In baseball memorabilia, you wouldn’t collect a bat signed by a pitcher or a glove signed by a designated hitter. Well, some people probably would, but it’s more likely you’d want a baseball that had been autographed by a pitcher like Sandy Koufax or Nolan Ryan, or a bat that’s been signed by sluggers such as Hank Aaron or Willie Mays.

Similarly, the most collectible footballs are signed by the players who touched them the most. That’s why football memorabilia collectors usually look for footballs autographed by quarterbacks such as Joe Namath, John Elway, Joe Montana, and Johnny Unitas, or running backs from Jim Brown to Walter Payton. Receiver signatures are popular, too (Jerry Rice and Mike Wallace are favorites), but how do you account for the popularity of Troy Polamalu’s autograph on footballs? Maybe it’s because footballs rarely get past this exceptionally strong, strong safety.

In general, footballs signed by players of the last quarter century or so are commodities—forgeries and reproductions abound, so make sure yours comes with authentication you can trust. More rare are footballs whose signatures and pebbly pigskin surfaces are both vintage. Nineteenth-century footballs were melon-shaped, harkening to the sport’s lineage in this country from rugby. Spalding claims it manufactured the first American football in 1887, but even these were not as pointed at the ends as footballs are today.

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    

Tom Brady Autographed/signed Nfl Football New England PatriotsRob Gronkowski Julian Edelman New England Patriots Autographed F/s Football Coa-Aaron Rodgers Bart Starr Dual Signed FootballAaron Rodgers Signed Authentic Duke Football Steiner Sports New York Giants InscWilson "the Duke" Official Nfl Game FootballJohnny Unitas Autographed Official Nfl Wilson Football Mounted Memories 2015 Carolina Panthers Autographed Football Cam Newton Luke Kuechly Benjamin Tony Romo Signed Autographed The Duke Nfl Football Dallas Cowboys Psa/dna Z58355Seattle Seahawks Autographed Football, Nfl Circa 1980's, Krieg/largent/raibleOne Of A Kind Aaron Rodgers Autographed William Lopa Painted Football W/ Psa/dnaPackers Brett Favre Signed Nfl Game Football Jsa Coa Auto Autographed Green BayIrvin/ Emmitt/ Aikman Autographed Football......certified....Qb Club Multi Signed Football Jsa Loa Johnny Unitas Otto Graham Snead Manning ++Ron Gronkowski Autographed Authentic Duke Football W/ Psa/dna CoaAndrew Luck Autograph Signed Indianapolis Colts Football Ball Psa Psa/dna CoaPeyton Manning Denver Broncos Signed Autographed Full Size Football Ga CoaTony Romo Signed Dallas Cowboys Logo FootballAndrew Luck Autographed Duke Inscribed Coltsnation 30of50 W/ Panini CoaRob Gronkowski New England Patriots Autographed Signed Football Coa Ga ';Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Autographed F/s Signed Football Sb XlixPeyton Manning Signed Baseball Auto Fanatics Hologram Only Nfl Colts BroncosRob Gronkowski New England Patriots Autographed Signed Full Size Football W/coa"2012 Nfc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 35+ Signatures PsaJulian Edelman Signed New England Patriots Logo Football Psa/dna #z22263Legarrette Blount New England Patriots Autographed Full Size Football W/coa JsaRob Gronkowski Julian Edelman New England Patriots Autographed Football W/coa,=Emmitt Smith Autographed Official Football - National Sports Autograph NetworkJamie Collins Signed Patriots Superbowl Champs Football 50th Sb Coa/holo Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Signed Autographed Fs Logo Football Ga CoaAuthenticated Joe Montana Autographed Super Bowl SheetMarshall Lynch, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman Signed FootballMiami Dolphins - Autographed Dan Marino Wilson Football - 1984 Mvp Season2005 Nfc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 45+ SignaturesFrank Gore Signed Candlestick Park Duke Football Auto 0541/2013 Tristar HologramEli Manning Signed Wilson Official Nfl Football Jsa Certified Autograph GiantsCharles Woodson Auto Official Size Green Bay Packers Team Logo Football- Coa2015 Minnesota Vikings Team Signed Autographed Logo Football W/ CoaCris Carter Vikings Signed Autographed Wilson Nfl Football Psa/dna #w43813Tony Dorsett Dallas Cowboys Autographed FootballAndrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Autographed Signed Full Size Football Coa Ga,;;Eddie Lacy Signed/autographed Green Bay Packers Logo Football - Jsa W918005Mike Evans Authentic Signed Buccaneers Logo Football W/ Tristar HologramKevin White Signed/autographed West Virginia University Logo Football JsaArchie, Eli & Peyton Manning Autographed Authentic Duke Football W/ Steiner CoaJj Watt Houston Texans Autographed Signed Full Size Football W/coa Ga .;'1960's New York Giants Team Signed Football Costello Wood Pashe Frank Gifford...Joe Namath Autographed Official Football-broadway Joe Willie Namath X12 InscriptPeyton Manning Colts Autographed Signed Football CoaPeyton Manning Autographed Full Size Nfl Football Gai CoaJoe Flacco Signed Autographed Nfl Football Baltimore Ravens Psa/dna Z96936Bears Jared Allen 'da Bears' Authentic Signed Nfl Football Psa/dna ItpOdell Beckham Jr. Signed New York Giants Full Size Football With Coa Joe Montana, Jerry Rice - Steve Young Auto 49er's Team Logo Football- McmRob Gronkowski #87 New England Patriots Autographed Signed Football W/gaiJulio Jones Signed/autographed Falcons Logo Football JsaTroy Polamalu Autographed Full Size Pittsburgh Steelers Football Jsa Witness CoaFranco Harris Signed Pittsburgh Steelers Football Jsa Certified AutographJulio Jones Atlanta Falcons Autographed Logo FootballTony Dorsett Signed Dallas Cowboys Football Jsa Coa Hologram Autograph AutoPatriots Autographed Football - Welker , Gostkowski + 18 Others-gridiron Coa