By George Sipple
Detroit Free Press
Being the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft gets a player a lot of money and attention. The same usually goes for a top pick's cards. In the September 2009 issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had 13 of the top 50 football cards on the market – Nos. 2, 5, 11, 14, 24, 31, 35, 36, 40, 43, 44, 47 and 48.
Free Press sports writer George Sipple recently talked with card expert Tracy Hackler about Stafford's cards and why they are hot items. Hackler said besides being the No. 1 pick "he does benefit from a loyal college following, too. He's expected to go in there (Detroit) and be a savior essentially, and should have every chance to improve that team. It's a no-brainer." Here's a look at Stafford's cards by the numbers, according to Hackler
$250. That's the worth of his most valuable card – and one of the newest – the 2009 Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs. Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez, out of Southern Cal, is right up there with Stafford.
"Every year, (Topps) takes advantage of their time at the rookie photo shoot to have players autograph their cards. All companies do it, but Topps puts those in their 2009 Topps product and it's called Topps Rookie Premier Autograph," Hackler said. "Stafford's autographed card from that set is listed at $250. Stafford and Sanchez at $250 are the top of the heap there."
All in all, a Stafford card is a winner. However, Hackler says Sanchez (who has the No. 1 card) is a bit more in demand than Stafford: "Going from California to New York, they're two of the biggest markets going. New York, regardless of whether it's football, baseball, basketball or hockey, those players in New York always seem to fare well in the sports collectibles arena."