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Football Cards

The origins of modern football date back to 19th-century Britain, when the sports of soccer and rugby were purportedly combined. By the late 1800s, the concept of football migrated to America, and Yale Coach Walter Camp is said to have founded the sport. Otherwise known as the “Father of Football,” Camp established rules still used on the field today.

Cigarette maker Goodwin and Company made the first known football card in 1888 featuring Yale Captain Henry Beecher. His was the only football card in the company’s 50-card “Champions” set. In 1894, Mayo Cut Plug made the first full card set consisting of 35 Ivy League players. The next football cards weren’t made until the 1930s, when Goudy Gum released its “Sport Kings” set, and the National Chicle Company made a 36-card set. Another production break followed, and by the late ‘40s, Bowman Gum and Leaf Candy Company joined the industry. Topps appeared in the ‘50s, buying out Bowman and becoming a leading card maker through the late ‘80s.

Professional football took nearly half a century to expand, with the card industry following a similar curve. All things considered, a number of standouts exist from early days, and Bowman’s 1950s sets yielded some winners. Today, if you’re speculating future high-earners, look for rookie cards of top draft picks and popular quarterbacks.


Quick Facts

  • The 1958 NFL Championship between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts is known as, “The Greatest Game Ever Played”
  • The most coveted card in football is likely the 1935 Bronco Nagurski. The card sold on a 2011 auction for $240,000
  • In 2012, a Michigan family found an 1894 Mayo John Dunlop card while going through estate items at a family member’s farmhouse; the family admitted nearly throwing the card in the garbage

Recommended Items at Auction

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2017 Panini Prizm Silver Patrick Mahomes Rookie
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2017 Panini Prizm Silver Patrick Mahomes Rookie
by Saco River Auction
Est: $200- $300
$55023 Bids
2022 Donruss Optic Saquon Barkley Gold Vinyl 1/1
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2022 Donruss Optic Saquon Barkley Gold Vinyl 1/1
by Saco River Auction
Est: $300- $400
$9515 Bids
2023 Kaboom Anthony Richardson Rookie
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2023 Kaboom Anthony Richardson Rookie
by Saco River Auction
Est: $800- $1,000
$55015 Bids
1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Sgc 6
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Sgc 6
by Saco River Auction
Est: $100- $200
$858 Bids
1973 Topps Franco Harris Rookie Nice Shape
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1973 Topps Franco Harris Rookie Nice Shape
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$807 Bids
2023 Mosaic Gold Prizm Cj Stroud Rookie Nice Shape
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2023 Mosaic Gold Prizm Cj Stroud Rookie Nice Shape
by Saco River Auction
Est: $200- $300
$457 Bids
11 PEYTON MANNING ROOKIES
Jun 20, 7:00 PM EDT
11 PEYTON MANNING ROOKIES
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$266 Bids
1984 Topps Dan Marino/john Elway Rookies
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1984 Topps Dan Marino/john Elway Rookies
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$456 Bids
1977 - 2021 FOOTBALL TRADING CARDS
Jun 23, 12:00 PM EDT
1977 - 2021 FOOTBALL TRADING CARDS
by Omnia Auctions
Est: $40- $80
$706 Bids
1965 Philadelphia Jim Brown PSA 4 Football Card
Jun 16, 9:00 AM MST
1965 Philadelphia Jim Brown PSA 4 Football Card
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$806 Bids
1984 TOPPS UNOPENED BBCE SEALED FOOTBALL WAX BOX (M&T)
Jun 16, 7:15 PM CDT
1984 TOPPS UNOPENED BBCE SEALED FOOTBALL WAX BOX (M&T)
by Auctions By Moldenhauer
Est: $2,500- $5,000
$8756 Bids
8 ANTHONY RICHARDSON ROOKIES
Jun 20, 7:00 PM EDT
8 ANTHONY RICHARDSON ROOKIES
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$125 Bids
12 JORDAN LOVE ROOKIES
Jun 20, 7:00 PM EDT
12 JORDAN LOVE ROOKIES
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$115 Bids
9 JUSTIN JEFFERSON ROOKIES
Jun 20, 7:00 PM EDT
9 JUSTIN JEFFERSON ROOKIES
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$155 Bids
2023 Mosaic Orange Prizm Justin Herbert #18/25
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2023 Mosaic Orange Prizm Justin Herbert #18/25
by Saco River Auction
Est: $100- $200
$405 Bids
2022 NATIONAL TREASURES BILL DICKEY GAME USED PATCH /49
Jun 30, 4:00 PM EDT
2022 NATIONAL TREASURES BILL DICKEY GAME USED PATCH /49
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$54 Bids
1969 TOPPS JOE NAMATH SGC 6
Jul 02, 8:00 PM EDT
1969 TOPPS JOE NAMATH SGC 6
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $150
$304 Bids
2021 PHOENIX JAYLEN WADDLE ROOKIE
Jun 27, 8:00 PM EDT
2021 PHOENIX JAYLEN WADDLE ROOKIE
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$64 Bids
1955 Topps All American Aaron Rosenberg Sgc 7
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1955 Topps All American Aaron Rosenberg Sgc 7
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$204 Bids
14 JALEN HURTS ROOKIES
Jun 20, 7:00 PM EDT
14 JALEN HURTS ROOKIES
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$234 Bids
1963 Topps Jim Brown Psa 6
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1963 Topps Jim Brown Psa 6
by Saco River Auction
Est: $200- $300
$1504 Bids
1979 Topps Roger Staubach Psa 8
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1979 Topps Roger Staubach Psa 8
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$354 Bids
1962 Topps Crease Free Fran Tarkenton Rookie
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
1962 Topps Crease Free Fran Tarkenton Rookie
by Saco River Auction
Est: $100- $200
$354 Bids
2006 Fleer Ultra Tom Brady Game Used Card
Jun 17, 2:00 PM EDT
2006 Fleer Ultra Tom Brady Game Used Card
by Saco River Auction
Est: $50- $100
$254 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Football Cards


Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Sports Collectibles

Sports Collectibles

Saco River Auction

Saco River Auction

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer