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    

Frank Gore Signed Candlestick Park Duke Football Auto 0003/2013 Tristar HologramJoe Montana Signed Full Size San Francisco 49ers Football Auto Jsa Coa Hof12 Of Lombardi`s Green Bay Packers Auto/signed Mini Helmet 3 Hofers Mcgee JeterPeyton Manning Signed Baseball Auto Fanatics Auth Hologram Only Colts Broncos John Madden Autographed Nfl Football Auto Autograph Dallas Cowboys Autographed Signed Football - Tony Romo, Jerry Jones, D. WareTim Tebow Signed Florida Gators Football With Coa Philadelphia EaglesFrank Gore Signed Candlestick Park Duke Football Auto 0434/2013 Tristar HologramAutographed Nfl Footbal With Hof'ersJj Watt Signed Autographed Football Coa Houston Texans NflOdell Beckham Jr. Signed / Inscribed "rookie Record" Football SteinerAll Time Greats Signed Football-unitas, Graham, Griese, Starr, Tarkington And LePhilip Rivers San Diego Chargers Autographed Wilson Official Nfl Football- JsaWilson Nfl Football On Field Authentic Game Ball John Madden AutographedDerek Carr Autographed Riddell Oakland Raiders Mini Helmet Coa Holograms Daryl Johnston Signed Dallas Cowboys Football Auto Deflated W/ Gtsm Hologram Bo Jackson Signed Oakland Los Angeles Raiders Ridell Replica Helmet Auto Jsa CoaMalcolm Butler Signed 4x Sb Champions Duke Football Auto Fanatics Hologram Only2008 Washington Redskins Team *25 Signatures* Signed Autographed Logo FootballMike Singletary Signed Official Wilson Nfl Football Jsa Coa Auto Chicago Bears2007 Afc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 35+ SignaturesNy Giants Nfl Team Autographed Signed Football - 1962 - Gifford, Tittle, Huff +Michael Irvin Signed Autographed Dallas Cowboys Custom Jersey W/ JsaTim Tebow Signed Philadelphia Eagles Logo Football With Coa Florida GatorsZack Martin Notre Dame Autographed Mini Helmet Football JsaDenver Broncos Autographed FootballZack Martin Dallas Cowboys Autographed Silver Mini Helmet Football JsaTim Brown Signed Official Wilson Nfl Football Jsa Coa Auto Oakland RaidersNy Giants Nfl Team Autographed Signed Football - 1959 - Gifford, Huff,robustelliNy Giants Nfl Team Autographed Signed Football - 1963 - Gifford - RobustelliPeyton Manning Signed Td Pass Record Duke Football Auto /1000 Fanatics Hologram Ny Giants Super Bowl Xxi Team Signed Football Rare 40+ Autos Nfl Lt SteinerJoe Montana Signed San Francisco 49ers Football Montana Certified HologramPittsburgh Steelers Autographed Football W/ Ben Roethlisberger, Pouncy And Other2004 Nfc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 50+ SignaturesEric Dickerson Hof Signed / Autographed Los Angeles Rams Logo Football- Jsa Auth2010 Afc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 30+ SignaturesNy Giants Super Bowl Xxv Team Signed Wilson White Panel Ball Steiner Rare 30+sigTom Brady Authenticated Autographed Nfl Wilson FootballMatthew Stafford Autographed Detroit Lions Wilson Logo Football- Jsa W AuthZack Martin Dallas Cowboys Autographed Silver Mini Helmet Football JsaLawrence Taylor Signed New York Giants Stat Football Jsa Hologram Our CoaAdrian Peterson Signed Minnesota Vikings Football - Very Nice!Tristar Quest Dallas Cowboys Aikman, Staubach, E Smith, Auto Autograph 3 Items!Brandin Cooks Autographed New Orleans Saints Logo Football- Jsa W AuthenticatedAnquan Boldin Autographed San Francisco 49ers Logo Football- Jsa W AuthBen Roethlisberger Signed "7" Pittsburgh Steelers Nfl Football Autograph Psa/dnaLawrence Taylor Signed North Carolina Football Sgc Hologram And Coa Ny Giants2012 Afc Pro Bowl Team Signed Autographed Football 40+ SignaturesPeyton Manning Signed Full Size Indianapolis Colts Football Auto Steiner CoaLuke Kuechly Signed Autographed Carolina Panthers Logo Football W/ JsaDez Bryant Auto Dallas Cowboys White Throwback Riddell Mini Helmet Coa/holoPhil Simms # 11 Autographed Football - Steiner Sports CoaThurman Thomas Signed Official Wilson Nfl Football Jsa Coa Auto Buffalo BillsDemarco Murray Autographed/signed Eagles Logo Football Jsa W853885Jim Kelly Signed/ Autographed Buffalo Bills Logo Football- Jsa W AuthenticatedVintage Denver Broncos Lot. Stickers, Calendar And John Elway Autograph Photo.Jack Ham Andy Russell Autographed Pittsburgh Steelers Logo Football- Jsa W AuthRyan Pickett Signed Super Bowl Xlv Champs White Panel Football Packers Sb NflDesmond Bishop Signed White Football Super Bowl Xlv Champs Green Bay Packers Nfl