Randy Moss Rookie Cards
Randy “Super Freak” Moss never suffered from low self-esteem. His perspective was that he was the best ever. He proclaimed it with such conviction and passion that he reminded me of a modern-day Cassius Clay who often proclaimed publicly, “I must be the greatest!” Call it arrogant, cocky, or just confident here’s what we need to keep in mind when considering Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
What you need to realize about Moss is that he was a multi-sport athlete his entire life. Where ever he played; pee-wee league, high school, or college he had success and that continued even at the NFL level. Moss had an immediate impact in the NFL and dominated the 1998 season. Without debate, he won the 1998 Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Why did he have the nickname Super Freak? Because the position of the wide receiver needs these characteristics: height, speed, leaping ability, and good hands. The majority of wide receivers in his era typically had two or three of these abilities. Randy Moss had all four physical abilities and he did them with ease. Some say that he had the greatest vertical game in the history of the NFL
His playmaking abilities impacted games for years. The NFL had seen nothing like it. He did things that had never been done by a wide-receiver before. He was the type of player you had to give an account for on every down. He was quick at the line of scrimmage and if he made it to the secondary in second gear the defense was in trouble. Double teams didn’t matter and his one-handed catches made weekly highlight reels.
Moss played 8yrs with the Vikings, 4yrs with the Patriots, 2yrs with the Raiders, half-season with the Titans and finally retired in 2012 with San Francisco 49ers. His career stats read Receptions 982 | Receiving Yards per Reception 15.6 | Yards 15,292 | Touchdowns 156 | 6x Pro Bowler.
To bottom line this thing one can say this about Randy Moss. There are good players, there are great players but then there are elite players – that was Randy Moss.
OFFICIAL ROOKIE CARDS OF ALL-TIME GREAT
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1998 Absolute Hobby, Card No. 40 (shop eBay)
Looking at Moss’s cards in alphabetical order we start with this one offered to collectors in hobby packs of Absolute. I like the paintbrush stroke background and the plastic, viewfinder like portrait photo that can be seen on both sides of the card. However, not really impressed with the back of the card and the white, unbalanced text box. Silver parallels were inserted but are not serial numbered. Gold foil parallels inserted too and is serial-numbered to 25.
1998 Absolute Retail, Card No. 40 (shop eBay)
Absolute’s retail version has me scratching my head a bit. Not sure why this has a die-cut corner nor the second headshot of him at the upper right corner. More of the same on the back as I notice overuse of photos and lack of design. Green and red parallels exist in this set they are not serial numbered and the biggest difference is found in foil lettering on the card front.
1998 Aurora, Card No. 94 (shop eBay)
I’m not a fan of practice photography but I’ve got to give this design a lot of credit for thinking outside the box on creativity. This is not your typical design. Lots of color, shapes, and lines. The back of card is equally busy and even gives us a fun fact about former Vikings Wide Receiver, Sammy White. There are no parallels for the base set.
1998 Black Diamond Rookies, Card No. 97 (shop eBay)
This beautiful sleek design is one of my favorite Moss rookie cards. Upper Deck, the manufacturer, considers this technology Light FX foil. Inside the black bar on the bottom of the card, you’ll find a foil black diamond, depending on which parallel you pulled you would see multiple diamonds. Speaking of parallels: Doubles – have red Light FX foil and are #’d /2500; Triples have gold foil technology and are #’d /1000. Quadruples with green foil and are #’d /100.
1998 Bowman, Card No. 182 (shop eBay)
I had to be careful with these. The thin card stock and that thick black border towards the bottom would easily show chipping and dog-eared corners. Great photography, outlined in blue along with blue football at lower left indicates the color for rookies. The veterans were outlined in red. Card back has a spectacular design and gives many extras. Parallels include the tough to pull “Bowman 50th Anniversary” cards #’d /50 and the one per pack Interstate parallel which highlights the state player is from and the card back has a custom vanity plate of the featured state. These Interstate parallels have become collector favorites over the years for their creative design.
1998 Bowman Chrome, Card No. 182 (shop eBay)
This premium product mimics the Bowman set but with Chromium technology. Also, slightly different are the parallels. Let’s start with the ever-popular Refractors they are found one in 12 packs and collectors love shiny refractive technology. The “Bowman 50th Anniversary” parallel is #’d /50 and the refractor parallel is #’d /5. Also, the popular Interstate parallels are 1:4 packs and those refractors are 1:24 packs.
1998 Bowman’s Best, Card No. 109 (shop eBay)
These highly silver foiled cards are hard to photograph. Bowman continues it’s over the top card designs with another premium product. Not only do we have epic card design front and back but the parallels in this product are pretty special too. Refractors are inserted in 1:25 packs and are #’d /400. Atomic Refractors are inserted 1:103 packs and are #’d /100.
1998 CE Supreme Season Review, Card No. 101A (shop eBay)
This borderless action photo captures Moss doing what he did best, running through defenders. Card back looks like a backdrop for a Marvel movie. Gold Ingot parallels were inserted as well.
1998 Collector’s Edge Advantage, Card No. 196 (shop eBay)
This was considered a premium product but the $5.99 per pack retail price is not justified. Not a very attractive card to demand such a hefty price tag. Not sure what’s going on with the shadows on both front and back of this card but I found nothing about this product attractive. Silver parallels are the only ones for this product and they are not serial numbered.
1998 Collector’s Edge First Place, Card No. 157 (shop eBay)
Beautiful aperture photography was given to collectors here. These large borderless action photos are common throughout the whole set. Really nice foil “1st Place” logo on the upper left corner of the card. The back has a great color scheme, great player info but lacks photo. Parallels include: First Place 50-Point, cards are printed on 50pt. card stock and extra UV coating. First Place 50-Point Silvers, same concept except you’ll have silver foil lettering. Lastly, the extremely rare Gold One-of-Ones.
1998 Collectors Edge Masters, Card No. 95 (shop eBay)
Full action photo with silver foil highlights. Card back has more of an early 90’s feel to it, the only thing to really brag about is the serial-numbered to /5000. Parallels are plentiful with this one: 50-Point one in every pack cards were printed on 50pt. card stock and are #’d to 3000. 50-Point Gold is inserted 1:20 packs and is serial #’d /150. HoloGold is inserted 1:300 packs and is serial #’d /10. Gold Redemption 500 were complete factory sets distributed via a redemption card inserted 1:6000 packs and were serial #’d /500. Gold Redemption 100 has the same concept except for cards are #’d to 100.
1998 Collector’s Edge Odyssey, Card No. 80 (shop eBay)
More aperture photography and borderless action photos. The set is split up by quarters. Cards 1-150 are considered 1st Quarter which is where the Moss rookie is placed. Card back is well balanced, nice lines and colors give us great player info but lack photo. Parallels include: Level 1 Galvanized, found 1:3 packs with a transparent border on the card front and the letter “G” on card back upper right corner. Level 2 HoloGold, found 1:34 packs with a gold transparent border on the card front and letter “H” on card back upper right corner, also serial #’d /150. Single Edge, red border front serial #’d 1/1.
1998 Crown Royale, Card No. 75 (shop eBay)
This epic die-cut design was ahead of its time. Card front gives us silver and gold foil to create a king’s crown, absolutely amazing. Card back is just as stunning but lacks player bio and stats. One parallel exists in this set, Limited Series and its serial #’d to only /99.
1998 E-X2001, Card No. 55 (shop eBay)
Only 60 cards in this set. Not a fan of the photo because it’s a practice uniform. Card front design is really interesting because cards are not made out of traditional cardboard instead they used clear plastic allowing you to see through a portion of the card. I like the silver / purple swoosh. However, not a fan of the card back seems like they sacrificed a lot to get the effect they wanted.
Parallels are stunning but get a little dicey too: I’ll start with Essential Credentials Future, these are serial numbered opposite to card number. So card no. 60 would be serial-numbered to one. Card no. 59 would be serial-numbered to two, etc. etc. Moss is card no. 55 so this parallel would be serial-numbered to… if you guessed six you got it correct. There is also Essential Credentials Now, these are serial numbered in sequential order. Again Moss being card no. 55 means that this parallel is serial #’d /55. I hope that helped, I need an aspirin.
1998 Finest, Card No. 135 (shop eBay)
This is perhaps my favorite Moss rookie card. Look at this thing! Great action photo, the background has a purple-ish tint to it. Big bold lettering for “ROOKIE” what is there not to love. Card back is really solid too. Another action photo occupying the upper half and everything a card back should have: player bio, stats, and commentary.
Parallels include Refractors – known for their rainbow refracting technology that causes the colors to bounce especially in the light, inserted 1:12 packs. No Protectors is another parallel within this set; silver foil was used front and back to create these beauties and as the name suggests it has no protective film attached to the card front. No Protectors Refractors – inserted 1:24 packs this stunning card design refracts in the back of the card as well.
1998 Flair Showcase Row 3, Card No. 5 (shop eBay)
Fleer’s Flair Showcase brand was a collector favorite for quality card stock and design and if you’re a fan of parallels (a.k.a. Rainbow collectors) than this is your brand. To keep it short there are 11 other parallel versions of this card each slightly different than the last. The primary difference can be seen in the holographic foil fronts. Parallels are Showcase, Legacy Collection, and Legacy Collection Masterpiece.
Another difference, or option, is in the theme; on the back of the card towards the bottom, you will find a text box with an identifier, shown here is the “Showtime” theme. But you’ll also have Showstopper, Showdown, and Showpiece. This is an overly complicated set with many rabbit trails, however, Sec 2, Row 3, Seat 5 (pictured above) is considered the true base set RC.
1998 Fleer Brilliants, Card No. 140 (shop eBay)
The background is a mirror foil and shows fingerprints and scratches easily. However, clean copies look stunning. The card back has great colors and designs as well. Parallels include Fleer Brilliant Blue found 1:6 packs and features a blue foil card stock. Other parallels include Gold #’d /99 and 24-Karat Gold that features a 24kt gold-stamped logo on the card front and you guessed it #’d /24.
1998 Fleer Tradition, Card No. 237 (shop eBay)
Borderless full action photo showing Moss in his college uni. I really like that football with ROOKIE stamped across it. Card back falls a bit short for me, the oversized helmet doesn’t work and player commentary, bio, and stats seem cluttered. Only one parallel in this one; Heritage features green foil stamps at card front and is serial #’d /125.
1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars, Card No. 199 (shop eBay)
Great action photo, beautiful colors and crisp clean card design. Card back is just as nice and stats can be found inside commentary. Parallels include: True Blue, which offers blue foil stamping on the front of the card and is serial #’d to /500. Longevity, this one is printed on holographic card stock and is serial #’d /50. Longevity Holofoil, the name explains these however, these are tough to find because these are 1-of-1.
1998 Metal Universe, Card No. 190 (shop eBay)
This one has grown on me over the years. Borderless action photo in outer space? Card back has vibrant colors and has lots of eye-appeal. Parallels include Precious Metal Gems which offer etched design made of silver foil and are serial #’d /50. Also, Precious Metal Gems Masters are serial #’d 1-of-1’s.
1998 Pacific, Card No. 244 (shop eBay)
I really like this card. Borderless full action photo of Moss doing what he did best, leaping high in the air to make the catch. Card back is decent, giving collectors lots of colors and everything a card back should have. Parallels include: Platinum Blue found 1:73 packs and highlight blue foil on the card front. Red – display red foil on the front and were found in retail packs.
1998 Playoff Momentum Hobby, Card No. 131 (shop eBay)
Card design is very dark and what gets me to scratch my head is the same dark design on card back which really clashes with Moss dark attire. Speaking of the card back all we get is the photo and that’s it! No stats, commentary, nor player bio. Nothing. To their defense, I will say this the parallels on this are decent. You have Red parallels found 1:4 packs and Gold serial #’d /25.
1998 Playoff Momentum Retail, Card No. 171 (shop eBay)
This one is unique because the card front is embossed to make it feel like a football. However, for me that about does it. Card back is a disaster as well. One parallel in this one; Red – found 1:4 packs and display red foil on the card front (brutal).
1998 Playoff Prestige Hobby, Card No. 173 (shop eBay)
Action photo in college uniform and the silver foil highlights give off a design similar to the old school video game Q-Bert. Card back gives us a full portrait photo but lacks in player commentary and full bio. Color themed parallels continue with: Red – found 1:3 packs and have a stunning deep red background. Gold – are serial #’d /25.
1998 Playoff Prestige Retail, Card No. 173 (shop eBay)
This retail only version is printed on much thinner card stock and this will show chipping at the lower portion of card due to the silver foil if you’re not careful. Parallels include: Green – offers green foil and the Red parallels were found 1:3 packs.
1998 Score, Card No. 235 (shop eBay)
The more affordable Score brand offers collectors this rookie card of Moss. I’ve always wondered what they were talking about on this card. Not a fan of the practice gear nor the photo used. The card back lacks photos and stats. Parallels include the non-serial numbered Showcase.
1998 Skybox Premium, Card No. 240 (shop eBay)
Great action photo here with what appears to be a purple haze coming from Moss. A fancy gold-foil stamped font is a nice touch too. Card back is challenging to find in gem mint condition, the dark background makes it vulnerable to chipped edges. Parallels include Premium Star Rubies #’d / 35. And only the truest Moss RC collectors would know about the Premium Fleet Farms parallels; they were inserted one per pack inside packs of Skybox Premium sold at Fleet Farm Stores, these mimic the base rookie card above but with a gold-foil FF stamped on the card front.
1998 Skybox Thunder, Card No. 242 (shop eBay)
Superb action photo on this one and a real psychedelic / tie-dyed background with lots of color and creativity. Card back is put together very well too. Nicely balanced and everything a good card back should have. Overall a great card. Parallels include Rave, serial #’d / 150 with silver foil highlights and inserted into hobby packs only. Super Rave #’d / 25 and gold foil highlights.
1998 SP Authentic, Card No. 18 (shop eBay)
This premium product beauty is serial-numbered to only 2000 copies. The design stands out because they matched the background to uniform colors giving them a sleek look. However, one-third of this card is in black with an opacity action photo inside of it but you can barely see it and it spells a nightmare for chipped edges and corners. Card back has an absolute solid design. There is a die-cut parallel serial #’d / 500.
1998 SPx Finite, Card No. 239 (shop eBay)
This high-end product is a collector favorite, although it is extremely challenging to find mint copies due to the embossed foil, die-cut center. Collectors have reported the center die-cut portion is notorious for chipping. Current graded population reports indicate there are zero cards in Gem-Mint 10 condition. Card design is fabulous offering full action photos in-game uniform. The card back is well thought out and balanced nicely. Base card RC is serial-numbered to 1998 copies. Pictured above is the Radiance parallel serial #’d to 1700; Spectrum parallel also available and serial #’d to 325.
1998 Stadium Club, Card No. 189 (shop eBay)
As always, Stadium Club offers great photography. This one is printed on 20 point card stock with high gloss and is partially embossed. Clean crisp card design makes this one a collector must-have. Card back gives us draft day info and full collegiate stats, a nice bonus. Two parallels include First Day Issue #’d 200 (retail only); One of a Kind #’d to 150 (hobby packs only).
1998 Topps, Card No. 352 (shop eBay)
Since the licensing split of 2015 Topps no longer has the license to print football product. Collectors sure do miss the Topps base product for football, it was a hobby favorite. You can see why this wonderful design offered to collectors. Great full action photo with simple, clean lines. Card back gives us full collegiate stats, commentary and player bio. The only foul on this one to me is the banner on the back where the player name is, what is that? A partial football? A dome? I don’t get it. But overall I still love this card. No parallels in this set.
1998 Topps Chrome, Card No. 35 (shop eBay)
The Topps Chrome is a much smaller set, only 165 cards compared to the 361 cards set on the mother ship Topps. The design mimics the former in every way with the exception of the chrome technology of course and card number. One parallel for this set, the ever-popular Refractors inserted 1:12 packs.
1998 Topps Season Opener, Card No. 22 (shop eBay)
This variant was offered in retail outlets only. It too only has 165 cards in the set and it has silver borders instead of the gold borders found on the mother ship. It has a silver foil stamp on the card front indicating “Season Opener.” No parallels are offered in this set.
1998 Topps Stars, Card No. 66 (shop eBay)
This is a unique card in that it looks somewhat cartoonish/artistic in nature. It’s obvious Randy Moss is running the ball and a defensive lineman appears to be trying to stop Moss but it also seems like there is an offensive lineman trying to block the defensive lineman. The end result is a mass of humanity depicted on the card front. Card back sticks to the theme by rating Moss’ abilities using a starred scale.
These should be fairly easy for collectors to find as these base rookie cards are serial #’d to 8799 (kind of an odd number). Parallels are plentiful too: Bronze also serial #’d to 8799. Silver Star – serial #’d to 3999. Gold Star – #’d to 1999. Gold Star Rainbow – #’d to 99.
1998 UD Choice, Card No. 200 (shop eBay)
Perhaps one of my favorite Moss rookie cards. Love this design offered to collectors on the wallet-friendly Choice brand. Great action photo, lines, color, and overall theme. More of the same on the card back. Parallels include Reserve – which has the word “reserve” all throughout the card front etched in some type of hologram technology, they are not serial numbered. More of the same with the second parallel Prime Choice Reserve, however, these are serial #’d / 100. I miss the Upper Deck product.
1998 UD3, Card No. 197 (shop eBay)
Fantastic photography all throughout this set. Coupled to that is a great card design, framed out in foil and black borders makes it challenging for us graded card collectors to find gem-mint copies. Focal pointed lines center in on Moss and gives us a “Shock” effect thus giving us the theme Future Shock. Beautiful card back has lots of eye-appeal as well but lacks in player bio. Rainbow Die-Cut parallel can be found but are tough to find because their serial #’d / 100.
1998 Ultra, Card No. 207 (shop eBay)
A mainstream favorite Fleer-Ultra gives collectors a clean card design with lots of gloss but are notorious for chipping. Borderless action photo is fantastic, it’s unique in that it showcases Moss in his college uniform on the card front but then flips the script and shows him in his pro uniform on the card back. Parallels Include Gold Medallion – no serial number. Platinum Medallion – are serial #’d to 66. And Masterpiece – serial #’d 1/1.
1998 Upper Deck, Card No. 17 (shop eBay)
Have I mentioned how I miss Upper Deck product? Can you blame me? This card design is something right out of a Terminator movie! I love this card design, lots of extra detail here but it really does make it challenging on the centering side of things. Card back gives us more great lines, design, and colors but lacks in player bio which I find odd because it seems like they had plenty of room for it, the top right side of the card back has plenty of empty space. Overall, this one is a must-have for an RC HOF collector. Parallels include: Bronze – serial #’d to 100. Gold – serial #’d 1 of 1.
1998 Upper Deck Encore, Card No. 12 (shop eBay)
Collector applause brought back Upper Deck’s mother ship, this time in the form of Encore. The repeat performance was given a twist in design which entailed what appears to be a rainbow foil coating. I describe it as a bad imitation of a “refractor.” Cards appear to be darker because of it. It seems to me it could’ve been a parallel set included in the former instead of a separate brand. One parallel in this set, “Encore F/X” which has gold foil etching on the card front and are serial #’d / 125.
Wikipedia contributors, “Randy Moss,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Randy_Moss&oldid=836282538 (accessed April 2, 2018).
Randy Moss Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/M/MossRa00.htm (accessed April 8, 2018).