Deion Sanders Rookie Card Market Guide

Posted on 10/13/2022

Learn about the market value of Deion Sanders rookie cards. And if you’re a card collector, find out how getting your cards graded can help enhance their value.

Among major league athletes, only a handful have achieved dual-sport status by mastering two entirely different games. As one of those talented few, Deion Sanders stands out as arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time.

To this day, Deion Sanders is the only person to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series. He’s also the only professional athlete to suit up for two different sports within the same day. On October 11, 1992, after playing in an NFL game with the Atlanta Falcons in Miami, Sanders hopped on a plane to Pittsburgh so he could join the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the National League Championship that evening. And in the ensuing World Series, Sanders went 8-for-15, had five stolen bases and would have been a contender for Series MVP if the Braves had won that year.

The Legendary "Prime Time"

Dating back to his days playing college football at Florida State University, Deion Sanders was known for having a personality that was as big as his talent. Therefore, his "Prime Time" nickname became a fitting staple of his 14-season pro football career with the Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.

During his career, he played a variety of positions, including cornerback, kick returner, punt returner and wide receiver. As for honors, Sanders won Super Bowl XXIX (with the 49ers) and Super Bowl XXX (with the Cowboys), was invited to eight Pro Bowls, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1994) and in 2011 was inducted to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Deion Sanders' Career Legacy

Considered one of the best pass defenders and cover corners in pro football history, Sanders also became legendary for his prowess in returning punts for touchdowns. Throughout his NFL career, Sanders scored 22 touchdowns and gained 7,838 all-purpose yards, with 19 defensive and return touchdowns, which was an NFL record for numerous years.

Further, Sanders was also the only player to score an NFL touchdown and hit an MLB home run in the same week. During his dazzling nine-year baseball career, he played with the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays. In four games of the 1992 World Series (Atlanta Braves vs. Toronto Blue Jays), he batted .533 and had eight hits, four runs, two doubles and one RBI.

Are Deion Sanders Rookie Cards Valuable?

For Deion Sanders fans, one of the biggest challenges is deciding whether to collect his baseball cards, football cards or both. Fortunately, there are plenty of great opportunities for collecting Sanders' cards in both sports. And for diehard fans, it starts with that all-important rookie card.

Prime Time’s rookie cards were issued in 1989, at a time when sports cards were being vastly overproduced. As a result, many of his rookie cards were issued in massive numbers. However, because of Sanders’ continuing popularity, as well as the historic aspects of his career, Gem Mint or Mint examples continue to show great returns on the secondary selling market.

Investment Potential for Deion Sanders Rookie Cards

Price-tracking sites like Sports Card Investor, PriceGuide.Cards and SportsCardsPro continue to show healthy price trends for Deion Sanders rookie cards. If an athlete has a huge fan base, you'll typically find lots of people who are willing to pay top prices for that athlete’s cards and memorabilia.

This is good news for Sanders collectors, because Prime Time has continued to be one of the sports world's most recognized and likable figures. Added to that, his dual-sport legacy gives him a unique position in sports history.

Plus, Sanders played with popular teams in both sports, including the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. This adds another market for his collectibles, as fans of those teams will want to include his sports cards in their collections.

Deion Sanders Rookie Cards

Deion Sanders had six rookie cards produced in 1989 — three for football, and three for baseball:


  • 1989 Score #246
  • 1989 Topps Traded #30T
  • 1989 Pro Set #486


  • 1989 Topps Traded #110T
  • 1989 Fleer Update #U-53
  • 1989 Donruss Rookies #6

Here's a look at how these six Deion Sanders rookie cards are trending on the secondary market.

Deion Sanders Football Rookie Cards

1989 Score #246 Deion Sanders ($11,249)

Considered the most valuable of all Deion Sanders rookie cards, this is a fan favorite and collector favorite as well. This historic card features a headshot of the young Sanders wearing a baseball cap embroidered with the Atlanta Falcons logo. Although there's an image of a football helmet in the lower right corner, this almost gives the appearance of a baseball card. For fans, this fascinating image seems to foretell Sanders’ future as a star player in both sports.

On SportsCardsPro, this popular card tracks at under $50 for grades under 9, with prices jumping to around $177 for Grade 9.5 and skyrocketing to $685 for Gem Mint. Meanwhile, Sports Card Investor shows a simlar top price of $699, but PriceGuide.Cards shows a recorded sale from 2021 that sold for an astounding $11,249, making this easily the most expensive Prime Time rookie card on the market.

1989 Topps Traded #30T Deion Sanders ($4,716)

In this photo, Sanders is featured in action as a Falcon, setting up for a punt return. It’s an entertaining card showing Prime Time getting ready to spring into action.

SportsCardsPro shows lower grades selling for less than $20, with Grade 9.5 trending at $60 and Gem Mint examples selling for $89. On Sports Card Investor, top prices are trending at around $140. However, PriceGuide.Cards shows a recorded sale from 2021 that topped out at $4,716.

1989 Pro Set #486 Deion Sanders ($1,514)

This early Pro Set release shows Sanders in his Florida State Seminoles uniform. The colorful card shows Sanders in mid-play action, looking up with his eye on the football.

For Sanders fans, this is a great card to collect because it shows him as a Seminole. On SportsCardsPro, it trends for less than $10 at lower grades, rising to around $36 for Grade 9.5 and $79 for Gem Mint examples. Prices on Sports Card Investor show a top trending price of around $97, and PriceGuide.Cards tracks it with the highest sale going for $1,514 in 2021.

Deion Sanders Baseball Rookie Cards

1989 Topps Traded #110T Deion Sanders ($2,710)

The 1989 Topps Traded base Deion Sanders rookie card shows a portrait shot of a youthful Sanders facing the camera in his Yankees hat and practice gear. There's also a glossy-finish Tiffany version of this card that's harder to find.

On SportsCardsPro, prices range from less than $10 for Grades 8 and below, around $16 for Grade 9, $28 for Grade 9.5 and $72 for Gem Mint. Sports Card Investor shows a top price of $999, while PriceGuide.Cards tracks its top price at $2,710.

For the Tiffany version, SportsCardsPro shows prices of less than $15 for Grades 7 and below, $32 for Grade 8 and $69 for Grade 9. At Grade 9.5 the price jumps to $110 and increases even more to around $450 for Gem Mint.

1989 Fleer Update #U-53 Deion Sanders ($221)

Issued as part of a packaged box set, this Fleer glossy rookie card shows Sanders suited up for the Yankees in their iconic pinstripe jersey. The design has a grey background with white stripes, and features the Yankees logo in the top right corner.

For collectors, this is an appealing and affordable card, made on Fleer’s high-quality glossy stock. SportsCardsPro tracks this card at less than $10 for Grades 8 and below, with Grade 9 going for $14, 9.5 trending at $33 and Gem Mint tracking at $40. Likewise, PriceGuide.Cards shows a top sale of $221.

1989 Donruss Rookies #6 Deion Sanders ($125)

This card celebrates Sanders’ debut with the Yankees on May 31, 1989. The photo features Sanders in action, running to first base after a successful hit. The distinctive green and black borders on this colorful card make it stand out from the pack.

Donruss cards are always fan favorites, thanks to their old-school vibe and fantastic images. With its relatively low current price, this particular card makes a great addition to any baseball collection. On SportsCardsPro, it’s trending at less than $12 for lower-grade cards. Grade 9.5 trends at $31, while Gem Mint examples are topping out at $71. On PriceGuide.Cards, the top price is trending at $125.

Deion Sanders Pre-Rookie Cards

Depending on the player, minor league rookie cards can sometimes have a huge historic interest, making them well worth the effort of finding them. The Deion Sanders pre-rookie card to look for is the 1989 Albany-Colonie Yankees card, which was issued when Sanders was playing for the Yankees-sponsored Triple-A team. It shows a shot of Sanders facing the camera posing while in a batting stance, wearing the team uniform and Yankees logo cap.According to auctions online, examples in excellent condition are selling for less than $10, making this a fun card to collect.

Where Can I Purchase Deion Sanders Rookie Cards?

You can find Deion Sanders rookie cards listed on a variety of online auction sites, including:

In addition, by searching Google you’ll find plenty of listings for sports card shows, which are held year-round across the country. You can check collecting sites, social media sports pages and community forums to find shows in your area.

How Are Deion Sanders Rookie Cards Graded?

Sports cards are graded according to a universal numeric system, with Grade 10 cards designated perfect or Gem Mint. Here’s how it works:

Perfect 10:This card is graded Gem Mint across all four grading criteria: corners, surface, edges and centering. It's the absolute best a card can be and is flawless even under 10x magnification.

Gem Mint: Gem Mint cards are perfect, with sharp corners, vibrant coloring and no damage or stains.

Grade 9.5: Near-Mint condition, typically with just one minor flaw.

Grade 9: Excellent condition, with just a couple of minor flaws.

Grades 8 and below: These have condition damage or flaws and are priced lower.

Raw or Ungraded: Raw cards have just been pulled from their packages and are new to the market. Ungraded cards haven't been through the grading process and may or may not be new to the market.

When it comes to sports card values, condition is key. Even an almost imperceptible corner crease or pinpoint spot of fading can cause a valuable card to plummet in value.

Ultimately, it all comes down to three primary considerations: collector demand, rarity and condition. Collector demand, however, is what fuels the market. If a card is rare and in demand, it may skyrocket in price, even if it's not in the absolute best condition. And while some collectors will only purchase cards that are Gem Mint, others may be willing to overlook major flaws if they want the card badly enough. Plus, a popular card might spark an online bidding war that causes its price to escalate, regardless of condition.

Should I Get My Cards Graded?

If you’re considering selling or donating your cards, or passing them down to family members, then grading is an excellent choice. Grading provides a recognized standard that represents the quality of the card. Ungraded cards tend to stay stagnant in value, and some collectors will only buy graded cards. This makes ungraded cards difficult to sell, and even difficult to authenticate without an expert eye.

When you get a card graded, that card is given its own certification number, and the card is automatically added to the grading company’s international database. Plus, the card is certified as authentic, making it easier to sell or trade.

Whether you think you’ll ever want to sell your cards or not, you can authenticate your collection, and potentially increase its value, by having it professionally graded by an expert. Ultimately, having your cards graded can give you a collection that you can be proud of, and that you can proudly pass on to future generations. For further information on CSG's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit

*Any mention of "investment potential" is for entertainment only and should not be construed as investment advice. The Certified Collectibles Group does not provide investment advice and is not liable for any buy, sell or trade decisions made by any parties.

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