Saturday, February 19, 2011

What (if anything) Is The Effect Of Serial Jersey Numbers

I have come across some stuff in a football box that has intrigued me.  Apparently at some point or another, the person that owned this collection at one time felt that it was fun/important/profitable/etc. to accumulate serial numbered cards.  This box has a ton of them.  But something I took note of was the small stack that was separated out in the back of the box.  These cards had notations made on the penny sleeves indicating that the serial number was the player's jersey number.  So I guess my question to all the blog readers/collectors out there is, does serial numbering that shares the same jersey number as the player bring a premium value to the card?

Here are a few examples:

Here is a 1999 Fleer  Trophy Collection Brian Griese of the Denver Broncos.  The card is number 139TC from the set and is serial numbered, (if you click on the picture you can zoom in on the bottom right corner) 14/20.  As we can all see by Brian's wonderful demonstration of how to receive a snap for a field goal/extra point, he dons number 14.  I'm not aware of the current BV on the card and I was unsuccessful at finding any auctions on Ebay or listings on COMC for this one.  I did find a few dealers with the card offered anywhere from $40-60.  Does the fact that his number is the serial number increase the desirability and value of this one?

My second example is this 1999 Donruss Zoning Commission card of Curtis Martin.  As we can see here, Curtis sports his #28 as he puts on the brakes in the endzone.  The card is die-cut on the sides as you can see by the scan.  If we flip the card over...

we see it's number ZC16 and the set is serial numbered out of 1000.  It just so happens that this one is #28, the same number as his jersey.  By checking with COMC, I can see that many of the cards minor stars are listed between $1.50-2.50 while the superstar players are about $8.  Regardless of what I think, Mr. Martin is probably going to be part of the bottom tier when considering the hierarchy of popularity.  The Bay has these selling from $.99-$10 depending on where you look but there was only 1 completed auction for poor Curtis here at $2.99 with no bids.  So I'm definitely going with the $1.50 price tag on this one.  Does the fact that it is numbered the same as his jersey kick this one up a notch?

But what about for superstars?  My final example (and believe me I could keep going with this) is this fine specimen.  It's a 1998 Pacific Dynagon Turf Titanium Turf John Elway #'D/99.  I found this weird case in a box with nothing in it so I thought the Elway would look does.  Pacific was always good for putting out a billion insert sets into their product and this was no exception.  This comes from a 20 card set with a print run of only 99 cards.  If we flip Mr. Elway over, we find...

that the card is numbered 7/99.  Again, his jersey number is the serial number.  One thing about this set that I found is that despite the player selection, the print run seems to inflate the price.  If we go by BV alone, many of the mid to lower tier players are listed at $20.  Heck, even Ryan Leaf has a $15 tag on him and we know that is ludicrous.  I haven't seen any completed auctions from this set.  There are a few from the 1999 set though with much lower pricing including the Curtis Martin for a buck (man, that guy get's no hobby love).  The current ones for sale are ranging from $10 for guys like Terrell Davis, Napoleon Kaufman, or Corey Dillon; up to $140 for the likes of Peyton Manning.  Sportsbuy has the Marino for $91.  So between the Manning and the Marino, I would probably put Elway at about $100-120.  Does that #7 stamped on the back push this one higher?

I'm curious to hear the hobby communities take on this one. 


  1. Depends on who you ask. Countless sellers will list these on Ebay as 1/1's (so some people call them Ebay 1/1's) and there are people who collect them specifically for that number, especially player collectors. I don't know if Elway and Martin have a lot of collectors out there but if they do you should get a bit more than your typical version of the above cards.

  2. I've never really taken notice on a cards individual numbering, just the overall print run.

  3. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I mean who gives a crap what the first serial number is. It's the last set of numbers that really count. This is just another way for seller, especially on eBay to try to get more money for a card. I get so tired of seaching on eBay for 1/1 cards and get a card numbered to 1350 because they call it a 1/1 since it matches someone jersey number.

  4. I find it interesting when I get a serial numbered card thet matches the players number. I am a big fan of serial numbered cards so I do make one that falls into that catagory more desirable for my collection because of the coincedence but I would not put much more of a value on said cards. I have a few of these but I certainly do not go with that whole E-bay 1/1 thing.

  5. I never used the term "Ebay 1/1", nor did I have that in my vocabulary until reading the comments here. Its interesting to see the polarity on this one, especially how it actually upsets people. That's why I asked the question, though. I thought they were more of a novelty than anything else and I was just curious as to why the previous owners of these used this as a label.