When Joe Montana was picked in the third round of the 1979 draft by the San Francisco 49ers, no one would have predicted that the injury-prone Notre Dame grad would lead the team to four Super Bowls in the 1980s. But Montana had a way of defying the conventional wisdom.

Known as the "Comeback Kid" for his ability to rally his team when they were behind, Montana led the 49ers to victory 26 times when the team was losing in the 4th quarter, regardless of whether it was a mid-season game or Super Bowl XXIII—in that storied contest, Montana moved his team 92 yards for a touchdown with just 34 seconds left on the clock.

Montana’s career with the 49ers was characterized by successive seasons of brilliance, punctuated by years when he was plagued by problems on and off the field. After a dazzling 1981, which included a legendary come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC title game and an MVP award for his part in the team’s win against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI, Montana’s stats sank in 1982 when NFL players went out on strike.

Montana threw more than 25 touchdown passes in each of the 1983, 1984, and 1985 seasons, but back surgery put him out of commission for almost half of 1986. Four more amazing years followed from 1987-1990, but an elbow injury late in the 1990 season sidelined him for all of 1991 and all but one game in 1992.

In 1993 he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, for whom he played two seasons before announcing his retirement in 1995. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Normally rookie cards are issued at the beginning of a player’s second season, but Topps waited until 1981 to print Montana’s, which is probably his most collectible football card. Contemporary cards such as Donruss limited edition autograph cards and cards with swatches of jersey material from Montana’s 49ers and Chiefs uniforms are also in demand. And autographed footballs, helmets, and jerseys remain perennial favorites.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Football Card Gallery

Vintage Football Card Gallery

This great database of pro and collegiate football cards from the 1950s and 1960s offers scanned images of cards fo… [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1981 Topps Fball Cello Pack W/ Joe Montana Rookie #216 Top & Back Gai 8.5 (pwcc)Joe Montana Peyton Manning Steve Young 2007 Triple Threads Auto Jersey Sp #01/361981 Topps Football #216 - Joe Montana - Rookie Card - Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint1981 Topps Football #216 Joe Montana Rc Rookie Hof Psa 9 Mint " Looks Gem "1981 Topps Football Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Bgs 9 Mint (pwcc)2013 National Treasures Joe Montana Hof Auto Colossal Jersey Patch Sp #'d 05/251981 Topps Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers Rookie # 216 Psa 9 Centered1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana 49ers Rc Rookie Hof Signed Auto Sgc Authentic1981 Topps Football Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1981 Topps Football Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1981 Topps Joe Montana 49ers Rookie Rc Nfl Football Card # 216 !!!1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana 49ers Rc Rookie Hof Psa 9 Mint " Hot Card " 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana 49ers Rc Rookie Hof Bgs 9 W/ (2) 9.5's 1990 Fleer Joe Montana Jerry Rice On Card Psa/dna Certified Auto 49ers1981 Topps Football Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana 49ers Rc Rookie Hof Psa 9 " Looks Gem " 2013 National Treasures Joe Montana 2 Color Colossal Prime Patch Auto # 07/10Joe Montana Signed Ncaa Notre Dame Mini Helmet Joe Montana Hologram1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana Rookie Bgs 8!!Joe Montana Signed Nfl San Francisco 49ers 8x10 Photograph Joe Montana Hologram1981 Joe Montana Topps Rc Bgs 6.5 San Francisco 49ers Hof Super Bowl Mvp RookieJoe Montana Signed 49ers Goal Line Art Card Hof2015 Panini Spectra Illustrious Legends Joe Montana Auto Bgs 9 Mint 01/101981 Topps Joe Montana Rc #216 Football Card1996 Spx Joe Montana Autograph Card Psa 8 Nm-mt & Psa/dna1985 Topps Football Wax Display Box Joe Montana Walter Payton Lawrence Taylor1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Mint Graded Psa 91981 Topps Joe Montana #216 Psa 8 Nm-mt *** Rookie ***1981 Topps Joe Montana #216 Rookie Card- Sgc 84- Nm 7- No ReserveJoe Montana #21/25 On Card Auto 2011 Leaf Metal Muhammad Ali Signed AutographJoe Montana 2006 Playoff National Treasures Triple Patch #14/25 HofJoe Montana Rookie 1981 Topps Psa 8 Joe Montana Autographed Signed 49ers Red Jersey Jsa Witness #w8903552015 Flawless Greats Joe Montana Patch Auto #'d 5/5 Ssp Rare Hof 49ers!! Encased1981 Topps Football Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Psa 8(oc) Nm-mt (pwcc)Joe Montana 1981 Topps Football Rookie Card # 2162016 Panini Clear Vision Rivals Silver #17 Joe Montana Steve Young2011 Panini Gold Standard Legend Joe Montana Auto 2/5 #103 (pwcc)Joe Montana 2006 Playoff National Treasures Triple Patch #18/25 NfcPsa 8.5 1981 Topps Joe Montana #216 Hall Of Fame RcJoe Montana / Steve Young Dual Jersey Auto Card 5/ 25 Sp 2005 Leaf Limited 49ers1982 Topps Joe Montana #488 Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint *2nd Year Card* No ReserveJoe Montana 2008 Leaf Certified Materials Triple Prime Logo Patch #/25 Jersey Sp1981 Topps Football Joe Montana #216 Psa 2 Good1983-86 Topps Joe Montana Football Card Lot Of 15 $$$2016 Panini Joe Montana Knights Of The Round - Case Hit!Joe Montana Johnny Unitas Adrian Peterson Ben Roethlisberger Peyton Manning 1982 Topps Football #488 Joe Montana Hof San Francisco 49ers Psa 10 Gem Mint 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana Psa 8 High End Centered & Sharp!Joe Montana Signed Notre Dame Mini Throwback Helmet Gauranteed Autograph Joe Montana 1994 Topps Finest Refractor Chiefs #1722016 Panini Clear Vision Joe Montana Card 31/49 - 49ersJoe Montana #16 San Francisco 49ers Reebok Sewn Throwback Nfl Jersey M Youth1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Rc #216 Psa 5 Ex "super Hot Card" Nfl Legend2008 Ud Premier Brett Favre Steve Young Joe Montana Joe Namath Gu 4x Jersey #/351981 Topps Joe Montana Rc #216 Football Card2012 Panini Prime Signaturesrime 1 Of 1 Proof Joe Montana-mint2016 Panini Classics Joe Montana Jerry Rice Combos Gu 2x Jersey #/49Famous Fabrics Cityscapes Jersey Barry Bonds Cepeda Rice Joe Montana 4/92016 Elite Joe Montana Throwback Threads Jersey 31/99