10. 1995 Pro Line #206
This base card may not be the coolest, but I love this image. First, it shows Barry's incredible body control and balance. Watch any highlight reel, and you'll see him stay on his feet in impossible positions. Second, it shows the outstretched hand of a Buccaneer whiffing at the air where Barry used to be. It seemed his best games came against Tampa Bay, and I knew I had to have a card featuring one of those games.
#9. 1995 Pro Line Pro Bowl #PB10
What's this? Two Classic Pro Line in a row? That's a surprise, even to me. I still remember pulling this shiny die-cut from the pack. I believe it was the first insert of Barry Sanders I ever pulled myself. It's got a ding on the corner, but it has been in my collection for a long time.
#8 1995 Bowman #300
I never opened or even a saw a single pack of this product. This is the only card I own from this set. I'm not even sure when or where I picked it up. But I really like the design. Again, the image of Barry with his body twisted and hips sunk like he is sitting in mid-air makes me picture one of his amazing runs.
#7 Pro Line Live #405
#6 1999 SP Authentic Athletic #A6
This one of the newer additions to my collection. I love the color scheme and classy look of this card. However, the border is far too big and the picture is but a thumbnail. Plus, the card always looks off-centered and miscut. But something about it just looks like a great high-end card to me.
#5 1996 Fleer #47
I really like this set. It's got a clean look, good photography, and a little Greatest Game blurb on the front. True to my earlier statement, it looks like Barry's greatest game was indeed against Tampa Bay. Once again, a great shot of shifty running.
#4 2015 Score Gridiron Heritage #12
This set has a great classic, almost vintage feel to it and a good checklist to boot. There's nothing really special about this card, other than I love this set and it is my favorite card in the set.
#3 1996 Upper Deck Hot Properties #HT-20
This is another card I picked up in a trade with a middle school buddy almost 20 years ago. I really like this one because besides being a good-looking card, it also features another running back who I really loved at the time--
Thurman Thomas. Valuable (for my standards) insert, contrast between photo and background, cool red outline, and two awesome players. Check, check, check, check. It all adds up to one of my favorite cards.
#2 1996 Skybox Impact No Surrender #18
This card is embossed so you can feel the texture of the football. But that is really only the third reason for this card's selection. First, it was one of the few great inserts I remember pulling from buying retail packs at the local grocery store. Most of my Barry Sanders cards came from trades or the secondary market. This one, however, has always been mine. The second reason is that it was valued at $18 by Beckett, making this the most valuable card in my collection until I started collecting again as an adult. I loved this card as a kid, and that loved has remained with me to this day.
#1 1989 Pro Set #494
This isn't the prettiest copy of Barry's Pro Set rookie. It's way off-center, as you can see. But I still remember my mom giving me this card, along with the 1989 Pro Set Troy Aikman rookie, for my 10th birthday. She worked a block away from a card shop, and sometimes would pick me up something during her lunch break. I like this rookie card because it is his only rookie with an action photo, and I have a bit of a fascination with Heisman winners, and this one shows Barry as he was during his Heisman-winning season in 1988.
There you have my Top 10 Barry Sanders cards. There's no monster hit or rare card in here, but for each these cards, I either love the picture of an absolute wizard in action or I have a story that makes the card special to me.