CGC Cards Featured Card of the Month: 2013 Topps Travis Kelce Rookie Card

Posted on 12/7/2023

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce swiftly became more popular than ever this season, but he's also a cornerstone of Kansas City's annual Super Bowl run.

2013 Topps Chrome #118 Travis Kelce
Click images to enlarge.

Sport: Football

Set: 2013 Topps

Card: #31 and Chrome #118 Travis Kelce

What makes it special? After a slow start to his NFL career during his rookie season due to injuries, tight end Travis Kelce became a focal point of the Kansas City Chiefs offense as the team's leading receiver during his second year in the league. In his third season, in 2015, he made the Pro Bowl for the first time. Since then, not a season has gone by that he hasn't been selected for the Pro Bowl, earning eight consecutive invitations.

Kelce is among a few players in recent history that have changed the culture of the tight end position. No longer are tight ends simply used for blocking and an occasional short pass. Many are now primary targets for quarterbacks and are more frequently used as receivers than ever before. No. 87 has been quarterback Patrick Mahomes' favorite target for years now, as the superstar duo has led Kansas City to five straight AFC Championship games, three Super Bowls and two Lombardi Trophies.

Between his popular podcast with his brother who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles and his Grammy-award winning, world-famous girlfriend Taylor Swift, if Kelce wasn't already a household name, he is this season. And as arguably the greatest tight end of his generation, he's already a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. The 34-year-old has spoken about retirement in passing recently, but he also continues to produce on the gridiron (often with Swift in attendance cheering him on). In either case, it doesn’t seem like Kelce will be leaving the spotlight anytime soon.

Did you know? During his 11-season NFL career to date, Kelce has broken numerous longtime tight end records, as he's set the bar for the modern-day position. He holds the record for most receiving yards (1,416) in a single season by a tight end. Kelce also holds records for the most seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards by a tight end (7) and the most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons by a tight end (7). In addition, the Pro Bowler holds tight end records for the most seasons with 100-plus receptions (3) and the most games with 100-plus receiving yards by a tight end (37).

Total graded by CGC Cards: There are numerous examples of Travis Kelce's rookie issues within the 2013 Topps and Topps Chrome series, including multiple parallels, which all use the same image of the young tight end fresh out of the University of Cincinnati. Of the standard Topps Chrome version, there are 93 graded examples of the card in the CGC Cards Population Report, as of early December 2023. CGC Cards has also graded seven different parallels of the same card, including the Refractor (14), X-Fractor (10), Orange Refractor (7), Black Refractor (2), Prism Refractor (1), Camo Refractor (1) and Pink Refractor (1) inserts.

The series also has a standard Topps version, of which there are 214 graded examples in the CGC Cards Population Report, as of early December 2023. CGC Cards has also graded two different parallels of the same card, including the Camo (4) and Gold (3) inserts.

2013 Topps #31 Travis Kelce - Camo
Click images to enlarge.

CGC Cards median grade: CGC 9

CGC Cards highest graded: The single example of the Pink Refractor of Topps Chrome #118 stands alone with a grade of CGC Pristine 10. There are 14 standard examples graded CGC Gem Mint 10, as well as three other parallels graded CGC Gem Mint 10 — the Refractor (4), X-Fractor (2) and Orange Refractor (2) inserts. Additionally, there are 61 standard examples graded CGC Gem Mint 10 of the Topps #31, as well as one other parallel graded CGC Gem Mint 10 — the Camo insert (2).

Sales highlights: An example of a Topps Chrome #118 graded CGC 9.5 realized $82 through PWCC in December 2022. Additional sales of parallels through PWCC include a Topps #31 - Camo graded CGC 9 that sold in September 2022 for $59.

CGC Cards Sports Registry: The cards are part of these company sets: 2013 Topps Chrome, which has 6 competitors, and 2013 Topps, which has 7 competitors. It is also part of the Kelce Players Set, which has 15 competitors. Collector Richard Katz has assembled a Player Set called Travis Kelce that has amassed 7,126 points that includes the standard 2013 Topps Chrome #118 and standard 2013 Topps #31 versions of this card, with each graded CGC 9. Katz's collection of Kelce rookie cards earned his Player Set the distinction of being named the Best in Set Type.

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