In the past few months, I have been thinking more about the historical context of sports and buying some of the legends from the past. As a follow up to my baseball post from a few weeks ago, I wanted to perform a similar assessment for football cards.
Below you will see 10 cards of players who can make a reasonable case for being one of the top 100 football players of all-time. In creating this list, I tried to find graded cards that had an eBay buy it now price of $100 or less. I wanted to stick with graded items, as raw cards for the players and eras with which we are dealing in this exercise can vary wildly. While the list does include some rookies, the cards you see included are mostly lower grade. Obviously, high graded items for the stars we are talking about can get cost prohibitive in a hurry. The goal is to identify options for acquiring a card of one of the all-time greats without spending the equivalent of a mortgage payment or raiding your kid’s college fund.
1998 Upper Deck #1
Grade: PSA 8
eBay Buy It Now Cost: $100
Manning will always be underappreciated because he played much of his career in a small media market and had the misfortune of being a contemporary of Tom Brady. An argument can be made that Manning is one of the top five quarterbacks in NFL history. In 17 seasons, he won the NFL MVP 5 times, was a Pro-Bowler 14 times, and won Super Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. Manning retired after the 2015 season, and if the first 7 years of his post-football life are any indication, expect to see him consistently in commercials and on television broadcasts. While Manning’s Bowman and Topps Chrome rookies are the marquee options for most collectors, the 1998 Upper Deck in PSA 8 is a low-cost first-year option.