Bo Jackson’s rookie cards are one of those cards that command year-round attention due to his extreme popularity and multi-sports star. Not only should you invest but you should most likely own a couple of Bo Jackson rookie cards as we feel his ROI is undervalued at current prices.
Bo Jackson (11/30/1962) was an incredible athlete and the first ever to become an All-Star in baseball and football. He was (11/30/1962) was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1982 MLB June Amateur Draft, the California Angels in the 20th round of the 1985 MLB June Amateur Draft, and the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round of the 1986 MLB June Amateur Draft.
If not for injuries, Bo may have been one of the best two-way players of all time and his rookie card values would be challenging the likes of Jordan, Brady, Mantle, and Gretzky for supremacy.
Bo Jackson’s rookie year stats with the Kansas City Royals in 1987: .235 batting average, 22 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 10 stolen bags.
As it is the return on investment in regard to his rookie cards is still top-notch and much better than average.
Without boring you any further, here are top Bo Jackson rookie cards from an investment (aka what card will give me the most money) standpoint.
Below are the Bo Jackson rookie cards worth tossing some of your sports card investment money at.
1986 Bo Jackson Topps Traded Tiffany RC #50T
This is the card most kids from the 80s’ and 90s’ will remember. Who could forget tearing open a pack of 1986 Topps only to see Bo’s big smile staring back at ya (booyah!).
The 1986 Topps Tiffany Bo Jackson is one of his most valuable rookie cards and best looking as well.
Numbered #50T the back of the card reads “Bo played 3 seasons at Auburn University, belting 28 home runs with 71 RBI’s in 89 games. Went 4 for 5 with a double and 3 HR in 1985 vs. Georgia”
1987 Bo Jackson Donruss Rated Rookie Card #35
We are always a big fan of Rated Rookie cards and the 1987 Bo Jackson is no exception.
The card shows Bo in what appears to be mid-warm-ups tossing the ball around.
Numbered #35 the back of the card reads “The 85 Heisman Trophy winner, he shocked the world by turning down a reported 7 million 5 year offer from the Tamba Bay Buccaneers in order to play pro baseball with the Royals.
Batted .275 in 53 games with the Royals’ Memphis farm in ’86 with 30 runs, 7 HR, and 25 RBI.”
1987 Bo Jackson Topps Tiffany Future Stars RC #170
Another Tiffany card with the wording Future Stars is depicted across the bottom.
We love the graphics and image associated with the 1987 Bo Jackson Topps rookie card.
Not only is the future stars graphic super unique, the wood border also ranks high on our best borders of the all-time big board.
The card is numbered #170 and the card shows Jackson tracking down a pop fly in the outfield.
1988 Bo Jackson Topps Football RC #327
Above is his only football card worth investing in but the ROI should be solid both in the long and short term as Bo is one of those players that command year-round attention.
Numbered #327 the card shows Bo looking up at what we imagine is the scoreboard with a get me the hell out of here look on his face.
1986 Bo Jackson Topps Traded RC #50T
The exact card as the 1986 Bo Jackson Topps Traded Tiffany Rookie Card #50T except there were more of these made which made it less valuable.
Even though the card is not as rare as its Tiffany counterpart, it is still worth an investment if you’re considering buying Bo rookie cards.
- 1986 Donruss Highlights Bo Jackson RC #43
- 1986 Donruss Rookies Bo Jackson RC #38
- 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Jackson RC #50T
- 1986 Topps Traded RC Royals Bo Jackson RC#50T
- 1987 Auburn Tigers Great Baseball Bo Jackson
- 1987 Classic MLB Game Bo Jackson RC #15
- 1987 Donruss The Rookies Bo Jackson RC #14
- 1987 Donruss Rated Rookie Bo Jackson RC #35
- 1987 Leaf Rated Bo Jackson RC #35
- 1987 Donruss Opening Day Bo Jackson RC #205
- 1987 Fleer Bo Jackson RC #369
- 1987 Fleer Glossy Bo Jackson RC #369
- 1986 Donruss Highlights In White Bo Jackson RC #43
- 1988 Topps Football Bo Jackson RC #327
Bo Jackson Key Cards
- 1988 Fleer #260
- 1990 Score #697
- 1990 Topps Tiffany Kansas City Royals #300
- 1991 Topps Desert Shield #600
- 1993 Finest REFRACTOR #91
- 2013 Topps Triple Threads Bo Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Thomas #JGT
- 2014 Topps Five Star Autographs /50 #FSABJ
- 2015 Topps Dynasty Jumbo Logo Patch Autograph #AP-BJA4
- 2019 Topps Archives Signature 1989 Topps Tiffany 20/20 Club #17
Bo Jackson Error Cards
- 1987 Topps Future Stars Error Card Topps #170
- 1989 Topps Wrong Back Error Card #662
- 1989Diamond Kings white dot Error Card
- 1990 Donruss Error Card #650
- 1990 Bowman Tony Gwynn On Back Error Card #217
- 1990 Upper Deck Error Back w/o Copyright Information #105
A mix of Jackson’s RCs and early options manage to make the list, along with a triple auto from the 2010s which will be tempting for any serious collector. As we look at the most valuable Bo Jackson cards, we recommend sticking with graded versions for the best possible results.
Given many were released during the junk wax era, only copies that have achieved a PSA 10 grade are worth serious money in the present day, and the dropoff is significant, even from a PSA 10 to a PSA 9.
7. 1987 Bo Jackson Classic MLB Game RC #15
The first card to make the list is an early RC from 1987.
We’ve mentioned that Jackson was a two-sport star who won the Heisman Trophy, and was even selected with the first overall pick of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He held out to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals, the defending World Series champions at the time.
The 1987 Classic Game pokes fun at the situation, featuring Bo wearing shoulder pads, although he also wields a bat that is pointed straight at the camera.
It’s a great image and tells you everything you need to know about one of the greatest athletes of all-time
The card has a dark green border, displaying any scuffs and scrapes.
6. 2013 Bo Jackson/Rickey Henderson/Mike Trout Triple Threads #TTARC-KRM
Along with Jackson, this 2013 Autograph Relic Combo card features Rickey Henderson and Mike Trout.
As with any triple auto relic card, it’s tough to fit everything in without feeling cluttered, but Topps has even managed to fit small profile images of the players into their design.
The trio is among baseball’s biggest names, so it’s no surprise that this rare edition makes the list. With a base version numbered to just 36 copies, there are also various parallels which are listed below.
2013 Topps Triple Threads Parallels: Sepia (/27), Emerald (/18), Gold (/9), Sapphire (/3), Ruby (1/1), Wood (1/1), “White Whale” Printing Plates (1/1)
5. 1987 Bo Jackson Topps Tiffany Future Stars RC #170
From the 1987 Topps Baseball set known for wood-effect borders, the “Future Stars” subset looked at the best young prospects that year.
It shares a similar border design to the base set, with the addition of a large multicolored “Future Stars” logo found below.
Jackson is the pick of the bunch, and it features a simple action shot of the player with a glove in his left hand.
It’s not the best-looking card to make the list, but the age and the unique border make it harder to find in pristine condition.
4. 1991 Bo Jackson Topps Desert Shield #600
The Topps Desert Shield subset is one of the more interesting releases from the decade.
At first glance, they look exactly the same as the normal Topps release from 1991, these cards were given out in limited quantities to soldiers who fought in the first Gulf War.
They had to make it back from an active warzone and can be identified thanks to a distinctive Desert Shield logo in the top right corner.
Design-wise, it’s understated, with an action shot of the player as he sprints towards the base.
It’s a rare junk wax-era card that you won’t find in the average collection.
3. 1991 Bo Jackson Action Packed 24K Gold #25G
The second card to feature from 1991, the Action Packed set featured parallels which had genuine 24-karat gold stamping, which is how this card earns its name.
The set was obviously marketed as a premium option, with full-color, embossed photos on the front, along with color headshots on the reverse.
According to the PSA population report, there’s just one gem mint card, and just two PSA 9 graded copies.
It’s hard to do better than the 24K Gold card unless you look at the rarest of Jackson’s RCs.
2. 1988 Bo Jackson Topps Football RC #327
A card that nearly managed to take the top spot, the 1988 Bo Jackson Topps Football release is the sole RC from his time in the NFL.
It’s found in the Super Rookie subset, featuring an image of the player as he takes a moment while seated.
The release benefits from a classic design and avoids many of the pitfalls found with the majority of late 1980’s cards.
1. 1986 Bo Jackson Topps Traded Tiffany RC #50T
It was never in doubt when it comes to the most valuable Bo Jackson cards. The 1986 Topps Traded RC is the best money can buy when looking at PSA 10 copies.
Rather than the regular base version of the ‘86 Topps Traded, the Tiffany version, printed on premium cardboard and distributed in a limited number of sets is the one to keep an eye on for investment purposes.
You’ll be able to tell the difference thanks to a glossy, premium finish, and it’s a card that almost every kid from the ‘80s will be able to recognize
The most expensive Bo Jackson rookie card is the 1986 TOPPS TRADED RC #50T.
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Bo never indeed met the hype surrounding him coming out of the University of Auburn and wished he would have just played baseball.
- Investment Rating: Buy (3.8 out of 5)
- Ownership Disclosure: None
- Best Bo Jackson Card: 1988 Topps Football Bo Jackson RC #327
“If I knew now what I had known back then, I would have never played football. Never. I wish I had known about those head injuries, but no one knew that. And the people that did know that wouldn’t tell anybody,” Jackson said.
If he had focused solely on baseball from the time the New York Yankees drafted him in 1982, we might be having a different conversation right now.
His 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany card might be worth $3000 instead of $300.
Sadly that is not the case, as he suffered a severe hip injury in 1991 against the Cincinnati Bengals, ending his football career and essentially his baseball career as well.
His rookie cards still retain some value but not much. We wouldn’t have a problem buying one (either his Topps Tiffany or the Rated Rookie), but any more than one is too many.