Market Guide: Peyton Manning Rookie Cards

Posted on 9/29/2022

Want to start a Peyton Manning rookie card collection? Read our detailed guide to find the best ones to invest in.

Peyton Manning is one of the most iconic quarterbacks ever, but are his rookie cards worth buying? Our guide has everything you need to know if you want to learn more about Peyton Manning's cards from his debut NFL season. You will find some of the best ones to invest in, with detailed information about their value.

Who Is Peyton Manning?

Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, with a slew of impressive records. Retiring in 2016, he still holds the league record as the only five-time MVP award winner. Manning also previously held the record for passing yards with an impressive 71,940 in his career. He also held the record for passing touchdowns with a total of 539. These records have since been broken, but most would agree he earned his place in the Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 2021.

Manning was drafted first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 NFL Draft, but his rookie season was relatively lackluster, especially for a player of his caliber. By the following season though, he had found his stride and helped the Colts win their first division title since 1987. He'd go on to win his first MVP award three years later, shared with Steve McNair. From there, his career took off as he built an NFL resume that few will ever rival.

The two-time Super Bowl champion also had a significant presence off the field. He is known as an approachable, friendly player with a big personality. This allowed him to achieve a level of celebrity that many of his fellow players could never reach and made him well-known outside of just the football community. Toward the end of his career, he was one of the most marketable players across any sport, appearing in numerous ad campaigns, signing many endorsement deals and even hosting the popular comedy sketch show "Saturday Night Live."

What Is the Investment Potential of Peyton Manning's Rookie Cards?

Peyton Manning's rookie year came at the end of the late '80s and early '90s sports card boom. During this period, interest peaked and many new collectors entered the hobby assuming that all cards were a solid investment choice. Print numbers increased drastically, and oversaturation pushed prices down. While Manning's rookie cards released as this boom subsided, they are still relatively easy to find. 

Card producers also focused more on inserts and parallels around the time that Manning made his NFL debut. During his 1998 rookie year, sports card companies began to create more unique and exclusive cards. That said, the value of most Peyton Manning rookie cards is relatively low, especially for a player of his standing.

The rookie cards of Hall of Famers tend to be popular amongst collectors. After all, people are less likely to be interested in cards from players that nobody remembers. Peyton Manning is, for many fans, the best quarterback in NFL history. But it's not just his professional record that makes his cards interesting—it's also his marketability off the field. He is a popular public figure, even among people who are not huge football fans, so his cards have broader appeal.

However, over 40 Peyton Manning rookie cards are available, and many are unlikely to be of high value in the future. While Manning fans and Colts fans might want to collect all 40, investors should focus on a select few cards and keep a close eye on their prices. Although some can sell for a lot, the prices shift significantly, so choosing the right moment to invest is essential.

The Best Peyton Manning Rookie Cards

1998 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph #87 Peyton Manning ($71,989)

Autographed cards are always good to watch out for, and this one is exciting because it's the only signed Peyton Manning rookie card from his first season. In 1998, on-card autographs were less common, so even though you'll find plenty from his later seasons, this is the only autographed rookie in circulation. 

There are several Peyton Manning rookies in the 1998 Playoff Contenders set, and the others are far more affordable. But if you want the holy grail, this is the one to go for because it's unique and rare. That said, it's an incredibly high-value card. In 2019, one sold for $71,988.90, according to PriceGuide.Cards. This is much higher than other sales, but data from 2021 still lists sales for around $25,000.

Regarding the card's investment potential, it may not be the best choice. The value was highest in 2019 but has since declined. In 2022, it sold for a much lower price — $11,987.50. If you are willing to take a risk on an expensive card, this is perhaps the most desirable Peyton Manning rookie card you'll come across. However, if you want something with a lower entry point and far less risk, look at some of the other cards on this list.

1998 SP Authentic #14 Peyton Manning - #/2,000 ($8,425)

SP Authentic is one of Upper Deck's most popular sets, and 1998 was only the second year it was ever produced. These cards have the potential to be quite valuable for several reasons. First, the quality of the cards is excellent. SP Authentic was designed to be a high-end product with full bleed photos and foil backing. Second, they were released in much shorter runs than the standard Upper Deck cards.

The Peyton Manning rookie card from this set is one of the more valuable ones on the market, and it has a great design. The large, detailed photo and the fact that this is one of very few serial-numbered Manning rookie cards could make it more interesting for collectors.

SportsCardsPro lists the average value for a mint condition card at around $8,425. According to their past sales data, even a less-than-mint card can sell for between $1,000 and $5,000. This card may have decent investment potential, but the card's value can fluctuate significantly. The average value for this card in 2004 was $548.07, and the value has been increasing steadily since then. This is one to keep an eye on as the card could be a good choice for investors if it continues to trend upward. 

1998 Topps Chrome #165 Peyton Manning ($520)

Topps Chrome cards are alternate versions of the standard Topps set with thicker cardstock and chrome backing. These are more vibrant and interesting than a regular Topps card but still have an iconic look that collectors recognize. The wavy border design and the dynamic action shot give the card design a bit more movement too. 

This card is one of the more expensive Peyton Manning rookie cards, with an average Mint value of around $800. In 2021, this card sold for almost $5,000, and then the value began to decrease. That said, sales data on PriceGuide.Cards shows an increase in average value from $54.09 to $323.96 between 2012 and 2022. So, this may be a sensible card for investors, but observe the price and try to invest when the value dips.

If you want a more unique, high-value card, look for the Refractor parallel of this card. These parallels have a multicolored reflective effect that distinguishes them from regular cards. The Refractor Peyton Manning rookie card is valued at over $12,000 by SportsCardsPro, and they have records of some cards selling for more than $20,000.

1998 Pacific Revolution #58 Peyton Manning ($373)

Visually appealing cards often do well with collectors. And that's why the 1998 Pacific Revolution Peyton Manning rookie card is one of the most exciting options available on the market. The sparkled foil backing with large colorful swirls is instantly recognizable, making this a very recognizable card. It also features an image of Manning from his college days with the Tennessee Volunteers, which differentiates it from his other rookie cards. 

This card is excellent for collectors and investors because it is relatively affordable, considering its uniqueness. SportsCardsPro lists the average value at just under $400 for a mint condition card. However, in less-than-mint condition, you can easily find it for $20 to $130, according to its grade.

The card's value in 2022 is relatively low, with an average graded price of $73.93. However, the card has sold for much more in the past. For example, the average graded value a year earlier was $381.40. Cards that fluctuate in value like this can be an excellent choice for investors as long as you pick them up when the prices are low. Monitoring the prices and choosing your moment is crucial if you plan to sell this card in the future. But it's also great for personal collections because of the exciting design.

1998 Upper Deck #1 Peyton Manning ($297)

Upper Deck cards are often considered a quality standard for the sports card industry. Personal collectors and investors alike tend to look for Upper Deck cards when buying rookies, and popular ones often hold their value well. In the 1998 Upper Deck set, the #1 card was a Peyton Manning rookie. This is one of his more desirable rookie cards for a few reasons. The portrait has an entertaining print style that makes it stand out, and it also had a limited print run as it was part of the Star Rookie subset. It's also quite affordable, with an estimated price of around $297 on SportsCardsPro for cards graded in Mint condition.

The value of this card doesn't fluctuate much, but there are records of some high-value sales. For example, PriceGuide.Cards show a sale for $3,750 in 2021. Although you may not get that much for it, this card could still have potential for investors because it holds its value well, and the price has increased significantly in the past.

1998 Topps Finest #121 Peyton Manning ($110)

Topps cards are known for their quality and desirability for collectors. The Finest series is a great set if you like flashier cards, and the Refractor parallels are particularly sought after. The base version of the Topps Finest Peyton Manning rookie card may not have the same reflective rainbow effect as the Refractor cards, but it still features an excellent foil backing and a dynamic action shot.

The overall design is relatively simple compared with cards like the Pacific Revolution rookie card. Still, it is a promising rookie card to search for because it is not overly expensive and finding good condition examples may be easier. The Topps Finest sets had a removable plastic coating on the card to protect them. Though most of these may have been removed after the initial purchase, it could boost the number of perfect-condition cards in circulation.

SportsCardsPro gives this card an overall average value of $110 when in perfect conditoin, but this is another card that fluctuates in price. There is a record of a sale for $3,550 in 2021, for example, when the average value was $231.02.

General trends in the sales data show that the value of this card steadily increases, even though it jumps up and down a lot. So, it's likely to be a sound investment or another solid addition to any Peyton Manning rookie card collection.

The Refractor parallel with the rainbow foil backing is a more expensive card. The average price for a graded card on PriceGuide.Cards is $364.63, but the highest sale they have on record is $4,494 in 2021. If you come across a Refractor parallel for a reasonable price, it may be worth buying.

Where Can I Purchase Peyton Manning Rookie Cards?

Now that you know which cards to look for, you might be wondering where you can buy them. There are several places to purchase Peyton Manning rookie cards. Auction sites are the best place to find specific cards. The best sites include:

  • eBay
  • PWCC Marketplace
  • Goldin Auctions
  • Lelands

In addition to auction sites, you can find some cards in hobby shops specializing in sports cards or at conventions. However, finding the specific cards that you want will be easier online. 

How Are Peyton Manning Rookie Cards Graded?

Grading is crucial to the value of Peyton Manning's rookie cards. Having the card graded by a recognized professional body like Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) can potentially increase the price you get for it. When buying cards, you should only purchase graded cards to guarantee that you're getting a product that is in good condition and will hold its value well. All cards that CSG grades come with a protective plastic casing and certificate of authenticity. All resellers need this to prove the condition of the card.

Several factors are considered when cards are graded:

  • The overall appearance of the card.
  • The centering of the image on the card.
  • Any visible wear and tear.
  • The sharpness of the corners.

Each of these aspects will be checked, and a final grade will be given. If a card is graded as mint condition, it will drastically increase its value.


Peyton Manning is an iconic player, so it's likely that there will always be interest in his rookie cards. If you are building a personal collection, there are many excellent cards. But investors must be more selective and focus on finding specific cards for the right price.

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