10 of the Most Valuable Football Cards You Can Collect

Most valuable football cards you can collect

Nearly all of the top 10 listed pieces of merchandise are from the 1950s era.
Nearly all of the top 10 listed pieces of merchandise are from the 1950s era.
The grade or condition of the collectible football memorabilia is determined by a third party.
The grade or condition of the collectible football memorabilia is determined by a third party.
Yellow backdrops for the pictures enhance the card's value more than any other color.
Yellow backdrops for the pictures enhance the card's value more than any other color.
Quarterbacks are popular with collectors. However, there are also running backs and other players of the game which are also worth big bucks.
Quarterbacks are popular with collectors. However, there are also running backs and other players of the game which are also worth big bucks. | Source
This is a unique and highly sought after card with the red background. It has been placed in the top 10 most collectible football cards.
This is a unique and highly sought after card with the red background. It has been placed in the top 10 most collectible football cards.
Jim Lansford is a very desired
Jim Lansford is a very desired
Walter Peyton is the only card outside of the 1950 s era that are in the top 10 most valuable football cards.
Walter Peyton is the only card outside of the 1950 s era that are in the top 10 most valuable football cards. | Source
Tom Landry was a player before he coached wining teams. This is a unique experience for players of the game. Many believe it contributes to value.
Tom Landry was a player before he coached wining teams. This is a unique experience for players of the game. Many believe it contributes to value.

Amazon products for collecting valuable sports cards

Football collector cards are a great way to invest personal money if at all possible. Although they don’t command many of the prices seen with baseball or basketball cards, they still hold their own in the world of collector cards. Vintage football cards are in high demand and some of the prices are very competitive with their kissing cousins baseball and basketball.

The importance of the football card is determined by a third party expert who grades items. This is necessary to get the best pricing because graded collector cards often demand more money. The grades for the most valuable ones are listed here and shown where applicable.

1) Bronco Nagurski-1935 National Chicle SGC 96

Estimated value of $240,000

For a number of years this particular favorite of the very popular and well admired Nagurski did holds the title of the most expensive football card ever. Many people outside of dire football fans have heard little about this Bronco player.

It is collected widely among aficionados and admired for the art and deco background that isn’t seen with many of the newer ones currently being issued. These are unique because they have a sort of appeal for wrestlers as well as football fans since he also had a very well admired and popular wrestling career.

2) Sid Luckman-1948 Leaf (with the yellow background)PSA 8

Estimated value $71,000

Sid was a quarterback with the Chicago Bears. Many have dubbed Sid the most famous quarterback in the history of the Bears. This is the featured card of the 1948 legendary set and is extremely hard to locate in top condition.

It was issued with a variety of different backgrounds, but the yellow is the most scarce and wroth the most dollars. This 1948 leaf set has five positions in the top 10 most expensive football cards for collectors.

3) Charles Bednarik-1948 Leaf PSA 8

Approximate value $38,600

Chuck or Charles Bednarik’s have one which is as difficult to find along with other Leaf cards in great shape. Anyone fortunate enough to find Bednarik with a yellow background hits the jackpot with the number 3 spot for collections.

As a tackler Bednarik’s career highlight is the tackle that put Frank Gifford out of the game and on the sidelines for more than a year. Chuck’s career includes Hall of Fame for college and pro.

4) Sammy Baugh-1948 Leaf SGC 96

Valued at around $38,000

Sammy Baugh’s has one very close to Charles Bednarik's value, but as a player Baugh was much more. He left his mark on the game of football.

Believe it or not this one is yet another gem from the dominating 1948 Leaf set. As a legend status among quarterbacks most admit it is capable of moving up in value in upcoming years. It fact, it is possible to surpass the number 2 spot in value.

5) Bob Waterfield-1948 Leaf PSA 8.5

Estimated card pricing is $31,600

Instead of the yellow backdrop for the Leaf card Bob Waterfield’s is set with a red one posing Bob with a ready to fire pass for the Rams. The simple design along with the bold colors tend to make it highly sought after. The condition of the item makes it possible to place it in the upper half of the most valuable football cards floating around today.

6) Jim Lansford-1948 Bowman Large SGC 92

Valued at $30,000 by collectors

The Bowman Company has two almost identical sets that were produced in 1952. The difference is one is named Large and the other Small. How much each item is worth depends on which one an individual owns.

The Large cards from the sets are more valuable than the Small sets. Of the Larger ones Jim Landford with the blue setting wearing his infamous number 70 is the valuable collectible card at $30,000. This is one of those collectible football cards that are rare and very difficult to locate.

7)Walter Peyton-1976 Topps BVG 10

Estimated card price is $28,500

Legendary Hall of Fame running back Walter Peyton was a legend before his time. The collectible graded piece of merchandise bearing his picture was deemed a perfect 10 by Beckett.

Walter was better known by his nickname of “Sweetness” and is considered part of the elite in football circles. This happens to be the only one mentioned here which made the top 10 outside of the 1950s era. Walter Peyton will always be one of the greatest of the Chicago Bears players.

8) Tom Landry-1951 Leaf PSA 10

Valued at $19,600

Tom Landry made his name in the game as a player before coaching teams to the ultimate pinnacle, better known as the Super Bowl. The 1951 Bowman depicts an extremely young and vibrant quarterback named Landry. A perfect 10 from PSA puts his form in the top 10 most collectible pieces of merchandise.

9) Roy Steiner-1948 Leaf (red jersey) PSA 9

Approximate sale price $19,200

Not a name that is well recognized in football history, Rebel Roy Steiner was an extremely talented Alabama player with a mere two year career in the NFL. The high grade example of Roy Steiner in his red jersey has made this particular one a great collectible even with his little known NFL career.

This is a very rare collectible Leaf and an example of how supply and demand can warrant someone that isn’t as infamous to wind up on the most collectible football card list.

10)Johnny Unitas-1957 Topps PSA 9

Estimated value is $19,000

Johnny Unitas is one of the most recognized NFL players and a legend in the game of itself. As a Colt quarterback in the 1957 season he put his mark and name on the profession as one of the greatest players of the last generation.

Early Topps issues are increasingly well admired and desired. Any owner of an extremely high grade one of the Unitas rookie cards expects to translate a sale into big bucks.

In conclusion

These are the top 10 most valuable football cards for collectors. These are the players that have made the cut and the grade and if you are fortunate enough to come across any of these it’s definitely money in the bank.

Selling vintage sports cards or memorabilia is made easy with additional guidance.

This is a nice way to learn about collecting cards. There are even expensive Pokeman cards.

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Comments 6 comments

samanthamsmith profile image

samanthamsmith 5 years ago from Small Town USA

My mother threw away my brother's card collection, spring cleaning.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web Author

how horrible! may mom did it with my brothers comic books and she is forever sick about it.


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 5 years ago from Midwest USA

As a former baseball card collector, it truly amazes me how such small pieces of cardboard command such high prices. Football cards as a whole still linger behind the top prices often paid for baseball collectibles, however. I still hang on to a few of my older sets but for the most part have stopped collecting cards simply due to rising costs and the sheer amount of products available every year. One almost has to pick an area and focus on it because there are way too many choices available now.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web Author

thank you for the comment rob. you are right. baseball is always the number one card collections to have as an asset. however, some of the prices that football cards are fetching certainly wont turn me away.


Mills P 8 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

I have some of these cards, but there is no way I could have afforded them at these prices. I'm fine with cards with that previously used look. They're as much a part of the hobby history as the one that were centered well and handled with care.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 7 months ago from all over the web Author

mills. in order to collect most of these it is possible to get used ones. these are because countless are not collectible when initially issued. who knew bo jackson was going to be what he became? who knew walton payton was going to be so wonderful to football by the time he left the game? all and all it is a fantastic testament to the game america introduced to the rest of the world. thanks

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