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A Mile High: Tim Tebow’s Best Rookie Cards Keep Going Up . . . and Up . . . and Up

December 14, 2011

Tim Tebow’s remarkable ascent this season amid the thin Rocky Mountain air to the top of the NFL universe has been unbelievably breathtaking. In leading the Denver Broncos to seven wins in his first eight starts, the omnipresent Tebow has added a new word to the English language and helped change the fortunes of an entire franchise.

And with every hair-raising, fingernail-gnawing, Tebowing-tinged finish, the kid continues elevating the fortunes being paid for his 2010 National Treasures Rookie Card, not surprisingly one of the single hottest commodities on the sports collectibles market right now.

The card — produced by Panini America and released last January — is limited to just 99 total copies, is blessed with Tebow’s carefully-scrawled, highly-coveted autograph and is embedded with a piece of jersey Tebow wore during the 2010 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

Add it all up — the scarcity, the sullied swatch and the scribbled signature from a true superhero southpaw — and it’s easy to see why collectors in recent days have paid as much as $921 for a football card that the pricing experts at Beckett Media currently value at $500. Other copies of the appropriately named national treasure have sold in the last week for $810 and $699, respectively.

For the record, someone paying as much as 37 percent over Beckett book value for any sports card in today’s market is virtually unheard of; then again, so are Tebow and his string of surreal, storybook endings that have vaulted Denver to the top of the AFC West following a 1-4 start under former quarterback Kyle Orton.

There is similar frenzy surrounding Tebow’s 2010 Playoff Contenders Rookie Card, his other key autographed RC from last season that Dan Hitt, the Senior Market Analyst for Beckett Football, raised in value this week from $150 to $175, that card’s highest price since last May.

“Tebow’s cards have always sold very well since being drafted a year and a half ago,” Hitt says. “Collectors seem to be nibbling at many of his rookie-season autographs in the hopes that Tebow mania will continue. It seems any signed card valued around $150 or less is selling at or near high book value.

“His 2010 Playoff Contenders RC is a good example. Recently — for months now, actually — it had been priced at $150 and remained stable at that level. Just this week a few eBay sales on the card have surpassed that price point, pushing the card up in value.”

That’s certainly not an isolated phenomenon. Everything Tebow touches these days seems to be going up. Everything.

As a nation full of enthralled witnesses — hardcore football fans and casual observers alike — prepares for Sunday’s epic AFC showdown between Tebow and Tom Brady (he of the $1,000 2000 Playoff Contenders RC), here’s a gallery full of Tebow’s most compelling and upwardly mobile trading cards.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2011 12:02 pm

    This is definately turning itno Tebow Town and a Tebow holiday season. 9/10 people coming in this month are asking for his cards either for themselves or gift ideas. While I never thought anyone would take the Colorado collecting crown from Elway, we might be there.

    Mike Fruitman
    Mike’s Stasium Sportscards

  2. December 14, 2011 12:29 pm

    I bet it was a real strain for you to put this one together Tracy 🙂

    Great gallery and nice article, its good to know that Panini keeps an eye on the secondary market value of some of it’s cards. Any chance of an increased number of second year autos in the remainder of this year’s products to meet the increased demand?

  3. Jamey permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:33 pm

    I had sold a Tebow Letterman Auto that I pulled from a Prestige pack last year. Now, I regret selling it, of course. Interestingly, there are very few Panini Tebow autos up for auction. I presume the collector-base is waiting to see where the winderkind’s cards
    How can you not cheer for the dude?

    • Brad permalink
      December 14, 2011 1:20 pm

      It’s real easy for me to not cheer for him. I’m a Raiders fan. Other than that, I hope the kid succeeds in life. He seems like a real likable guy.

      • cybertrenz permalink
        December 14, 2011 4:42 pm

        I second that…RAIDER NATION…….SILVER & BLACK…!!!

  4. December 14, 2011 1:22 pm

    Don’t sleep on his 2010 Elite base rookie,one of his best looking cards in my humble opinion.

    • Yezzzur permalink
      December 14, 2011 2:31 pm

      As far as prettiest….Until I see otherwise

  5. Matt Gilman permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:05 pm

    Sweet Gallery!!
    Is this Tracy’s personal collection?? 🙂
    Wow!! Wished I owned any of these. I only have a 2 Panini base cards of 2011 of Tebow. Guess its too late to buy one now. With these prices. guess I will have to wait on any rookies of Tim.
    God really did bless him with the untangibles and talent. People need to stop downing him. It’s not just his popularity, he can really play!

  6. Greg Malloy permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:09 pm

    New word I heard today (Tebowing): when you neel and pray on the field during a sporting event. Any one ever here of this ?? They said it was gonna be a new word in the dictionary!

  7. Nick Gauder permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:29 pm

    You can always catch me TEBOWING before i open every box praying to pull a Aaron Rodgers auto!!! It hasnt worked yet but i going to keep the faith. Tebow is the man and he’s a winner and all the HATERS hating on him because of his faith is ridiculous. Our kids need good role models like him and not the players shooting themselves in the leg or getting arrested. Im not a Broncos fan but i am a Tebow fan and so are my daughters. TEBOW TIME!

  8. deloreanfan81 permalink
    December 17, 2011 4:13 am

    too early to tell if hes good or lucky, but plenty of ppl have said ‘ill take luck over skill any day’

  9. Jamey permalink
    December 17, 2011 12:04 pm

    There’s definitely something to be said for Tim Tebow having unflagging confidence in his ability, AND the abilities of his teammates, to bring Denver back from a 4th Quarter deficit. That confidence…swagger…whatever you wish to label it, renders Tebow and Co. formidable late-game adversaries. That confidence translates to… Faith! Faith in ability, each other, and whatever keeps Tebow going forward.

  10. RickB permalink
    January 14, 2012 1:51 pm

    Any idea what Tebow’s original NFL Draft Card might be worth? Card is 100% authentic. My son was sitting next to Carlos Torres from Panini at the NFL Draft when Commissioner Goodell handed it to him and Tracy Heckler wrote about it for Here is the link Just wanted to know what thought it might be worth.


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