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    

Peyton Manning Colts Signed Autographed Mini Logo Football Global Gai Ga CoaRoger Staubach, Troy Aikman & Tony Romo Signed Football CoaAaron Rodgers Signed Nfl Duke Football Green Bay Packers SteinerTony Romo, Terrell Owens & Miles Austin Signed Football W/coa Dallas CowboysPeyton Manning Signed Football With Coa Denver Broncos Indianapolis Colts Auto Troy Aikman Signed Nfl Cowboys White Panel Football Hof Inscriptions CoaPeyton Manning #18 Signed Football - CoaPeyton Manning Orange Signed/auto Denver Broncos Football SteinerJj Watt Signed/autographed Texans Logo Football JsaPeyton Manning & Eli Manning Signed Football Coa Denver Broncos New York GiantsPeyton Manning Denver Broncos Hand Signed Nfl Football W/hologram & Coa Peyton Manning Autographed FootballPayton Manning Autographed Football - 1st Pick Of Nfl Draft RareSuperstar Sale!!! Jason Witten Dallas Cowyboys Signed Nfl Duke Football Ga Coa!!Luke Kuechly Signed/autographed Carolina Panthers Logo Football JsaRichard Sherman Signed Football W/coa Seatle Seahawks2014 Dallas Cowboys Team Signed Logo Football Tony Romo Demarco Murray Dez +Tom Brady Autographed Full Size Michigan Wolverines Football Gai CoaSuperstar Sale!!! Demarco Murray Dallas Cowyboys Signed Nfl Duke Football Ga CoaRoger Staubach Autographed Auto Wilson Nfl Football Ball Dallas Cowboys CoaVon Miller Autographed Denver Broncos Logo Football With Jsa AuthenticationAdrian Peterson Autographed Full Size Vikings Logo Football Gai CoaArian Foster Signed/autographed Texans Logo Football JsaMike Alstott Autographed Hand Signed Tampa Bay Bucs Wilson Football A-train PaasAuthentic Autographed Broncos Peyton Manning Logo Football Steiner Holo CrispPeyton Manning Autographed Colts Custom Home Jersey Aaa Coa Hologram Johnny Manziel Signed Full Size Nfl Football Auto Psa/dna Coa Cleveland BrownsSuperstar Sale!!! Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Signed Nfl Duke Football Ga CoaMean Joe Greene-steelers-wilson Nfl-game Used Football-pete Rozelle CommissionerEddie Lacy Autographed Green Bay Packers Logo Football With Jsa AuthenticationDwight Clark "the Catch" Signed Autographed Football Psa/dna Coa CardRobert Griffin Iii Autographed Full Size Redskins Black Logo Football Gai CoaMike Alstott A-train Signed Official Nfl Super Bowl Xxxvii (37) Leather FootballDenver Broncos Peyton Manning Hand Autographed Nfl Broncos Logo Football W/coaSuperstar Sale!! Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers Signed Nfl Duke Football Ga Coa!Don Shula Miami Dolphins Signed Autographed John Cooper Game Used Football JsaLawrence Taylor & Phil Simms Autographed Football W/ Gai Coa New York Giants HofMatthew Stafford Calvin Johnson Bush Tate Ebron Det Lions Signed Logo FootballAntonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers Hand Signed Autographed Mini Football Gai CoaEddie Lacy & Julio Jones Autographed Football W/ Coa Alabama Crimson Tide ChampsPeyton Manning Autographed Colts Custom White Jersey Aaa Coa Hologram John Madden Signed Autographed Raiders F/s Football With CoaFred Biletnikoff Autographed Inscribed Football W/ Coa Oakland Raiders Nfl Hof!Le'veon Bell Autographed Auto Pittsburgh Steelers Football Ball Jsa CoaSuperstar Sale!!!! Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons Signed Nfl Duke Football Ga Coa!!Peyton Manning Signed Wilson Full Size Nfl Football - Xli Sb MvpJoe Namath New York Jets Autographed Nfl Wilson Football (comes With Photo Coa)Josh Gordon Signed/autographed Cleveland Browns Logo Football JsaCarolina Panthers Luke Kuechly Hand Signed Logo Football2014 Topps Prime Sammy Watkins Copper Rainbow Autographed. 2/50. Very Rare!Jj Watt Houston Texans Signed "99" Wisconsin Badgers Logo Football Autograph GaTre Mason Signed Full Size Football Auto Jsa Coa Auburn University TigersNfl Football Chicago Bears Team Autographed Football 1987 Season Walter Payton Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers Signed FootballBrandon Marshall Autographed Chicago Bears Sewn Jersey Coa + Numbered Hologram Aaron Rodgers Nfl/riddell Autographed Gb-mini-helmet With Sb Mvp Includes CoaVikings Football Signed By Daunte Culpepper, Chris Carter, And Randy MossJay Cutler Signed Football W/coa Chicago BearsSigned Peyton Manning Andrew Luck Nfl Wilson Football Colts Kurt Warner Signed Imperfect White-panel Football W/ Missing Jsa Card