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

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.

Top eBay Listings

1974 Topps #150 Johnny Unitas EX J1020
$23.00

1968 Topps #100 Johnny Unitas EX MT J5730
$60.00

1968 Topps #100 Johnny Unitas PSA 7 J3226
$135.00

1958 Topps #22 Johnny Unitas VG J2667
$65.00

1971 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas PSA 7 J10693
$60.00

1971 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas VG J10683
$8.50

1971 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas EX J10670
$9.00

1968 Topps #100 Johnny Unitas PSA 8 J5797
$200.00

1968 Topps #100 Johnny Unitas VG J5796
$22.00

1968 Topps #100 Johnny Unitas EX J6004
$45.00

Johnny Unitas 1972 Topps #165 Colts Ex 17138
$6.25

1958 Topps Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts football card - SGC 40 (Grade 3)
$14.99

2000 Topps Johnny Unitas Reprint LOT 13 Cards 1957 Rookie Reprint + Colts
$50.00

1961 Topps #1 Johnny Unitas Psa 7 Nm
$150.00

2000 Fleer Johnny Unitas feel the game classics game worn jersey
$17.50

1974 Johnny Unitas #150 Football Card Creased
$5.00
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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

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

Johnny Unitas Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Jerseys

Johnny Unitas Signed Jersey

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

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Helmets

 

Johnny Unitas Signed Helmet

Johnny Unitas Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Johnny Unitas Signed Photographs

Johnny Unitas Signed Photo

 

Top eBay Listings

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1957 Topps Rookie Card #138 PSA DNA #17150828
$995.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1994 Ted Williams Co. Card PSA DNA #83717147
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Card PSA DNA #83717149
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Card PSA DNA #83717150
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1994 Ted Williams Co. Card PSA DNA #83717151
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1994 Ted Williams Co. Card PSA DNA #83717157
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1971 Topps Card #1 PSA DNA #83717156
$129.00

JOHNNY UNITAS JSA AUTHENTICATED SIGNED 3X5 INDEX CARD AUTOGRAPH
$79.00

JOHNNY UNITAS JSA AUTHENTICATED SIGNED 1984 FDC AUTOGRAPH
$97.00

JOHNNY UNITAS AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED BALTIMORE COLTS WHITE #19 JERSEY PSA DNA
$1,499.00

JOHNNY UNITAS COLTS SIGNED 8X10 PHOTO DOUBLE MATTED & FRAMED JSA K46771
$249.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Card PSA DNA #83717142
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1994 Ted Williams Co. Card PSA DNA #83717143
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1991 Domino's QB's Card PSA DNA #83717144
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Autographed Signed 1994 Ted Williams Co. Card PSA DNA #83717145
$99.00

JOHNNY UNITAS JSA AUTHENTIC SIGNED 1985 FOOTBALL IMMORTAL #120 AUTOGRAPH COLTS a
$119.99
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More Info

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 |  E-Mail Author | 
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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