficked blog, Voice of the Collector and you can follow him on Twitter @VOTC. A dealer himself, Rob runs an online business through eBay, and is frequently asked to consign collections.

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