Awesome Inserts: 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade



By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

When it comes to card design, there’s a fine line between being classy and gaudy. 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade navigates it nicely, resulting in one of football’s more popular inserts of the late 1990s.

Printed using something called Spectra-tech, the overall look and feel is similar to Refractors and Prizms found in modern chromium products. The regal designs that make up the background help make Crusade cards instantly recognizable.

The 30-card checklist is skip numbered leaving plenty of gaps. The highest number in the set is 78. A good chunk of the players included in the set have gone on to the Hall of Fame. Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Brett Favre and Dan Marino are just a few of the all-time greats. A couple of big-name 1998 rookies are also in 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade, Peyton Manning and Randy Moss.

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 66 Peyton Manning

Base Green versions come serial numbered to 250 copies, which was quite rare at the time. All 30 cards also have Purple (/100) and Red (/25). While not the first chromium set to feature multiple tiers of color-based parallels, 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Football Crusade has one of the hobby’s early rainbows.

The impact of these inserts (and they’re extremely popular baseball counterparts) is still visible today. Panini has brought back Crusade cards in several recent sets. Collectors could also see the inspiration in early versions of Leaf’s Valiant line.

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade cards have held up well over the years. Their rarity certainly plays a big role, but the Crusade line’s iconic status among the era’s inserts is another bug contributing factor. Most of the cards have been absorbed into permanent collections now. Many cards require tremendous patience today just to find.

If you are looking for 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade cards, here’s what’s available on the Beckett Marketplace and on eBay.

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Football Crusade Checklist

Looking for a specific card? Click on the links to see what’s currently listed on eBay.


• Purple – /100
• Red – /25

1 Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers /250
2 Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins /250
3 Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys /250
4 Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions /250
5 Eddie George, Tennessee Oilers /250
6 Drew Bledsoe, New England Patriots /250
7 Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys /250
8 Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos /250
9 John Elway, Denver Broncos /250
10 Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars /250
11 Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers /250
12 Kordell Stewart, Pittsburgh Steelers /250
13 Steve McNair, Tennessee Oilers /250
14 Curtis Martin, New York Jets /250
16 Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers /250
18 Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys /250
22 Terrell Owens, San Francisco 49ers /250
23 Jamal Anderson, Atlanta Falcons /250
25 Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers /250
30 Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings /250
32 Marshall Faulk, Indianapolis Colts /250
33 Antonio Freeman, Green Bay Packers /250
40 Dorsey Levens, Green Bay Packers /250
49 Garrison Hearst, San Francisco 49ers /250
57 Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers /250
59 Jake Plummer, Arizona Cardinals /250
66 Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts /250
69 Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings /250
77 Fred Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars /250
78 Robert Edwards, New England Patriots /250

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Football Crusade Gallery

Please note that when images of base Green versions weren’t available, Purple or Red parallels were.

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 1 Brett Favre

1 Brett Favre

1998 Crusade 2 Dan Marino

2 Dan Marino

1998 Crusade 3 Emmitt Smith

3 Emmitt Smith

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 4 Barry Sanders

4 Barry Sanders

1998 Crusade 5 Eddie George

5 Eddie George

1998 Crusade 6 Drew Bledsoe

6 Drew Bledsoe

1998 Crusade 7 Aikman

7 Troy Aikman

1998 Crusade 8 Terrell Davis

8 Terrell Davis

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 9 John Elway

9 John Elway

1998 Crusade 10 Mark Brunell

10 Mark Brunell

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 11 Jerry Rice

11 Jerry Rice

1998 Crusade 12 Kordell Stewart

12 Kordell Stewart

1998 Crusade 13 Steve McNair Red

13 Steve McNair (Red)

1998 14 Curtis Martin Purple

14 Curtis Martin (Purple)

1998 Leaf R& S Crusade 16 Steve Young

16 Steve Young

1998 Crusade 18 Deion Sanders

18 Deion Sanders

1998 Crusade 22 Terrell Owens

22 Terrell Owens

1998 Crusade 23 Jamal Anderson

23 Jamal Anderson (Red)

1998 Crusade 25 Jerome Bettis

25 Jerome Bettis

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 30 Cris Carter Purple

30 Cris Carter (Purple)

1998 Leaf R&S Crusade 32 Marshall Faulk

32 Marshall Faulk

1998 Crusade 33 Antonio Freeman

33 Antonio Freeman

1998 Crusade 40 Dorsey Levens

40 Dorsey Levens

1998 Crusade 49 Garrison Hearst

49 Garrison Hearst

1998 Crusade 57 Warrick Dunn Purple

57 Warrick Dunn (Purple)

1998 Crusade 59 Jake Plummer

59 Jake Plummer

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade 66 Peyton Manning

66 Peyton Manning

1998 Donruss Crusade 69 Randy Moss

69 Randy Moss

1998 Crusade 77 Fred Taylor

77 Fred Taylor

1998 Crusade 78 Robert Edward

78 Robert Edwards

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

Tens of millions of cards available for sale in the
Beckett Marketplace!

Get up-to-date pricing for your favorite sports cards with a
Beckett OPG Subscription


  1. Joseph Visaggi 17 July, 2017 at 19:50

    Great classic insert set. The /25 ones can really run high in price, though.

    I snagged a Bledsoe for my PC recently and it was the only one to be listed on eBay for several years.

Leave a reply