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    

Eli Manning Signed Full Size Sb Xlii Football Auto Autograph Steiner Hologram Rob Gronkowski Signed Authentic Nfl Football Ball Autograph Auto Patriots Coa Tom Brady Autographed Duke Football Full Letter Psa/dna1966 Super Worlds Champs Green Bay Packers Autographed Wilson FootballRob Gronkowski Autographed New England Patriots White Panel Football W/ Gronk HoEzekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys Signed Football Paas CoaBrett Favre Signed Autograph Nfl Rep Duke Ball Favre Coa Hof Mint InscHuge 200 + Card Jersey Auto Lot Joe Montana Peyton Manning Mickey Mantle SignedBarry Sanders Autographed Detroit Lions White Panel Football W/ Schwartz CoaRoger Staubach #12 Dallas Cowboys 1985 Hof Signed Autograph Nfl Football CoaRob Gronkowski & Coach Bill Belichick Signed Auto Al Nfl Football Ne Patriots!1996 Pro Bowl Signed Football1995 Pro Bowl Signed FootballCam Newton Autographed Signed Carolina Panthers Official Nfl Wilson Football JsaJ.j Watt Autographed Full Size Logo Football. CoaJason Witten Signed/autographed Dallas Cowboys Leather Panel Football Coa/holo Khalil Mack Signed Oakland Raiders Wilson Nfl 1455 Full Size Football Coa HoloMarcus Mariota Autographed Full Size Logo Football. 1993 Nfl Wilson Autographed Emmit Smith Football Clay Matthews Autographed Full Size Logo Football. Coa Derek Carr Signed Oakland Raiders White Panel Logo Full Size Football Coa/holoDerek Carr Signed Oakland Raiders Throwback Mini Helmet Coa HologramDerek Carr Signed Oakland Raiders Wilson 1455 Nfl Football Las Vegas Raiders Derek Carr Signed Oakland Raiders Speed Mini Helmet Coa Holo Las Vegas RaidersKhalil Mack Signed/autograph Oakland Raiders Nfl Speed Mini Helmet Coa HologramJerry Rice #80 Autographed Football - Ball Has (1)rice Signature Kordell "slash" Stewart Autographed Wilson "the Duke" Nfl Football Steelers NwtA.j. Green Hand Signed Autographed Bengals White Panel Logo Football Coa Ga Brett Favre Autographed Full Size Football Wilson New In BoxPeyton Manning Signed FootballBaltimore Ravens Matt Stover Autographed Nfl Football. CoaMike Ditka Signed 2016 World Series Baseball Bas Witnessed Coa Chicago Bears HofLe'veon Bell Signed Nfl Duke Football Psa/dna Coa Ac81640 Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Ditka Signed Full Size Bears Football Auto Beckett Bas Witnessed Coa HofRob Gronkowski Julian Edelman New England Patriots Autographed F/s Football Coa'Frank Gore Signed 2013 Candlestick Park Le Duke Football Auto Tristar HologramRob Gronkowski New England Patriots Autographed Signed Full Size Football W/coa=Marshawn Lynch Signed Full Size Sb Xlviii Duke Football 56/500 Mill Creek Coa Doug Williams Auto Official Washington Redskins Logo Miniature FootballTiki Barber Autographed FootballDak Prescott Dallas Cowboys Hand Signed Autographed Logo Football Gai CertifiedJulian Edelman New England Patriots Autographed Full Size Football W-coa;-Vince Papale Autographed Philadelphia Eagles Nfl Football Invincible Jsa Coa-Jj Watt Houston Texans Autographed Hand Signed Full Size Football W-coa;=Pittsburgh Steelers Jerome Bettis Autographed FootballAutographed Nfl Football Mike Ditka Haywood Jefferies No Reserve AuctionJoe Montana Signed Authentic Wilson Football Uda Sticker Coa 49ers Auto Jim Plunkett Signed/autographed Oakland Raiders Full Size Logo Football - BasCharles Woodson Signed/autographed Oakland Raiders Full Size Logo Football - BasBo Jackson Oakland Raiders Signed Autographed Football Paas CoaTroy Aikman Signed Autographed Psa Coa Hof 2006 Dallas CowboysTreasury Memorabilia Kareem Abdul Jabbar 16x20 Auto Autograph Photo Psadna CoaAutographed Sean Landeta #5- #7 Signed Wilson Football W/1985-2005 /jsa Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Autographed Signed Full Size Football W/coa'-Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Autographed Hand Signed Full Size Football W/coa;Von Miller Denver Broncos Autographed Hand Signed Full Size Football W/coa ;-Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers Autographed Full Size Football W-coa;-Derek Carr Oakland Raiders Autographed Signed Full Size Football W/coa;=Preowned Nfl Wilson Autograph Football Printed With Signatures - 2012 VikingsWilson Nfl Pro Football Don Shula Signed Ball. With Certificate Of Authenticity.