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    

John Elway Signed Official Nfl Football Steiner Holo CoaMarshall Faulk Signed Nfl Wilson Football W/ Cert AutoJason Pierre-paul Signed Auto Official Wilson Football Giants SteinerTom Brady New England Patriots Signed Nfl Wilson Football W/coaPeyton Manning #18 Signed Football, Indianapolis Colts Quarterback NflJerry Rice Autographed Football 49ers Raider Hall Of Famer Signs Wilson Nfl Ball2 Houston Texansteam Autographed Footballs Jj Watt Lot Of 2Chad "ocho Cinco" Johnson Game Issue Autographed Pro Bowl ShoeRichard Sherman Earl Thomas Kam Seattle Seahawks Team Autographed Football CoaKelvin Benjamin Signed Auto Carolina Panthers Logo Football Psa/dna Exact Proof2012 Nfl Pro Bowl "nfc" Autographed 3 Panels Nfl Wilson Football Rodgers, Brees!Drew Brees & Jimmy Graham Signed Auto Football W/coa New Orleans Saints49'ers Legends Football Multi Signed Ball Young Montana Rice Autographed Coa HolRob Gronkowski Signed Full Size Patriots Football Auto Deflated Psa/dna CoaAaron Rodgers Autographed Packers Nfl Riddell Full Size Helmet Coa Hologram Joe Montana Single Signed Baseball Auto Psa/dna 9.5 W/ Coa 49ers Chiefs HofMatthew Stafford Calvin Johnson Reggie Bush Detroit Lions Signed Logo FootballBen Roethlisberger Signed Official Nfl Football Uda Holo CoaJoe Montana (hall Of Fame) Single Signed Nfl Wilson Football San Francisco 49ersDeacon Jones "hof 80" Signed Autographed Wilson Football Psa/dna Coa DeceasedSeattle Seahawks Football Team Ball Super Bowl Champs Signed Autographed Coa HolColin Kaepernick Autographed Full Size 49ers Logo Football Tristar CertifiedJunior Seau #55 Signed Football, San Diego ChargersMarcus Allen Jim Plunkett & Fred Bikletnikoff Autographed Raiders Superbowl Ball2012 Nfl Pro Bowl "afc" Autographed Official Wilson Football Nm-mint 39 Autos.Donovan Mcnabb Eagles Signed Official Nfl Football Jsa LoaWalter Payton Signed Football #34, Chicago BearsPackers Legends Football Farve Rodgers & Starr Multi Signed Autographed Coa HoloPeyton Manning Denver Broncos Signed Logo FootballAlabama Crimson Tide A.j Mccarron & Nick Saban Fullsize Autographed Football/coaEddie Lacy Autographed Green Bay Packers Logo Football With Jsa AuthenticationAuthentic Nfl Steelers Autographed Football-james Farrior #51 From Sb XlAaron Rodgers Autographed Signed / Autographed Football Ga Coa, And Hologram Rudy Ruettiger & Sean Astin Dual Signed Notre Dame Logo Football Jsa/siJohn Elway Authentic Autograph Football -psa/dna LoaPittsburgh Steelers Team Signed FootballHand Signed Rare Al Davis Raiders Nfl Football Ball Autographed Coa Holo1993 Packers Team Signed Ball Brett Favre Reggie White Sterling Sharpe Rare Hof!Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Hand Signed Autographed Logo Football P.a.a.s CoaVon Miller Autographed Denver Broncos Logo Football With Jsa AuthenticationDon Shula Miami Dolphins Signed Nfl Game Football W/ Insc. Jsa AuthenticatedPeyton Manning Signed / Autographed Broncos Football Steiner Sports HologramLesean Mccoy Signed Gatorade Breast Cancer Towel Eagles With CoaSeahawks Pete Carroll & Will Ferrell Autographed Football Gb Packers' Olb Clay Matthews Signed Football Gai!Dallas Cowboy Autographed Superbowl Team FootballJameis Winston Autographed Florida State Seminole Logo Football Jsa HeismanNick Foles Lesean Mccoy Jeremy Maclin Phi Eagles Signed Logo FootballMartellus Bennett Signed Bears Nfl Game-time Full-size Logo Football - SchwartzJim Brown Signed/inscribed Official Nfl Football Hof #71 Cleveland Browns Percy Harvin Autographed Football W/ Coa Florida Gators Seattle SeahawksAlshon Jeffery Signed Auto Nfl Football Chicago Bears Psa/dna X28809Jameis Winston, Ward, Weinke Autographed Seminole Logo Football Jsa HeismanCleveland Browns Autograph/signed Logo Football - Manziel-whitner-west-coaSigned Aj Hawk Green Bay Packers Ohio State Football Coa ProofSigned Nnamdi Asomugha Oakland Raiders Eagles Nfl Football Pro Bowl Cal BearsJohn Lynch Signed FootballRussell Wilson Seahawks Team Autographed Football Sherman Lynch Earl Thomas CoaNew England Patriots Autographed Football Limited Edition 10,000 26 AutographsJj Watt Brian Cushing Houston Texans Signed Logo Football