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2003 Larry Johnson Rookie Card Checklist

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Not every NFL star starts shining from day one. Even some who perform at a very high level in college have to wait for a chance to do the same in the pros, and Chiefs running back Larry Johnson can bear witness to that fact. Turning his frustration into powerful motivation, Johnson has become one of the top backs in the game today.

Johnson made the most of his one chance to be the feature back at Penn State. In 2002, he ran for 2087 yards and scored 20 touchdowns, leading the nation in rushing yards per game and capturing the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards. Despite his statistical excellence, some doubts remained about Johnson's ability to translate his success to the next level, and he lasted until Kansas City selected him with the 27th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Chiefs already had a Pro Bowl running back in Priest Holmes, so Johnson was forced to accept a back-up role for 2003 and most of 2004. He survived trade rumors and clashes with the coaching staff and provided a hint of what was to come with three 100-yard games late in 2004 when Holmes was sidelined by injury.

Another injury to Holmes the next year gave Johnson a chance to seize his opportunity with both hands. He ripped off nine consecutive 100-yard games to finish the 2005 season, scoring 17 rushing touchdowns in the process. Consistency has been one of his greatest strengths, as he has reached 100-plus yards every time he's had 20 or more carries since he became the starter.

Even as he's settled in as the focus of the Chiefs offense, Johnson plays with an unmistakable chip on his shoulder. It's often said that he "runs angry" and seeks to initiate contact, which may excite fans and collectors but might not help his longevity - especially if K.C. continues to hand him the rock as often as it did in 2006, when Johnson broke the NFL record for carries in a season with 416.

As long as he remains a force, collectors will be interested in his 40-plus rookie cards from 2003 products. Johnson didn't sign a ton of autographed cards during his rookie season, so cards like his Ultimate Collection # 96 and his Playoff Contenders # 134 carry high price tags.

Larry Johnson 2003 Rookie Cards

  • Absolute Memorabilia # 158 - jersey card #'d to 750
  • Bowman # 190
  • Bowman Chrome # 235 - autographed
  • Bowman's Best # 162 - autographed, #'d to 199
  • Donruss Classics # 171 - #'d to 900
  • Donruss Elite # 121 - #'d to 500
  • Finest # 125 - autographed, #'d to 999
  • Flair # 101 - #'d to 500
  • Fleer Authentix # 109 - #'d to 1250
  • Fleer Avant # 73 - #'d to 699
  • Fleer Genuine Insider # 104 - #'d to 499
  • Fleer Mystique # 100 - #'d to 699
  • Fleer Platinum # 243 - #'d to 1500
  • Fleer Showcase # 103 - #'d to 350
  • Fleer Snapshot # 98 - #'d to 500
  • Fleer Tradition # 275
  • Gridiron Kings # 110
  • Hot Prospects # 100 - jersey card #'d to 750
  • Leaf Certified Materials # 158 - jersey card #'d to 1250
  • Leaf Limited # 141 - autographed, #'d to 150
  • Leaf Rookies and Stars # 259 - jersey card #'d to 550
  • Playoff Contenders # 134 - autographed, #'d to 344
  • Playoff Hogg Heaven # 207 - jersey card #'d to 750
  • Playoff Honors # 218 - jersey card #'d to 700
  • Playoff Prestige # 163
  • Score # 283
  • SkyBox LE # 79 - #'d to 99
  • SP Authentic # 265 - jersey card #'d to 850
  • SP Game Used # 112 - #'d to 600
  • SP Signature # 192 - #'d to 250
  • SPx # 205 - autographed jersey card #'d to 1100
  • Sweet Spot # 170 - #'d to 675
  • Topps # 365
  • Topps All American # 106
  • Topps Chrome # 220
  • Topps Draft Picks and Prospects # 131
  • Topps Pristine # 111
  • Topps Total # 500
  • UD Patch Collection # 138
  • Ultimate Collection # 96 - autographed, #'d to 250
  • Ultra # 169
  • Upper Deck # 247 - SP
  • Upper Deck Finite # 295 - #'d to 100
  • Upper Deck Honor Roll # 157 - #'d to 2003
  • Upper Deck MVP # 352
  • Upper Deck Pros and Prospects # 133 - w/ Anthony Thomas autograph, #'d to 1800

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