In the beginning, collectors weren’t really sure what to make of a Bo Jackson rookie card.

Pull one from a wax pack in 1987 or so, and you might have been holding the next Mickey Mantle rookie card … or the next hunk of commons-bin fodder.

But, even for those who weren’t convinced of the magic that Bo brought to the game(s), there was still a certain mystique to the man, and his cards.

After all, here you had a Heisman Trophy winner who had decided to put his gridiron career on hold to pursue one of his other passions … baseball!

Indeed, the early hobby returns seemed to bolster that decision as Jackson landed on several baseball cards before he ever showed up on his first football card.

Eventually, of course, Jackson would play both sports back-to-back through the year, achieving at least some level of stardom at the highest levels in each pursuit.

Along the way, Bo Jackson rookie cards took on a heartier shine, too, and had collectors of both sports, and all across the nation, reserving special spots in their cardboard shrines for the phenom.

And, even after Jackson’s NFL career ended at the hands of a devastating hip injury in 1991, he kept plugging away on the diamond for another couple of years before hanging up his spikes for good.

By then, his rookie cards (and non-rookie cards, for that matter) had cemented their place as hobby stars, and they’ve only grown in popularity in the decades since.

Here, then, is a complete rundown each Bo Jackson rookie card, beginning with his baseball issues and ending-around to his gridiron issues. Prices are based on actual selling prices for PSA 9 copies of the cards, which you can track through the various PSA price guides.

Play ball … and hut-hut!

(Note: The following sections contain affiliate links to eBay and Amazon listings for the cards being discussed.)

1986 Donruss The Rookies Bo Jackson (#38)

1986 Donruss The Rookies Bo Jackson

After wheeling out “Highlights” as their first foray into the late-season-set foray in 1985, Donruss upped the ante in 1986 with “The Rookies.”

And, Wally Joyner and his juggernaut first half undoubtedly inspired this set as Donruss raced to beat their competitors to market, Bo was a secondary hit right off the bat.

Today, we all know who drives this issue, and it ain’t Wally World.

Value: $25-30

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1986 Sportflics Rookies Bo Jackson (#40)

1986 Sportflics Rookies Bo Jackson

Sportflics cards are nobody’s idea of masterpieces (my apologies if you fall into that “nobody” realm), but they were pretty cool when they were issued, what with all their whizbang Triple Motion technology and foil packs (but “Upper Deck was an innovator” – yeah, yeah) and thick-as-Coke-bottle-glasses-cardstock and color photos on card backs.

Most of all, they were baseball cards.

And *most* most of all, this baseball card was a Bo Jackson rookie card.

Value: $20-30

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1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson (#50T)

1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson

When it debuted, the 1986 Topps Traded set was all about the first Topps Jose Canseco card, with a secondary nod to Wally Joyner.

Within a couple of years, the Will Clark and Barry Bonds rookies were also climbing the charts of this one.

But all along the way, Bo was a draw, too, even if something of a curiosity to start with.

These days, though, with plenty of history for perspective, it’s Bo and Barry duking it out for supremacy among the 1986 Topps Traded dandies.

(Note: There’s also a Tiffany version of this set, and of the Bo rookie card – you can expect to pay about a 20X multiplier for that version.)

Value: $50-65

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1987 Donruss Bo Jackson Rated Rookie (#35)

1987 Donruss Bo Jackson Rated Rookie

By the end of the 1986 baseball season, Bo had 1) turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ $7-million+ draft offer to play in the NFL, 2) held his own against Double-A pitching with the Memphis Chicks, and 3) spent a month with the big league Kansas City Royals.

Oh, and the NFL was still talking about the former Heisman Trophy winner, with an eye toward luring him back to the gridiron.

Bo was a hot commodity, in other words, and he was starting to get some decent hobby play – enough so that any card company would have been foolish to *not* include him in their 1987 set.

And, when those new issues debuted, Donruss fed the building frenzy by featuring Jackson prominently in their sharp black-bordered set as a Rated Rookie.

It’s a stone-cold classic that’s become a hobby icon from the era.

Value: $30-40

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1987 Fleer Bo Jackson (#369)

1987 Fleer Bo Jackson

Among Jackson’s base rookie cards from 1987, the Fleer version is probably the least flashy and most overlooked of the lot (aside from Sportflics).

But the colors of the blue-fade border work so well with the smiling Bo’s Royals powdered Royals togs that you might get the idea that Fleer crafted the design just to flatter the young superstar.

(Note: You can expect a price multiple of about 2X for the Fleer Glossy version of Bo’s RC.)

Value: $15-20

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1987 Leaf Bo Jackson (#35)

1987 Leaf Bo Jackson

Same great card as the Donruss version, but with a splash of French here and there.

Oh, and the Leaf logo.

This Canadian card is scarcer than its American counterpart and carries a 2-3X multiplier for its trouble.

Value: $90-100

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1987 Sportflics Bo Jackson (#190)

1987 Sportflics Bo Jackson

So, yes, this is another indecipherable Magic Motion card, but it’s still a Bo Jackson card, and his first base Sporflics issue, to boot.

And, if you hold it just right, you just might be able to make out the budding legend among all the multiple exposures and plastic ridges.

Value: $20-30

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1987 Topps Bo Jackson (#170)

1987 Topps Bo Jackson

If there’s a 1987 Jackson card that’s more iconic than the Donruss Rated Rookies beauty, it’s this stunning 1987 Topps Future Stars entry.

Combine a pensive young Bo ready to spring into action to cut down a flyball in its prime with the decade-defining wood borders Topps cooked up that year, and you have a hunk of hobby history that collectors still can’t get enough of even today.

(Note: You can expect to pay 3-5X as much for a Tiffany version of this card.)

Value: $25-30

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Football Cards

1988 Ace Fact Pack Los Angeles Raiders Bo Jackson (#)

1988 Ace Fact Pack Los Angeles Raiders Bo Jackson

Part of a 9-card set issued at Ace Hardware stores on the west coast in 1988, this oddball Jackson “rookie” is one you’re not likely to see too many times in your collecting life.

And, if you want to collect the entire set that also includes Marcus Allen, Mike Haynes, Bo Jackson, Howie Long, Steve Largent, James Lofton, Dave Kreig, Brian Bosworth, and Curt Warner … well, be ready to pay.

In terms of pricing for Bo, it’s the same story — there is a bit of historical sales info, but you can expect to pay much more if you ever happen to find a top-range graded copy.

Value: $100-??

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1988 Panini Sticker Bo Jackson Action (#108)

1988 Panini Sticker Bo Jackson Action

Long before Panini was the only basketball card maker in town, they were pumping out baseball and football stickers for Topps from their Italy headquarters.

And then, in 1988, Panini split from the hobby giant and went off on their own to make separate sticker products, including a set of NFL stickers.

Bully for us collectors, because that meant TWO runs of stickers in 1988 (Topps and Panini), and this nifty Bo-in-action-on-the-horizontal dandy.

Value: $50-100

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1988 Panini Sticker Bo Jackson (#112)

1988 Panini Sticker Bo Jackson

Thank goodness for that Raiders action shot on Bo’s other Panini sticker from 1988, because the Italian purveyor of ephemera whipped out the mugshot/lineup design for their individual player “cards.”

Bo’s expression is about as blank as the wall behind him but, hey, it’s still a Bo Jackson football rookie “card.”

Value: $50-100

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1988 Raiders Police Bo Jackson (#9)

1988 Raiders Police Bo Jackson

Like other “police” cards of the era, this 12-card set of Raiders players was issued by local law enforcement, in conjunction with a sponsor, in this case, Texaco.

Though oversized and featuring a pretty simple design, the Bo card nevertheless features the budding superstar in a colorful action play against the rival Denver Broncos.

Value: $30-35

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1988 Raiders Smokey Bear Bo Jackson (#)

1988 Raiders Smokey Bear Bo Jackson

As public-service-type cards go, this 14-card Smokey Bear set of Raiders players is pretty darn stylish.

Oversized, like similar sets of the era, this one eschews the typical boring design and chunky white borders for sleek black and an ironically fire-colored “ARSONBUSTERS” emblazoned across the card tops.

And, on this particular card, a young Bo cradles the ball, and you can almost see his shoulder twitching into a drop, ready to level some ill-prepared linebacker.

Value: $60-75

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1988 Topps Raiders Team Leaders Bo Jackson All Alone (#325)

1988 Topps Raiders Team Leaders Bo Jackson All Alone

If you were going to pick one player to represent the Raiders on their team card in 1988, there was only one possible choice that would fly: Steve Beuerlein.

No, wait. That’s not right.

Ah … yes … it was Bo Jackson.

And Topps got it right with this snazzy action shot.

Value: $10-15

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1988 Topps Bo Jackson (#327)

1988 Topps Bo Jackson

Topps loved, loved, loved these helmetless wonder shots in the 1970s and 1980s, and you gotta think it was only partially to give us a good look at the players’ faces.

After all, up until 1982, Topps didn’t have the licensing chops to actually show team logos.

The Bo Jackson rookie card, though?

That one is the way it is on purpose — Bo looking up at either the scoreboard or maybe a visiting Kareem, with the Raiders logo in plain sight underneath.

Value: $85-90

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1988 Topps Box Bottom Bo Jackson and Mike Ruth (#)

1988 Topps Box Bottom Bo Jackson and Mike Ruth

Mike Ruth may have spent just two seasons in the NFL, but the Boston College nose tackle had copped the Outland Award in 1985 as the nation’s best interior lineman.

That was the same season, in case you forgot, that our man Bo nabbed the Heisman Trophy for Auburn.

And, never one to let a swath of usable cardboard go to waste, Topps capitalized on this connection by featuring the pair on a combo card on the bottom of some of their wax boxes in 1988.

The Bo/Ruth duo was part of a 16-card series of similar matchups issued in panels of four cards on each box.

Even though there was quite a bit of 1988 Topps football produced, this is another card you don’t find on the open market very often, and particularly not in PSA 10 condition.

We can make a swag at pricing based on historical sales, but expect to pay a bunch more if ever DO run into a top-of-the-line slabbed copy.

Value: $1000-??

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1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson (#262)

1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson

After several years of farming out their sticker production to Panini, Topps was on their own in 1988 (as was Panini).

The old gum company didn’t miss a beat, though, at least when it came to the Raiders young Superman.

Like his base Topps RC, this sticker isn’t really awe-inspiring or anything, but it is first-year Bo and it also comes with four different possible backs.

Each one features a different Super Star (see below).

Value: $50-60

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1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Mike Rozier (#17)

1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Mike Rozier

Like Jackson, Mike Rozier was a former Heisman Trophy winner (Nebraska, 1983). He was on the verge of his first (and only) 1000-yard rushing season for the Houston Oilers, making this a high-profile combo … as much as a sticker ever can be.

Value: $50-60

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1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Darrin Nelson (#23)

1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Darrin Nelson

Nelson had led the NFL in yards per carry (4.9) in 1987, which likely landed him this slot. He had trouble staying on the field, though, and would never break 400 yards in a season again, though he did ramp up his receiving and kick-return game later in his career.

Value: $50-60

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1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Larry Kinnebrew (#57)

1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and Larry Kinnebrew

Kinnebrew was a big, bruising fullback who didn’t get tons of press but who laid down plenty of hurt – and yardage and touchdowns.

Ironically, even as this card was making its way to collector hands, Kinnebrew was not just on the sidelines, but out of the stadium.

Cut by the Bengals in training camp after a lengthy holdout, the Tennessee State alum would miss out on Cincy’s Super Bowl run before landing with the Buffalo Bills in 1989.

Value: $50-60

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1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and James Jones (#63)

1988 Topps Stickers Bo Jackson and James Jones

After a knee injury ended what was shaping up to be an all-time great career for Billy Sims, James Jones took over as the Detroit Lions’ featured back from midway through the 1984 season until 1988, when Garry James edged him out on the depth chart.

In between, Jones put up solid numbers, never topping 1000 yards, but hitting a high of 903 (plus 334 receiving) in 1986.

Two years later, he backed up Bo Jackson on this sticker-card, and a year after that – in 1989 – he and (Garry) James were both gone, leaving the Lions to make do with rookie Barry Sanders.

Value: $50-60

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1988 Fleer Bo Jackson Raiders (#23)

1988 Fleer Bo Jackson Raiders

Back in 1988, Fleer was nearing the end of a two-decade (or so) run that saw them producing only team action shots, courtesy of lacking the licensing chops to feature individual players on their own solo cards.

That would all change a couple of years later as the Philadelphia gum maker joined a crowding football card fray, but Bo stepped on the cardboard field just in time to sneak into the left-hand side of this Raider-Broncos melee, carrying the rock.

Value: $100-150

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1988 Fleer Bo Jackson Patriots (#22)

1988 Fleer Bo Jackson Patriots

The Patriots teams of the late 1980s generally put up solid, competitive seasons that at least kept them in the playoff hunt for a good hunk of the fall and winter.

But star power wasn’t really their calling card, though linebacker Andre Tippett was a Hall of Famer in waiting.

On the offensive side of the ball, the 1987 Pats were led by Steve Grogan, Tony Collins, and a young Irving Fryar – low on household-name appeal, at least at the time.

Little wonder, then, that Fleer chose to feature a Bo Jackson takedown for the defensive half of New England’s entry in the 1988 set (each team had a card focused on offense and defense).

Too bad Tippett’s not there, too, or at least not readily visible.

Value: $20-30

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1987 Donruss baseball Bo Jackson rated rookie card #35-EX

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1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson #50T TCC Graded Mint 9

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1988 topps bo jackson rookie card GOOD CONDITION

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1986 Donruss BO JACKSON Rookie Highlights card #43 Kansas City Royals

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