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Top 10 Most Valuable Football Cards

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

The Top 10 Most Valuable Football Cards are a complete representation of the most expensive football cards in the world! While the most valuable football cards may not command the same prices as baseball or basketball cards, prices have soared during the last decade with collectors of vintage football cards coming on strong. Usually a non-partisan third-party grader grades the top cards since graded football cards generally command more money. Graded cards top the list of the most valuable football cards and these grades are shown where applicable. The 1948 Leaf Football Set dominates the list of the most expensive football cards and remains the most sought after set among football collectors. Presented below are the best-of-the-best. Some are true superstars from great sets. For others, it is an obscure player on a card notorious for condition issues. Rookies, Hall of Famers, no names... the top 10 most valuable football cards:

 

10) Johnny Unitas -- 1957 Topps PSA 9 $19,000

A legend in every way. Fans will admire this great quarterback with the even greater name for generations. Johnny's instant impact as Colt quarterback in the 1957 season will never be forgotten. Early Topps issues are gaining popularity amongst collectors and the very high grade of this rookie card means big bucks!

9) Roy Steiner –1948 Leaf (red jersey) PSA 9 $19,200

Definitely not a household name. Roy Rebel Steiner was a great Alabama player, but spent only two years in the NFL. This high grade example with Roy depicted in a red jersey has made the little known Steiner well-known to rare football card collectors and shows that the world of football card pricing is all about supply and demand.

1951 Bowman Tom Landry
8) Tom Landry –1951 Bowman PSA 10 $19,600Depicted on the 1951 Bowman issue as a young quarterback, Landry went on to become one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. His presence on the Dallas Cowboy sidelines will never be forgotten. A stunning perfect 10 from PSA lands Landry squarely on the top 10 most expensive football cards list.

 

1976 Topps Walter Payton
7) Walter Payton –1976 Topps BVG 10 $28,500

Hall of Fame legendary running back who practically redefined the position. This graded football card was deemed a perfect 10 by Beckett and brought 'Sweetness' into the football elite! This Top 10 Most Valuable Football Card is the only one to make the list from the post 50s era. It shows the staying power and collector interest in this Chicago Bears great.

jim lansford
6) Jim Lansford -- 1952 Bowman (Large) SGC 92 $30,000

The Bowman Company issued two nearly identical sets in 1952, but one is dubbed Large and one Small. The Large cards are more collectible and the offensive lineman Lansford depicted in a great pose has vaulted into the $30K club with this sale. This card with decent centering is extremely difficult to find and is the most challenging card for collectors from this great set!

bob waterfield
5) Bob Waterfield -- 1948 Leaf PSA 8.5 $31,600

The simple design and bold colors make the 1948 Leaf set popular with collectors. Hall of Famer Waterfield is depicted ready to fire off another come-from-behind long pass for the Rams. The condition of the card was high enough to launch it into the upper half of the most valuable football cards list, but can it gain more ground in the future?

1948 Leaf Sammy Baugh
4) Sammy Baugh -- 1948 Leaf SGC 96 $38,000
Slingin' Sammy...there are just not enough superlatives to describe the player Baugh was and the impact he had on the game. Another entrant from the dominating 1948 Leaf Set. The status of this legendary quarterback should move him up the list in the coming years.

1948 Leaf Charles Chuck Bednarik
3) Charles Bednarik – 1948 Leaf PSA 8 $38,600

This card of Charles "Chuck" Bednarik like nearly all Leaf cards is difficult to find in stellar shape. This variation with a yellow background is even harder. Bednarik is a legend. One of the truly outstanding tacklers of all time. Bednarik is remembered mostly for the tackle on Frank Gifford which put him on the sidelines for over a year. Chuck is a member of both the college and pro Hall of Fame.

1948 Leaf Sid Luckman #1
2) Sid Luckman – 1948 Leaf (yellow background) PSA 8 $71,800

The greatest quarterback in Bears history is featured on the #1 card of the legendary 1948 Leaf Set. #1 cards are notoriously difficult to find in top condition and his is no exception. Luckman's card was issued with multiple background colors and this yellow variety is the most difficult. Great condition and rare variation keep Sid firmly planted at #2 and allows the 1948 Leaf Set to occupy five spots on list of the Top 10 Most Valuable Football Cards! Amazing!

1935 National Chicle Bronco Nagurski
1) Bronco Nagurski – 1935 National Chicle SGC 96 $240,000

For years, the card of the immensely popular Nagurski has held the title of Most Expensive Football Card. The 1935 National Chicle set is widely collected and admired for its art deco backgrounds. Bronco had a long illustrious career at several positions and was also a charter member of the Pro Hall of Fame. His cards have cross appeal as well, since Bronco had a long career as a wrestler, too. This card has tripled in value in the last decade. It enjoys a wide margin over its nearest competitor.



While the most valuable football cards are priced at a mere fraction of the prices commanded by the Top 10 Most Valuable Baseball Cards, they do compare favorably to the Top 10 Most Valuable Basketball Cards, Top 5 Most Valuable Golf Cards and Top 10 Most Valuable Hockey Cards and it is still a proud collector that owns any of the gems on the list above. More and more vintage football cards are being sought by younger collectors. With more collectors embracing football cards the price for graded football cards should continue to be strong. These mainstays of the Top 10 Most Valuable Football Card list will have buyers wanting them for many years to come. Football card pricing will continue to be a much followed activity as card collectors try to focus their attention on sets before they become too hot! Who knows what will become the most expensive football card of the future?


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Comments

Nov 29, 2011 11:55am
bamalife
This article made me grab my baseball card collection (yep, I've still got it) from the closet and start looking for these cards. Unfortunately, I don't have any of these. LOL!
Jan 23, 2013 6:01pm
goingforbroke
The market completely fell out of sports cards. You can look above and see that pretty much the only ones worth a great deal of money are from 60+ years ago.
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