Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card Market Guide
Posted on 5/14/2022
When Tua Tagovailoa entered the NFL Draft, he was already a star. In just three seasons as the quarterback of the University of Alabama, he led the Crimson Tide in several blowout victories, including an 59-0 win against Vanderbilt during his freshman year in 2017. Then, on January 8, 2018, he led the team to a 26-23 victory against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship. Tagovailoa recorded 166 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and 27 rushing yards on 12 attempts and was named Offensive MVP of the game. He’s shown signs of that star production in the NFL during his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, but how does that translate to his rookie cards and their values?
From Crimson Tide Phenom to Dolphins Star
In 2020, Tagovailoa was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, where he started his career as the backup to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. He made his debut as a starter in Week 8, where he threw his first NFL touchdown in a 28-17 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. In Week 13, he had a breakout game, throwing for 296 yards and a touchdown for a 19-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 17, he threw a then-career-high 361 yards against the Buffalo Bills, although the Dolphins still lost the game (56-26) and a playoff spot for the season.
In 2021, after sustaining multiple rib injuries in Week 2 (against the Bills), Tagovailoa returned in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he recorded 239 yards and two touchdowns, although the Dolphins lost 23-20. Starting with Week 10, Tagovailoa led his team in the Dolphins’ first seven-game winning streak since 1985. Then, in a Week 13 victory against the New York Giants (20-9), he became the first Dolphins QB since Dan Marino (1994) to throw 21 or more completions during the first half of a game.
He finished the season (in which he played 13 games) with 2,653 passing yards,16 passing touchdowns and 42 carries resulting in 128 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
Breaking Records With the Dolphins
Tagovailoa started the 2022 season with his fourth career win (20-7) against the New England Patriots, with 270 passing yards and a touchdown. The following week against the Baltimore Ravens, he recorded a career-high 469 passing yards, with six touchdowns in a 42-38 comeback win. Tagovailoa’s six touchdowns tied a single-game franchise record (with Bob Griese and Dan Marino) for the Dolphins.
Tagovailoa missed several games during the season due to multiple injuries, including a concussion. However, after his return in Week 7, he continued to record staggering numbers, including 382 yards and 3 touchdowns (with 80 percent pass completion) in a 31-27 win during Week 8 against the Detroit Lions. As the 2023 season approaches, Tagovailoa and Miami will look to build on last season’s 9-8 record, as they attempt to take the next step of making a deep playoff run.
Are Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Cards Valuable?
Many of Tagovailoa’s rookie cards are already selling for solid prices. An example is his 2020 Prizm White Sparkle card, which sold for $15,000 on eBay. A one-of-kind Black Finite card, issued in a Panini 2020-21 Prizm First Off The Line box, is also predicted to soar in price once it reaches the market.
Investment Potential for Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Cards
Given his remarkable rookie season, plus the considerable fan base for both the Dolphins and the Crimson Tide, the future bodes well for Tagovailoa’s rookie cards. If he continues to play at the current level, fair market prices could stay stable and potentially increase, especially if he eventually wins a Super Bowl.
Top Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Cards
Here’s a look at eight of the most popular and valuable Tua Tagovailoa rookie cards:
2020 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph #157 Tua Tagovailoa - #’d/99 ($28,068)
Rookie patch and autograph card collectors always seek out National Treasures cards for their high quality, and this one is no exception. It shows a striking image of Tagovailoa preparing to pass, wearing white against a white background. He’s flanked by a large game-used patch with an autograph below.
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at just under $100, Grade 8 at $7.642 and Grade 9 at $9,900. Grade 9.5 trends at $11,150, and Gem Mint at $28,068.
2020 Panini Prizm #339 Tua Tagovailoa – Autograph Gold Prizm #’d/10 ($20,100)
Panini Prizm cards are always collector and investor favorites because they’re available at a wide variety of price points. The Base card features a great action shot of Tagovailoa getting ready to pass, with the image framed in an Art Deco-styled scroll graphic bordered in silver. Investors also tend to look for limited edition parallels and autographed variants.
On PriceGuide.Cards, Gold: Ungraded trends at an average price of $2,647 and a top price of $6,515. Graded trends at an average price of $1,497 and a top price of $2,515. Black-and-White Checker: Ungraded trends at an average price of $122 and a top price of $2,012. Graded trends at an average price of $334 and a top price of $1,902. Base Autograph: Ungraded trends at an average price of $767 and a top price of $7,999. Graded trends at an average price of $1,164 and a top price of $11,995. Gold Vinyl Autograph: Ungraded trends at an average price of $5,847 and a top price of $13,333. Graded trends at an average price of $4,750 and a top price of $11,000 (grades unspecified).
On SportsCardsPro, the base Prizm #339 in Ungraded condition trends at $7, Grade 7 at $6.50, Grade 8 at $9, and Grade 9 at $17. Grade 9.5 trends at $25, and Gem Mint at $56. Blue: Ungraded trends at $1,340, Grade 8 at $318 and Grade 9 at $483. Grade 9.5 trends at $665, and Gem Mint at $1,091. Autograph Gold: Ungraded trends at $108, Grade 9 at $5,201, Grade 9.5 at $5,721 and Gem Mint 10 at $20,100.
2020 Panini Absolute Kaboom! #K-TT1 Tua Tagovailoa ($9,992)
Always a fun card to collect, this “Kaboom!” shows an action image of Tagovailoa running while passing, set against a background of reflective silver zigzags with the famous “Kaboom!” logo above.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $805 and a top price of $2,000. Graded trends at an average price of $1,710 and a top price of $9,992 (grades unspecified).
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at $829, Grade 8 at $760 and Grade 9 at $1,231. Grade 9.5 is trending for $1,946 and Gem Mint 10 for $2,275.
2020 Panini Mosaic #262 Tua Tagovailoa ($9,100)
At the entry-level, Mosaics are always budget-friendly, but the variants can run up to steep prices. The Base card features an image of Tagovailoa preparing to pass, set against the trademark Mosaic tile background with an “NFL Debut” logo on top.
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $8 and a top price of $120. Graded trends at an average price of $58 and a top price of $9,100 (grades unspecified).
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at $2, Grade 7 at $2, Grade 8 at $4 and Grade 9 at $13. Grade 9.5 trends at $15, and Gem Mint at $29.
2020 Panini Donruss Downtown! #30 Tua Tagovailoa ($4,250)
Donruss Downtowns are always a hit with collectors. This colorful card features an illustrated image of Tagovailoa preparing to pass, set against an imaginative background showing an artist’s rendition of Hawaiian/Samoan images celebrating Tagovailoa’s Samoan background.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $1,540 and a top price of $4,250. Graded trends at an average price of $1,005 and a top price of $1,600 (grades unspecified).
2020 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph #103 Tua Tagovailoa ($1,204)
This fan-favorite autograph card features an image of Tagovailoa preparing to throw a pass, flanked by a “Rookie Ticket” graphic with Tagovailoa’s autograph below.
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $379, Grade 7 at $220, Grade 8 at $275 and Grade 9 at $456. Grade 9.5 trends at $665, and Gem Mint at $962.
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $320 and a top price of $430. Graded trends at an average of $633 and a top price of $1,204 (grades unspecified).
2020 Panini Prizm Draft Picks #101 Tua Tagovailoa ($810)
This Draft Picks issue shows Tagovailoa right before he releases his pass while wearing Crimson Tide gear. The card is set against a stylized background image of the field in muted tones of red, black and green.
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $14 and a top price of $810. Graded trends at an average price of $34, with a top price of $252.
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at under $2, Grade 7 at $4, Grade 8 at $6 and Grade 9 at $12. Grade 9.5 trends at $13, and Gem Mint at $17.
2020 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Rookie #152 Tua Tagovailoa ($700)
This budget-friendly entry card shows an image of Tagovailoa getting ready to throw a pass, set against a black background highlighted by Dolphins green and orange. The iconic “Rated Rookie” logo is at the top left in blue.
PriceGuide.Cards show Ungraded trending at an average of $24 and a top price of $700. Graded trends at an average of $45 and a top price of $495 (grades unspecified).
At SportsCardsPro, the Base card trends at $7 for Ungraded, $7 for Grade 8 and $17 for Grade 9. Grade 9.5 trends at $32, and Gem Mint at $47.
Where Can I Find Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Cards?
You can find Tua Tagovailoa rookie cards at memorabilia stores and online auctions. Here are some of the most popular auction sites for sports cards:
- Heritage Auctions
- SCP Auctions
- Memory Lane
You can also purchase cards at sports memorabilia shows, which are regularly held throughout the country. Social media sites and collector sites can provide you with information about shows coming to your area.
How Are Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Cards Graded?
Professional sports card graders use a numeric grading system that is universally recognized by everyone in the industry, including appraisers, dealers and collectors. Grades range from Raw and Ungraded to Pristine 10, according to these criteria:
Pristine 10: This is a card with Gem Mint 10 grading across all four criteria: edges, corners, surface and centering. Pristine 10 cards are flawless, even under 10x magnification.
Gem Mint: A Gem Mint (or Gem Mint 10) card has an overall 10 grade, but one of the grading criteria is slightly less perfect than a Pristine 10.
Grade 9.5 (or Mint+): This card is nearly Gem Mint, with perhaps a minor flaw.
Grade 9: Excellent, with only very minor wear or flaws.
Grades 8 and below: These cards have visible wear or flaws, depending on the grade, and are priced accordingly.
Raw: Just removed from its original box or package.
Ungraded: Never been professionally graded.
Sports card values depend upon three primary components: condition, rarity and collector demand. Condition and rarity can be easily determined, but collector demand can change unexpectedly.
An athlete who is famous one year may fall from favor the following season, especially if their performance isn’t up to par. Or an obscure sports personality may suddenly make a popular comeback on TV, causing prices to spike. Likewise, rare cards from lesser-known sports figures may sell for substantially less than lesser grade, commoner cards from famous sports celebrities with a huge fan following.
Auction prices can fuel demand as well. A well-publicized bidding war on a rookie card may cause prices to skyrocket, not just for that one card, but for other cards from that player as well. Given the vast fluctuation in prices, as a collector, the best thing you can do is collect what you love and buy the very best condition that you can afford.
Should I Get My Sports Cards Graded?
Even if you don’t plan to sell or trade your cards, professional grading can be an excellent way to enhance the quality of your sports card collection. During the grading process, a certified professional examines each card for condition issues and manufacturing flaws, then grades them according to the industry grading system. This information is then entered into an international database, creating a permanent record of your card.
Graded cards are usually much easier to sell than ungraded cards because grading not only appraises the condition, but it also authenticates the card and confirms its originality. When a card is graded, dealers and collectors can rest assured that it’s been certified original in every way.
By having your cards professionally graded, you can enjoy knowing that your collection is certified authentic, and that it is given an established rating that will be recognized for generations to come. For further information on CGC's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit CGCcards.com.
*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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