The roots of contemporary American football can be traced to the late 19th century, when, in 1875, Harvard lost to Tufts. The first professional football league game followed in 1903—the Massillon Tigers won that year’s all-Ohio championship.
Almost from the beginning, marketers tried to capitalize on the popularity of college football. In 1888, cigarette maker Goodwin & Co. published the first football card, an illustration of Henry Beecher, who was the captain of the Yale Bulldogs.
The Beecher card was part of a set of 50 cards celebrating athletes from a variety of sports. In 1894, chewing-tobacco company Mayo Cut Plug released the first actual set of football cards, each bearing a sepia photograph of one of 35 players from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. One Princeton player with the last name of Poe is thought to be the nephew of poet Edgar Allen Poe.
The precursor to the National Football League didn’t arrive on the scene until 1920 and football cards were not produced in sets until after World War II when, according to football-card collector Mike Thomas, Leaf and Bowman began making cards for players such as John Nolan and Larry Olsonoski. Topps cards dominated the 1950s (the Johnny Unitas rookie card from 1955 is a much-traded collectible) and 1960s (ditto Joe Namath’s rookie card from 1965). In that decade, Fleer also entered the picture.
Players were not the only things depicted on cards. In 1960, Fleer issued a set of cards with decals of college-team pennants (Nebraska paired with Purdue, Stanford with Navy, etc.), as well as a set of cards bearing decals of American Football League logos (the gun-toting, cowboy-booted Texans player running for a touchdown in his ten-gallon hat is a collectible classic).
Beyond cards, collectors gravitate to just about anything with a player’s signature on it, from jerseys to helmets to footballs. As with music, unused tickets and ticket stubs are also fairly popular. But one of the most collectible football memorabilia categories is the Super Bowl.
For football fans, it doesn’t get any better than the Super Bowl. Football memorabilia collectors feel the same way about the objects and ephemera commemorating any of the Super Bowls that have been played since 1967, when Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs...
Signed Super Bowl helmets and footballs are particularly prized, as are signed jerseys. Reproductions of Super Bowl rings have become quite popular in recent years, and the card companies have been diligent about making sure that fans can add special Super Bowl cards to their collections—many are auto-signed to replicate the signatures of players.
Rounding out Super Bowl memorabilia are the actual programs and ticket stubs from the games themselves, for those fans not fortunate enough to actually attend. And then there are the patches, lapel pins, snowglobes, and bobblehead caricatures of players standing next to oversized reproductions of the coveted Super Bowl ring.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Vintage Football Card Gallery
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Football Memorabilia
Source: Google News
The Price Of Victory - An Alternative Option For Broke Former Footballerscaughtoffside, September 29th
Footballers are tremendously well paid, and envious fans often baulk at the wages they receive. However, what many fail to understand is that the shelf life of a professional footballer is very short, and bereft of any proper financial advice, many end...Read more
Hattrick joy for the boys in red and yellowAsiaOne, September 28th
Earlier in the day, the Singaporean entourage of players and officials visited the Selangor football gallery in Klang to get into the spirit of the competition. The gallery houses football memorabilia relating to the competition since its inception in...Read more
UM/Minnesota football rivalry for the Little Brown Jug chronicled in new book ...The Ann Arbor News, September 26th
Magee – born and bred in Ann Arbor – has been a U-M sports fan and collector of U-M football memorabilia since he was a young boy who sneaked into games. “If you go to Schembechler Hall, about 80 percent of the items on display are on loan from me,” ...Read more
Woman charged with stealing Crimson Tide memorabiliaWSFA, September 25th
A Montgomery woman is charged with burglary and theft of property after law enforcement officials say she broke into a home and stole football memorabilia related to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, as well as other items. Court documents show ...Read more
Women arrested for stealing Alabama Football memorabiliaWSFA, September 25th
According to court documents, 23-year-old Abigail Elizabeth Bromberg is being charged with theft of property following an incident where she broke into a home and stole Alabama Football memorabilia, electronics and jewelry. The documents say the...Read more
Woodland at Vintage football previewNapa Valley Register, September 17th
Last week: Nolan Dahler ran for 217 yards and three TDs in Woodland's 37-24 win at Fairfield. Joe Cavagnaro ran for 150 yards and four touchdowns in Vintage's 32-13 win at Davis. “The offensive line paved the way for Joe C,” Vintage coach Kyle Hofmann ...Read more
Subway's LSU Football Collector's Cup AvailableLSUSports.net, September 4th
BATON ROUGE – The 2014 LSU Football limited edition collector's cup is now available at Baton Rouge area Subway Restaurants. The cup features the three, iconic "L-S-U" flags that the cheerleaders carry across the endzone after an LSU touchdown...Read more
Petaluma at Vintage football previewNapa Valley Register, September 3rd
Last week: Petaluma pulled out a 13-12 win against rival Santa Rosa, which it had lost 33-0 to in 2013. Jared Horn threw for 101 yards in Vintage's 27-3 home loss to Woodcreek-Roseville, but was knocked out of the game in the third quarter due to a ...Read more