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The Philadelphia Eagles selected Cris Carter (11/25/65) in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft and ended up having a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. He was previously an All-American wide receiver at Ohio State University.


Carter posted modest numbers in his rookie year. He ended the 1987 campaign with five catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns across nine games. However, Cris Carter would become one of the premier possession receivers in NFL history. He overcame substance abuse issues to become an NFL Hall of Famer.

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Chris Carter Rookie Year Stats: 9 games | 84 yards receiving | 2 touchdown receptions

As you can see, his rookie season was nothing to write home about. Many pundits at the time were calling for his head and calling him one of the all-time biggest NFL Draft busts.

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Click. But something clicked in just his second year. Carter had six touchdown receptions and 761 receiving yards; something good was happening here.

Christ Carter was full steam ahead in 1989, and he never looked back once in his illustrious NFL career in which some call him the best wideout of all time, not named Jerry Rice.

Cris Carter Vitals:

  • Two seasons of 120+ catches (one of only three players to do so)
  • One of 3 NFL players to have a 150-yard receiving game in three different decades
  • 8x Pro Bowler
  • 3x All-Pro
  • 2013 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee

Cris Carter’s most notable rookie cards originate from sets printed in 1989.


#1. 1989 Cris Carter Score Football RC #72

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The 1989 Cris Carter Score Football RC #72 looks just like a 1989 NFL rookie card should. It’s kitschy enough to feel like the 80s without the lazy Junk Wax feel.

A rookie Carter shows his choppy, high-kneed running style in the classic 80s-era Eagles whites. His bulky shoulder pads are a sign of the era. The card features a blue border that dovetails into a white-bordered nameplate. A yellow “Score” logo occupies the upper-left corner, while an Eagles helmet emblem is in the opposing corner.

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The 1989 set was Score’s first foray into football cards. It also contained player cards from other legends like Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson, and Joe Montana. Even as one of the premier Cris Carter rookie cards, you’ll be able to add this to your collection at a palatable price point. Broad production


#2. 1989 Cris Carter Topps Football RC #121

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Cris Carter has a knack for producing card-ready images. His 1989 Topps Football RC #121 shows a mustached Carter sporting raised eyebrows with a “can’t be bothered” look.

The image tells the story of Carter’s limited involvement as a rookie, but it makes for a memorable rookie card. Carter wears a logo-less jersey with large, green “80”‘ numbers.

With few design features, this card has a portrait feel. A white border includes a thin, red sub-border around Carter’s image. Red, baby blue, and purple accents are an interesting touch.

A floating red nameplate and black Topps logo are the final touches. Mint versions of this card are generally more valuable than the Pro Set rookie cards. Still, Topps Football RC #121 is thoroughly affordable.


#3. 1989 Cris Carter Pro Set RC #314 

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The 1989 Pro Set batch is what you typically expect when you think of Junk Wax. Every card has the same jarring, orange background with white hash marks along the side.

Never mind that this orange backdrop clashes with Carter’s hunter-green Eagles jersey—orange was the template for the 1989 Pro Set, so orange is what you get. The card’s upper orange boundary includes an NFC logo, purple-and-yellow Cris Carter nameplate, and NFL emblem.

The image of Carter is memorable. The receiver looks more like a running back, carrying the ball high and tight as defenders reach for him. Gem Mint copies of this card are affordable, like the other Carter rookie cards.



  • 1989 Score Cris Carter RC #72
  • 1989 Topps Cris Carter RC #121
  • 1989 Pro set Cris Carter RC #314


Cris Card Rookie Card Worth

The most valuable Cris Carter rookie card is the 1989 Score Football RC #7 followed by the 1989 Topps RC. The Cris Carter Pro Set RC is hardly worth its weight in paper; finding it graded can be downright impossible.

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Investment Outlook

Cris Carter has a lot going for him. A long, productive career. All-Pro honors. NFL records. A Hall of Fame nod. Widespread respect in the football community.

Investment Rating: Pass (2.9 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Cris Carter Rookie Card: 1989 Score RC #72 (Shop on eBay)

Unfortunately, Cris Carter’s cards do not have nearly as many points of pride. Strikes against Carter’s rookie cards include:

  • their origination in the Junk Wax era
  • few memorable sets
  • lack of visual appeal
  • lack of proven appreciation over time

It’s been over four decades since Carter’s rookie cards were printed. And yet, the cards’ price points barely register on collectors’ radars.

Collectors may see value in these Cris Carter rookie cards. He’s a Hall of Famer who was a key piece of legendary Minnesota Vikings teams. There’s a fan for every card, right?

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