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Peyton Manning Rookies every collector should have

Updated on September 28, 2017

When I was a kid I collected Sports Cards. I loved doing it because you never knew what special card or rookie you would get next. When I started collecting you couldn't get all these Jersey and Autographed relic cards that they guarantee today, but rather u could get rookies and inserts. The first cards i ever bought were at a local movie rental store out of an old card machine where you deposited a quarter and got 5 baseball cards for it. It was 1989 I believe. I probably put $10 in that machine that year. I only got one card that was ever worth more than a dollar and that was a 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. card made by Upper Deck. I probably completed the set that year just by using that machine. I never had much money to buy cards so I had to save money that my parents gave me for lunch for school. The first packs I ever bought were through a boy in my class that would go to the local dollar store. I would give him 3 or 4 dollars to get me a couple packs of cards. I can remember getting rookie cards of Alex Rodriguez and Jerome Bettis and players like Brett Favre. Cards probable hit their high point when I was most active in collecting.The first time I was ever able to afford cards was in 1998, when I was old enough to work for my money. This is when I really fell in love with collecting cards. I would go to the dollar store and buy 10 or 20 packs at a time sometimes. I grew up loving football, so those were the cards I bought most. Being 1998, there were 2 huge Quarterback rookies that everyone wanted to get, Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. I myself always wanted Manning and cared nothing about Leaf which proved to be a good choice. During that year I probably had every rookie that Peyton Manning had besides the high end SP Authentic Autographed card. If you are a collector I have listed the top Peyton Manning rookies that everyone should have in their collection.

1998 Bowman
1998 Bowman
1998 Bowman's Best
1998 Bowman's Best


Bowman is one of the oldest card companies there is. In 1998 they produced one of their finest sets ever. The design was simple, but attractive because it didn't draw too much attention away from the photo on the card. The photos of the players were also great. The 1998 class would make the set even more valuable.

Bowmans Best

Bowman's Best was another sister set of the original Bowman base set. It held pretty much the same design as the year before, but the glossy surface made it a great set to collect. The set always holds good value and can be purchased at a very reasonable price.

Bowman Chrome

Bowman Chrome was definitely a coveted set to have because it offered great inserts along with, hard to acquire, refractor cards. If you were one of the lucky people that pulled a Peyton Manning or Randy Moss refractor from a pack, you invested $3 wisely.

1998 Fleer Tradition
1998 Fleer Tradition
1998 Fleer Ultra
1998 Fleer Ultra
1998 Flair Showcase
1998 Flair Showcase
1998 Collector's Edge 1st Place
1998 Collector's Edge 1st Place
1998 Collector's Edge Odyssey
1998 Collector's Edge Odyssey
1998 Collector's Edge
1998 Collector's Edge

Collector's Edge

Collector's Edge first came into existence in 1995 and made a good run. Unfortunately the set went extinct a few years later as it was unable to produce attractive cards that held any value.

Collector's Edge 1rst Place

The same goes for this secondary Edge set. The design just wasn't that great, but they did list several rookies that some sets didn't offer.

Collector's Edge Advantage

Collector's Edge Advantage was the runner up in the Edge series to Master's. The design was simple, yet attractive at the same time.

Collector's Edge Masters

Master's was undeniably the best Edge set that was produced. The rookies were numbered and they had very glossy surfaces with great designs. I feel that if Collector's Edge could have made this their base set, they would have survived longer.

Collector's Edge Odyssey

Just like the base set and 1rst place, Collector's Edge Odyssey didn't provide much to look at. The design didn't look like much thought was put into it and the photos weren't that attractive either. In my opinion the worst set the Collector's Edge produced that year.

Collector's Edge Supreme

Collector's Edge Supreme was a great set for one reason. It had a LOT of rookie cards. This set probably held more rookies than any other set besides Press Pass, but then again Press Pass wasn't NFL Licensed so it made Collector's Edge Supreme even more valuable.

1998 Pacific Aurora
1998 Pacific Aurora
1998 Pacific Revolution
1998 Pacific Revolution
1998 Playoff Contenders Leather
1998 Playoff Contenders Leather
1998 Playoff Absolute
1998 Playoff Absolute
1998 Playoff Prestige
1998 Playoff Prestige
1998 Press Pass Kick Off Insert
1998 Press Pass Kick Off Insert

Fleer Brilliants

Fleer Brilliants was a marvelous set produced by Fleer that featured a glossy surface and hard to pull rookies. The pictures taken for the cards were all action shots. The Fleer company definitely made this set hold to its name. It was definitely Brilliant.

Fleer Flair Showcase

Flair Showcase is one of the most beautiful sets of 1998. The wonderful thing about this set is that it had so many variants. Each pack held different possibilities, making it nearly impossible to complete the base set even with a 3 box purchase.

Fleer Tradition

The base set of Fleer wasn't anything special this year, just like years past. It did improve from the previous year in my opinion, but still rendered very little value. I think I saw the whole set go for $25 on eBay, which is a great buy for that many star rookies in one set.

Fleer Ultra

This is the first Peyton Manning card I ever pulled from a pack. Ultra was $3 per pack and if my memory serves me correct, offered 1 rookie per 3 or 4 packs. I only bought 3 packs of these cards and pulled 3 of the top rookies including Moss, Manning and Green. In my opinion this is the best design Ultra has ever had and probably will remain that way. There are 2 rookies of Peyton in this set.

Leaf Rookies and Stars

Leaf Rookies and Stars premiered in 1998 and made a name for themselves. The set included all of the top rookies and had a metallic shiny surface. The centering was almost always on point. These became great cards to get graded because they were almost always mint out of the pack.

Press Pass

Poor little Press Pass all by it's lonesome self. Don't feel too bad for this set though. They had great cards. While none of them posted great values, they had some of the best inserts to offer like Head Butt and Kick Off. I have all the Press Pass rookies of Peyton Manning because they are so cheap to buy.


Once again this set is the best designed set that the company ever produced. This company being Score, had several inserts and parallels that you could pull. I bought upwards of 20 packs of Score that year and pulled 3 or 4 Manning rookies, 2 Moss rookies and 6 Taylor rookies. The cards won't ever be worth much, but they are nice to have.


Pacific is another company that has been around forever. They based off of the old company Philadelphia. While the base set wasn't worth much, it offered great inserts and parallels. This may have been the best insert producing set of 1998.

Pacific Aurora

Aurora was yet another Pacific set that didn't really do the brand any favors. The design was maybe the least attractive of all 1998 designs. It did have some nice inserts like Championship Fever, but overall it gets a 1 out of 10 rating from me.

Pacific Crown Royale

I loved this set because it featured a die cut crown. These are some of the hardest cards to find in mint condition because there are so many edges that could bend or wear. I consider this to be in the top 5 cards of the year.

Pacific Omega

Omega was a decent set at best. The only thing that makes it different from Aurora and the base set is the football thread designs on each end of the card. While the overall card doesn't look that great, these cards still held great value somehow.

Pacific Revolution

Revolution was the 2nd best Pacific set that year in my opinion. The design was wildly wicked. The thing I loved most is that it featured it's rookies in their college uniform and in action. Peyton's is definitely beautiful.

1998 Score
1998 Score

Playoff Absolute

Absolute was a great Playoff set. It featured two different rookies, the Hobby and the Retail edition. The Hobby edition was awesome as it featured a see through window with the player picture in it. The only thing was that the cards were very thick. The retail version itself wasn't bad because it had a die cut corner on the upper left with an all white background.

Playoff Contenders Leather

Contenders Leather was a first ever base set that offered a football shaped card. The card itself actually looked like a football. The surface feels like leather. The value of these cards is great for the investment that you make. Currently I have the Manning, Moss, Taylor, Green and Greise rookies out of this set and would love to get the rest.

Playoff Contenders Pennants

Once again Playoff became the first to ever produce a one of a kind set, only this time the cards were shaped as pennants. They all looked like mini pennants and featured several different variants, such as green, red and yellow. These are great cards and can be very rare. I have never seen a yellow version of Manning and don't know if it even exists, but if you have it I want it.

Playoff Momentum

Playoff Momentum was a very desirable set also. Its design was all silver, but had variants like bronze and gold. The gold version itself is numbered to only 25 and could run you $300 easily if not more. You won't hardly find one that isn't graded, so you can expect to pay well over $500 for the gold version.

Playoff Prestige Hobby and Retail

Playoff Prestige has to be my favorite of the Playoff sets for the sole fact that it had several variants. They had two different versions of the set, which were retail and hobby. The retail set only had a small foil border around the player's name while the hobby set featured the whole card in foil. I have been trying to complete the red set for a while, but have about 50 cards left to get, including Manning and Moss.

1998 Skybox Premium
1998 Skybox Premium
1998 EX-2001
1998 EX-2001

Skybox EX 2001

EX-2001 was the best sister set that Skybox ever produced. You can see straight through the card except for the player's silhouette. These cards rank high on my list because its very hard to find one that isn't in mint condition.

Skybox Metal Universe

Metal Universe was a great set, but in my mind didn't retain it's popularity from the previous year. I loved the 1997 set because the surface of the cards looked more artistic and realistic, almost like the players were actually running against an ocean or in the middle of the target of a scope.

Skybox Premium

Skybox produced it's most attractive base set design ever in 1998. I don't know if it cost them more to produce this set, but it is definitely was the best design they ever produced. It's hard to believe the same company produced this set if you look at the designs of their others years. This card will always hold its value because of its design alone. They are hard to find in pristine condition, but they are also hard to find at a cheap price either way.

Skybox Thunder

Skybox Thunder is another set that had a great design to it. Although the cards never reached much in value, they still stood out from the crowd with an artistic, colorful design. Anyone can afford this card, especially if you purchase it online.

1998 SP Authentic
1998 SP Authentic
1998 SPx Finite
1998 SPx Finite

SP Authentic

SP Authentic was and is still the most sought after rookie card that was made of Peyton Manning. It features an autograph and low production. If one has this card, it should never be sold. There's no telling when you may be lucky enough to get another at a reasonable price.

SPX Finite

SPX Finite was a great set introduced by the Upper Deck company that included high end rookies. The rookies were all numbered with the Peyton Manning base rookie being numbered to /3600

1998 Stadium Club Prime Rookies
1998 Stadium Club Prime Rookies
1998 Topps Season Opener
1998 Topps Season Opener
1998 Topps Finest
1998 Topps Finest
1998 Topps Chrome
1998 Topps Chrome
1998 Topps
1998 Topps


I love Topps for one reason and one reason only. The cards are cheap every year. Topps has definitely made itself famous for producing a cheap collector card. The base set is primarily meant for kids I assume because not many want to invest in a card that will never gain value. The other thing that makes the set desirable is it's insert sets, of which there are many.

Topps Chrome

Topps Chrome was always a great set produced by the Topps company. There were unlimited possibilities of the cards you could get. It could be a rookie, a refractor, an insert, a refractor insert, a refractor rookie. I however couldn't afford to buy many packs of these that year, but I did acquire it later for very cheap when Peyton had his horrible rookie season.

Topps Finest

Topps Finest released a beautiful set this year. The local dollar store I bought these cards from were selling them for $3 per pack. I got stars like Peyton Manning, Randy Moss and Fred Taylor with only $15 invested. That doesn't include the other inserts like refractors. To me this is the second most must have for any Peyton Manning card collector because it can be picked up for a few bucks and will probably never drop in value.

Topps Gold Label

Gold Label was put into it's first year in rotation by Topps in 1998 and proved that they knew what they were doing. They didn't offer many inserts, but the cards were beautiful and hard different parallel versions. They were also most likely to be in mint condition because of their thickness and durability.

Topps Season Opener

The Topps Season Opener set was a secondary set to the regular base Topps. I can remember buying the packs for .99 cents a piece. I pulled every rookie in the set. They sometimes inserted up to 4 rookies per pack. While these cards were priced very low when they came out, their value skyrocketed to more than double of what they initially booked for. This is just a great card to have.

Topps Stadium Club

Stadium Club has been around for a good while. It's probably most famous for it's debut in 1991, featuring the first and most valuable base card of the great Brett Favre. The 1998 set featured great inserts and had nice simple glossy rookie cards. The variants weren't bad either.

Topps Stars

Topps Stars was a nice set that featured the players in action on a starry night-like background. You could get different variants like red and silver, but the best attribute of the set was that all the cards were numbered. It's just more fun collecting numbered cards because you know that you are one of only 999 or however many people that have the same card. I can remember starting to collect all of Fred Taylor's numbered rookie cards of this set and got up to 64 cards until I realized I was going to go broke trying to complete it.

1998 Upper Deck
1998 Upper Deck
1998 UD3
1998 UD3
1998 UD Choice
1998 UD Choice

Upper Deck

Upper Deck is one of the longest running card companies there is. They always produce a high quality product and stay steady with catchy new designs each year. This is one of the highest end Premium Rookies Manning had out for that year.

Upper Deck Black Diamond

Black Diamond is always a good set. This may have been it's best year though. The set had several variants including double, triple and quadruple diamond cards. If you're able to get your hands on a quadruple Manning, you might want to hold on to it. There aren't that many out there.

UD Choice

While UD Choice was the lowest end set that Upper Deck produced, it still provided 2 Peyton Rookies. The best thing about this set it the Domination Next variants. The Starquest Rookquest wasn't a bad compliment either, featuring rookies on the back of star player cards.


UD3 is and always will be one of the greatest sets of all time to me. It's one of the few sets that doesn't have the same design for each card. It also offers great high value inserts of rookies and stars. Peyton's Future Shock rookie is one of his most beautiful cards.

Upper Deck Encore

Encore was basically a duplicate Upper Deck base set, but it added a glossy surface and tint. The cards were pretty much the same value as the Upper Deck base set, but fell a little bit in value over the years. The thing that makes them great though is that they have FX variants that are very hard to find. They also offer great autographed cards which are very pricey.

What is your favorite Peyton Manning Rookie?

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