Top 10 Most Expensive Football Cards in 2021
Top 10 Most Expensive Football Cards in 2021
While not as valuable in general as baseball cards as captured in discussions over at runrex.com, the most valuable football cards can still easily fetch upper five and six-figure price levels. As the subject matter experts over at guttulus.com point out, collectors are still willing to pay big bucks to get their hands on the cards on this list, which is going to outline the top 10 most expensive football cards in 2021.
1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Peyton Manning Rookie Card (Autograph)
Peyton Manning is one of the game’s all-time greats, known for putting up historic numbers on the way to winning a Super Bowl with two different teams. As the most popular player of his era, Manning’s rookie cards have held their value as discussed over at runrex.com. However, this particular one is the most valuable Peyton Manning rookie card of them all, with the gurus over at guttulus.com pointing out that the estimated value of a PSA 10 version of this card is said to be about $42,500, which is a decent sum, to say the least.
1948 Leaf Booby Layne Rookie Card
As outlined over at runrex.com, Bobby Layne’s 1948 Leaf rookie card comes in two variations: one where he is wearing red pants and one with yellow pants. Layne actually spelled his name “Bobby” but Leaf chose to spell it “Bobbie” on his card instead, while also throwing in his “Blonde Bomber” nickname into the mix. The variations, spelling, and nicknames all come together to make this football card one of the most valuable and desired in the hobby, with a PSA 9 version of the card being estimated at $45,000.
1933 Goudey Sport Kings Jim Thorpe
As the gurus over at guttulus.com point out, this card is technically not a football card. This is because the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set featured star athletes of the day across several different sports. However, since Thorpe is depicted as a football player on the card, this card has to feature on this list given how valuable it has become in the hobby, mostly because of how well-designed the card is considered to be by collectors, which is why the estimated value of a PSA 9 version of it is about $85,000.
1894 Mayo Anonymous (John Dunlop, Harvard)
As is revealed in discussions over at runrex.com, the N302 Mayo’s Cut Plugs are considered the very first football card set ever produced and feature well-known Ivy League players of the time. However, given that Harvard legend John Dunlop’s card contains neither his nor his team’s name, his card was dubbed the “Anonymous” card. This made it the key to the set and one of the most desirable cards in the hobby, with a PSA 9 version of the card being valued at an estimated $100,000.
1957 Topps Bart Starr Rookie Card
While Bart Starr football cards are always in demand in general, there can be no denying that his rookie card is the one that hobbyists mainly go after. As outlined over at guttulus.com, the 1957 Topps Bart Starr rookie card features a nice headshot of the legendary Packers quarterback on the left of it and an image of him ready to release the ball on the right. The simple aesthetics of the card combined with the fact that it is the rookie card of one of the game’s icons, as well as its rarity, is why a PSA 9 version of the card is estimated at $125,000.
1957 Topps Johnny Unitas Rookie Card
The Topps 1957 football set is one of the most recognizable sets out there with its horizontal layout and dual-pane design, and the Johnny Unitas rookie card is the key to this legendary set according to runrex.com. These cards are not scarce as they were part of the double-printed second series run. However, high-grade examples are extremely valuable as print snow and centering are two key factors that prevent the card from attaining high-grade status, which means high-grade examples of the card are rare. A PSA 9 version of this card is valued at $140,000.
1965 Topps Joe Namath Rookie Card
While Joe Namath’s rookie card may not be the most valuable in the hobby, coming at number 4, it is arguably the most popular of all football cards. As covered over at guttulus.com, the fact that the card’s design is much larger than typical sports cards, measuring in at 2 ½” x 4 11/6”, means that it is usually more at risk of wear and tear. This card also has a “butterfly variation”, as referred to by collectors, which has a very noticeable print mark on the back of Namath’s left hand, although the variations don’t impact its overall value too much. The estimated value of a PSA 9 version of the card is about $150,000.
1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card
“Jimmy” is considered by many to be the greatest fullback to ever set foot on the gridiron, making his 1958 Topps rookie card one of the most popular cards in the hobby. As articulated over at runrex.com, centering and print defects are typically the toughest challenges for anyone collecting this card which means that high-grade examples fetch big money on the auction block. The estimated value of a PSA 9 version of this card is $225,000.
2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket Tom Brady Rookie Card (Autograph)
Just missing out on top spot is Tom Brady’s 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket rookie card. With 9 Super Bowl appearances and 7 NFL Championship rings, he is arguably the game’s G.O.A.T, and his recent NFL Championship ring has only served to make this rookie card, which is the Tom Brady rookie card everyone dreams of owning, even more valuable, according to guttulus.com. There was a time when this card would sell for less than Peyton Manning’s card from the same set, but this is no longer the case as Brady’s card has surpassed Manning’s by a long shot. A PSA 9 version of this card is currently valued at $450,000.
1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski Rookie Card
The Nagurski rookie card is the most valuable football card in the hobby as per the gurus over at runrex.com. Standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 225 pounds, Nagurski was a big man, and he used his size well, demolishing opposing players when he played at fullback while also attacking with gusto on defense. The appeal to Nagurski was not only confined to his size and prowess in football, but also for the fact that he was a dual-sport athlete, even leaving football in 1937 to become a full-time professional wrestler. The estimated value of a PSA 9 version of this card is about $750,000.