On a weekend where the hockey season is over for us in Edmonton, I felt dejected, sad, mad, and frustrated. As I put all of my Oilers jerseys, hats, and flags away with the Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa song “See You Again.” I sat there depressed wondering how I could move on from these feelings. Then I thought, why not look at my card collection? It worked! I started looking at my collection of cards, and, especially now with the Oilers out, it was all about the Buffalo Bills.
I started looking at my Buffalo Bills Rookie cards that I had and decided to write about the best rookie cards of some of the most popular Bills players. Here are the eight rookie cards that I have that keep a special place in my heart
1. Jim Kelly
The 1987 Topps rookie card of my idol and all-time favorite player. The value is not as high as more recent rookie cards, but for all Bills fans, this card number 362 is the one you want in your set. I love this card, and would hopefully be loved by any collector. The reason Jim Kelly’s rookie card is in 1987 is that he played in the USFL early in his career. You can see that this card has the iconic Kelly smile, as back in those days, cards did not write rookie or the RC on the card.
2. Thurman Thomas
The next rookie card for Bills collectors is the 1989 Rookie card of Thurman Thomas. This card again does not hold value as much, but it is a card that holds a lot of value for me. He is the best Bills running back in my opinion. This card is numbered 45 and is a staple for a Bills fan to have in their collection. This card shows the intensity that Thomas always carried in his face as he kneels on one knee in Buffalo.
3. Andre Reed
We can’t go anywhere in the rookie Bills collection without talking about the best wide receiver in franchise history. This card, #388, is from the 1986 Topps set. This card shows a young Andre Reed with the iconic old red helmets that I love so much.
4. Bruce Smith
The Bruce Smith rookie card is also from the 1986 Topps set. Bruce Smith looked like an intense defensive stalwart from the start. His look from the sidelines looks like he is about to destroy the opposition. This completes the fearsome four of the Bills that we all love and cherish.
5. O.J. Simpson
One of the hardest Bills cards to get in mint condition is the 1970 Topps Football rookie card of O.J. Simpson. This card has very good value if you have it in mint condition. This will run you about $50 or above depending on the condition of the card. One of the reasons why the 80’s-90’s cards don’t hold value is because the sports cards were mass produced in those years, which devalued a lot of cards. This is sad because the 80’s and 90’s had some of the best football players. This card of one of the most polarizing running backs in NFL history will go up in value as years go on.
6. Marshawn Lynch
One of my favorite Buffalo Bills players that we gave up on way to early was Marshawn Lynch. This 2007 Upper Deck rookie card is one of my faves in my collection. His patented smile that we all have come to know and love is showcased in the card. That number 23 never looked better on anyone but Lynch. One thing I think the Bills franchise has always been known for is their quality running backs: Thurman Thomas, Willis McGahee, Fred Jackson, Antowain Smith, and Travis Henry to name a few. I think, though, Lynch was the best since the Thurmanator.
7. Stevie Johnson
Most of these cards that I have suggested as my favorite Buffalo Bills rookie cards are not high in value (other than the Simpson rookie card). Most of these you can find for less than $15. 2008 was about the time when card companies started bringing out different sets of cards, some low end, and some high end. One of those companies was Upper Deck with its set called Ultimate. I loved the Ultimate Rookie card of Stevie Johnson. This card was numbered out of 275, which was another thing introduced by card companies, to keep the value of cards. It created a scarcity of cards. Good ole number 13 … he was one of my favorite receivers on the Bills. I know some of you will mention Eric Moulds and Lee Evans, but I had this huge love for Stevie Johnson, who I think, if he ever had a decent quarterback in his prime, would have done even better. I collect a lot of his cards.
8. Josh Allen
The next one is the Josh Allen 2018 Panini Prizm rookie card. These, as we discussed in the past, are worth a lot of money, especially the different variations of this card. This card represents all of Bills Mafia’s hopes and dreams. Never have we drafted a quarterback like Allen since 1983 when we selected Jim Kelly. This card holds a lot of value to me, as it is the best rookie card of the franchise player that we all believe in. This card will cost you some cash, and I think if you do have one, please send it to get graded, which will only increase the value of this future superstar. On a side note, I thought about what quarterback that Josh Allen reminds me of….my answer is Matthew Stafford … that’s just my opinion though.
Now, I have many more rookie cards of different Bills players, but these are my favorite cards. How many different Bills rookie cards do you have, and which ones are your favorites? Which ones do you want to get for your collection? Share with us your rookies and collections on Twitter with the team @BuFFanatics and me @TheMightyDeol