With the 17th overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Steve Hutchinson, University of Michigan. He only has 5 true rookie cards, and despite the multitude of products offered in 2001 there is only 1 parallel.
Steve Hutchinson a Left Guard Hall of Famer!?
Steve played for twelve seasons in the NFL. The first five years with the Seattle Seahawks, the next six years with the Minnesota Vikings and a one year stint with Tennesse Titans in 2012 before retirement.
He played in 169 NFL games, all of them as a starter and all of them at the left guard position. A left guard is a position on the offensive line to the left side of the center.
The primary duties of the guard are to prevent defenses from putting pressure on the quarterback and creating holes for their running backs to run through.
I know, I know it’s hard to believe an offensive lineman in the Hall of Fame. Does anybody care? You should!
The Vacuum and Opportunity in The Hobby
It’s funny to me how all organized sports teach teamwork. From the pee-wee leagues all the way to the pro-level its ingrained into our psyche, the way to win at sports is for everyone on the team to work together.
Ironically, it’s not the same with sports cards. For some reason, in football especially, it’s all about the quarterback …and ….that’s it! Maybe a wide-receiver or two and the once-popular running backs? Nah, we’re good.
And don’t even mention lineman. No way, who needs cards of them!? Although our big-money contract, pretty boys would be annihilated without these men on the front lines guarding them.
There is a huge vacuum in the hobby today, an opportunity for the true collectors to appreciate every position on the field. For the love of the game not for the love of money. Every Hall of Famer should be honored for their contribution to the game.
This appreciation should rub off onto our card collecting purchases. There’s a lot of fantastic cards out there, rookie cards of HOFers waiting for a collector to scoop them up, sometimes at pennies on the dollar. Yes, please! May I have another.
Cards of Steve Hutchinson: Case in Point
I thought it was a team sport? Isn’t it? Then why are certain position players beloved more than others? Well, for starters it could be a lack of media exposure, QBs are more the center of attention since each play is initiated through them. Or it could be some collectors have limited knowledge about the sport thus producing limited interest.
However, the issue goes much deeper than that. Let’s look at the card manufacturers for a moment. Also in 2001, there was a rookie quarterback named Drew Bress (you may have heard of him), he has 69 different rookie cards produced! Hall of Fame Lineman Steve Hutchinson, also in 2001, has 5!
Steve Hutchinson – A Running Backs Best Friend
Where ever Steve played his team saw a difference in the running back position. When he played for Seattle running back Shaun Alexander had a career season in 2001 following the lead of his rookie left guard.
In 2008, his first year with the Vikings Adrian Peterson followed Steve into a record-breaking season too. I would think Steve would be on many running backs Christmas card list.
Steve is 7x Pro Bowler | 5x All-Pro |2x NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year | NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s
2001 Crown Royale #185 (RC)
Leading us off is the key card for Steve Hutchinson. As of the date of this post raw copies were selling in the $125.00 range and graded Gem Mint copies were averaging $1,400.00, respectively. This is a 218 card set released as a single series. Cards #145-218 are short-printed and serial numbered, this one is #’d / 1750.
The overall design of this set is one for the record books. Pacific was years ahead of its time with this design. My only issue is he’s pictured in his college uniform. There are three parallels however, none include the rookie cards. What you see is what you get.
2001 NFL Showdown 1st Goal #131 (RC)
I have real heartburn with this one. I know hobby publications and “the hobby” recognize this one as an RC but when we logically re-consider the rules of the RC which can be read on my most read post “The 10 Commandments of the Rookie Card” you’ll discover that historically cards that were produced as card games should not be considered true rookie cards.
What also gives me heartburn is the card back. It displays the year 2002 even though the cards were printed and released in 2001. And finally, the overall design of this card makes me want to do a hard pass however, it is a rookie card of a Hall of Famer. This is a 174 card set released as a single series and there are no parallels.
2001 Pacific #471 (RC)
2001 Pacific is a large 530 card set released as a single series. Like Pacific’s Crown Royale that we just looked at above, the cards numbered 451-530 are considered short printed and serial-numbered to 2500.
However, Pacific gives collectors yet another rookie card of Steve Hutchinson in his college uniform. It’s a borderless game time photo with a clean minimalistic design. The card back lacks collegiate stats even though he’s in the college uniform, that’s ironic. There are no parallels.
2001 UD Vintage #288 (RC)
As proclaimed UD Vintage offers collectors an imitation look and feel of a vintage card with bright, bold colors and grey cardboard paper stock. Another feature that was popular in the vintage years was the multiplayer, team rookies, featured on a singular card like this one.
Many collectors, including myself, are not a fan of the multiplayer rookie cards because they seem to distract our attention elsewhere and minimizes the potential of a whole card. UD Vintage is a 290 card set released as a single series and there are no parallels.
2001 Upper Deck #255 (RC)
The final rookie card of Steve Hutchinson is my personal favorite. The 2001 Upper Deck is a 280 card set released as a single series. Cards 181-280 which are all the rookies in the set are considered short-printed coming in at 1:4 packs.
The overall card design seems minimal and classy. Card stock quality is decent and forgiving. The card back lacks statistics but come to think of it, so do all the others. I’m assuming stats for linemen are not relevant. There is one parallel, the only parallel for Hutchinson, Upper Deck Gold serial-numbered to only /50.
Happy Collecting Collectors,
Learn. Collect. Enjoy.