History of Football Cards

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Topps was the main company producing cards.

PSA 10’s carry huge premiums for these vintage cards (many off-centered straight out of pack).

Iconic rookie cards include, 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas, 1965 Topps Joe Namath, 1976 Topps Walter Payton, 1981 Topps Joe Montana, 1986 Topps Jerry Rice

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Other companies besides Topps entered the market in the 1990’s - Upper Deck, Playoff, Fleer.


Playoff released the inaugural Playoff Contenders set featuring the first ever on-card rookie autos, Contenders Rookie Tickets.

Set was highlighted by Peyton Manning’s Rookie Ticket, still today one of the most iconic football cards of all time. Today, Panini owns the Contenders product.

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Tom Brady Rookie Ticket is the most iconic modern day football card.

Brands like Exquisite and National Treasures spilled into football and, at times, exceeded Contenders.

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No iconic brands from the 2000s.

Largely due to there being no iconic QBs drafted during this era. Lots of collectors were burned buying Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Jamarcus Russell, and others.

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Panini enters the football market.

First appearances of Prizm & National Treasures as football products.


Topps remained in the market until 2015, when Panini took over exclusive football rights.


Star QBs begin to emerge and lift product values.

National Treasures becomes the de facto #1 rookie card, largely due to the basketball effect.

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