Posted on April 29, 2014 – 2:46 pm | Author: Susan Lulgjuraj
Football | Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, football RC, Football Rookie Cards, Jim Thorpe, Red Grange | Comments (21)
By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor
Football cards have featured different designs over the years. We have seen colorful cards, simple ones, tall boys. We have collected Rookie Cards with memorabilia, autographs, and short-prints that were hard to chase.
But one thing never changed – no matter what year, the player made the card.
Here’s a list of some of the most iconic football Rookie Cards throughout the decades. Check out these cards and let us know your favorites in the poll below.
1933 Sport Kings #4 Red Grange
1933 Sport Kings #6 Jim Thorpe
1948 Leaf #34 Sammy Baugh
1957 Topps #119 Bart Starr
1957 Topps #138 Johnny Unitas
1958 Topps #62 Jim Brown
1965 Topps #122 Joe Namath
1966 Philadelphia #31 Dick Butkus
1970 Topps #90 O.J. Simpson
1971 Topps #156 Terry Bradshaw
1976 Topps #148 Walter Payton
1979 Topps #390 Earl Campbell
1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana
1982 Topps #434 Lawrence Taylor
1984 Topps #63 John Elway
1984 Topps #123 Dan Marino
1986 Topps #161 Jerry Rice
1986 Topps #374 Steve Young
1989 Score #257 Barry Sanders
1990 Score Supplemental #101T Emmitt Smith
1991 Stadium Club #94 Brett Favre
1998 SP Authentic #14 /2000 Peyton Manning
2000 Playoff Contenders #144 Tom Brady
2005 SP Authentic #252 /99 Aaron Rodgers
2007 Exquisite Collection #133 /99 Adrian Peterson
2012 Panini National Treasures #301 /99 Andrew Luck
What are the best football Rookies cards of all-time (pick up to five cards)?
Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.
1962 Topps Fran Tarkenton
Tom Brady’s contenders RC on card auto! A true beauty!
Had to go with ’65 Topps Joe Namath. I don’t collect football (as a matter of fact, I REALLY dislike football)… But, even I knew this iconic card.
How can you have a list like this without Bronko Nagurski?
Bo knows football!!! Bo Jackson of coarse could be another I’d definetly pick!!
I have to say although not a nfl card Nagurski is one I’d love to have and Red Grange Jim Thorpe slinging Sammy baugh -only qb to have over 300 yrd and 3 interceptions I believe.
Sometimes we forget so I’m glad to see this perhaps we r headed for a vintage Beckett sports monthy guide theme here.How bought some love for the Snake -Ken Stabler .
I’m loking to go back in time and begin my collection aknew with vintage in Fb bb and bsktbl.
Sorry but the new kids Like Luck and others will have to wait to make the list.
It is BARRY SANDERS score Rookie of course. Hands down!
It is BARRY SANDERS score Rookie of course. Hands down without a second thought!!!!
Not including the Naguski chicle is a big miss on this
List… That’s the 2nd best card in the hobby (behind the Dunlop mayo) which I have 2 of
1989 score Deion Sanders
I’d like to give some consideration to the Ray Lewis 1996 Bowman’s Best RC.
barry sanders 89 score, that set changed the industry and that is the most coveted card in there
1966 Philadelphia #38 Gale Sayers RC
1972 Topps #200 Roger Staubach RC
Tough to put 86 Young, 79 Campbell and 70 OJ before those two!
I voted 1965 Namath — it’s easily king if you ask me.
One I would have considered would have been the 1955 Topps All-American of the Four Horsemen, though Namath still trumps it easily.
I just can’t vote for Namath because of how OVERRATED of a player he is. Yes, he is responsible for one of the benchmark moments in NFL history, but he was a better pop culture icon than a football player. My top 5 were all in the top 6. Thorpe, Unitas, Brown, Payton, Montana… and I wasn’t born before any of the cards came out.
My #1 is the Montana RC, because to me, it ushered in modern collecting. It’s the first great modern football RC.
Had Bo’s RC been on the list, I might have had to have left off one of the others…
1989 SCORE BARRY SANDERS, HANDS DOWN!
I would have to comment that leave the Campbell off and add the 89 Score Aikman.
I love this list of great (and highly coveted) cards. My personal favorite RC, not on this list, is the ’78 Topps #315 Tony Dorsett.
Barry Sanders…my friend Anne Flaven started score -after sportsflicks – she also made cracker jack toys – I was responsible for all cracker jack prizes – find a better reason….you can’t
Any rookie card from any player who only had a single card like Ernie Davis, Brian Piccolo, Pat Tillman who had their life ended much too soon.
I think the 1965 Joe Namath rookie card is the best rookie card of all time. The large size was rather unique.
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