Johnny Unitas Cards, Rookie Card and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Johnny Unitas

Date of Birth: 5/7/1933
Rookie Card Year: 1957
Investment Rating: 9.0


Overview

As the face of the early NFL, Johnny Unitas football cards and autographed memorabilia have always been in strong demand. His vintage cards from the Topps sets of the late 1950s and early 1960s are some of the most coveted and valuable cards of the era. His resume defines what it means to be a Hall of Fame player. Unitas was a ten-time Pro Bowl participant, four-time league MVP, and three-time NFL Champion.

Long considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of the NFL, Unitas' success on the field and accessible demeanor off the field helped usher in a new era in sports media. As a result, his fame and popularity has translated to the creation of numerous fans and collectors through the years.

The Johnny Unitas rookie card can be found in 1957 Topps Football. The card was double printed but due to smaller overall print runs of the era, the increased availability in no way has hurt the card's value. The demand is strong demand to offset any supply issues. High grade examples can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Johnny Unitas' first certified autograph card was part of a food issue set from 1995 Tombstone Pizza and can be difficult to find today. His first mainstream autograph was distributed by Upper Deck as part of the incredibly popular 1997 Upper Deck Legends set.  Unitas' first memorabilia cards were released in 2000 by Donruss, Fleer and Upper Deck. He had a total of seven different memorabilia cards made with each of them ranging in serial numbering from 21 to 400.

Unitas enjoyed a relatively healthy life after his retirement from football and was able to participate in numerous autograph signing appearances. Strong demand and moderate supply have helped ensure solid values for his autographed items with footballs being the most popular.

Johnny Unitas Rookie Card

1957 Topps Football Johnny Unitas RC #138

1957 Topps Johnny Unitas RC Image

The 1957 Topps Football card set is one of the most cherished of all-time. The colorful backgrounds and dual photographs combine to form an aesthetically pleasing card.

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JOHNNY UNITAS 1969 Topps Football Card No. 25 HOF Baltimore Colts
$16.99
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Baltimore Colts Johnny Unitas Football Card Plaque
$9.95
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2001 (FB) Topps Archives Relic Seats #ASJU Johnny Unitas
$15.30
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1969 TOPPS FOOTBALL JOHNNY UNITAS #25 HOF
$25.84
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2014 Upper Deck Football Johnny Unitas Statue Tribute Card #CM-167 Louisville
$19.95
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Johnny Unitas HOF 2001 UD Legends ON CARD AUTO SP Colts & 1958 Topps PSA 6
$699.99
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Johnny Unitas 6 cards 1994 Roger Staubach's Football
$5.75
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1970 Topps Super #15 Johnny Unitas COLTS " VG " LR29292
$9.00
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2000 (FB) Topps Unitas Reprints Chrome #R14 Johnny Unitas
$5.46
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2000 (FB) Topps Chrome Unitas Reprints Refractors #R1 Johnny Unitas 1957
$5.10
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1962 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas ! VGEX B619742
$53.50
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1959 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas ! G VG B619726
$28.25
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1963 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas ! EXMT+ B619720
$136.00
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1960 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts EXMT NICE 3001
$49.95
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1959 Topps Football #1 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts PSA 8+++ NM-MT Centered
$1,500.00
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1969 TOPPS # 25 JOHNNY UNITAS NO CREASES !!
$24.99
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Autograph Guide

Johnny Unitas Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Johnny Unitas autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Johnny Unitas Cut Signature Exemplar

Johnny Unitas Signature Example 260x103 Image

Johnny Unitas Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Johnny Unitas signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. A very legible and even-handed signature with clear, crisp handwriting and distinguishable letters.
  2. The letter "J" is unique in that while not standard cursive like the rest of the signature it is discernible as a "J" with a short down stroke with a line that extends to the left before forming a small loop that  circles back with a flair to cap the letter.
  3. The pen lifts to star the "o" which is closed, the "h" is small but legible, the "n"'s are similarly written but implied as compared to being pronounced.
  4. The letter "y" is very shallow on the top with a long tail and horizontal finish.
  5. The "U" is wide and deep, with the "n" again being more implied, the "i" is not dotted.
  6. The "t" forms a crossed "l" shape and the "a" and "s" are written but again very small.

Johnny Unitas Signed Football Pricing:

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Footballs

Johnny Unitas Signed Football 260x156 Image

Johnny Unitas Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Jerseys

Johnny Unitas Signed Jersey 260x281 Image

Johnny Unitas Signed Helmet Pricing (Full-size and Mini):

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Helmets

 

Johnny Unitas Signed Helmet 260x211 Image

Johnny Unitas Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Photographs

Johnny Unitas Signed Photo 260x204 Image

 

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HUGE! JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED CUT BOLD PSA DNA AWESOME
$69.99
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JOHNNY UNITAS 5 x 7 MATCO ELECTRONICS PROMO SIGNED AUTO JSA Certified
$50.00
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JOHNNY UNITAS & RAYMOND BERRY NFL COLTS PSA DNA DUAL SIGNED A.L BASEBALL RARE
$279.99
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Johnny Unitas AUTO SIGNED 1950's Photo AUTOGRAPHED PROFESSIONALLY FRAMED JSA
$299.99
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johnny unitas signed wilson NFL football plus pix, prints & more JSA LOA
$249.00
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Johnny Unitas Signed Goal Line Art Autographed PSA DNA Cert #W03105
$449.99
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JSA Authentic Signed Johnny Unitas Auto 8x10 Photo Photograph
$149.95
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JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED PSA DNA AUTO #81984416
$99.99
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GORGEOUS JOHNNY UNITAS AUTO SIGNED 8X10 PHOTO PLAQUE PSA DNA BALTIMORE COLTS
$195.00
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1957 Topps Johnny John Unitas Rookie card RC Autograph Auto Signed PSA DNA SHARP
$899.99
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JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED JSA COA 8X10 B&W PHOTO AUTO AUTOGRAPHED BALTIMORE COLTS
$99.99
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Johnny Unitas Signed Wilson NFL Football - PSA DNA & Autograph Reference
$299.99
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JOHNNY UNITAS AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED COLTS 8X10 PHOTO #1 PSA DNA
$149.00
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JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED FOOTBALL AUTO NFL FOOTBALL PSA DNA COLTS
$359.99
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signed johnny unitas football JSA, wheaties box 1959 SI, cards & more
$289.99
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JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED JSA CERTED NFL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL
$299.00
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More Info

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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

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