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

1971 TOPPS #1 JOHNNY UNITAS SGC 84 F1577081
$23.99

1958 Topps Football #22 John Johnny Unitas Card SGC 88
$614.99

1969 TOPPS FOOTBALL JOHNNY UNITAS COLTS CARD EX-MNT #25 BV-40
$26.99

1957 Topps Football John Johnny Unitas Rookie Card PSA 4
$244.99

1959 Topps Football Card #1 JOHNNY UNITAS-Baltimore Colts
$45.00

2006 FINEST MOMENTS JOHNNY UNITAS JU6 134 199
$12.00

1963 TOPPS JOHNNY UNITAS #1 & 1964 PHILADELPHIA JOHNNY UNITAS #12 LOT OF 2
$29.99

Lot of 10 1994 Ted Williams Co. JOHNNY UNITAS ETCHED IN STONE Insert Sets
$5.99

2004 Leaf Limited PEYTON MANNING JOHNNY UNITAS Material Monikers Dual Auto 2 5
$699.99

JOHNNY UNITAS NFLPA 1972 CLOTH
$165.00

2006 Topps Finest Football #JU8 Johnny Unitas Blue Refractor 103 299 NM *02460
$5.00

1962 Topps Bucks Johnny Unitas #24 VGEX RARE
$60.00

1965 BALTIMORE COLTS TAB BOTTLE CAP of John "Johnny" Unitas (HOF) coke
$12.00

2001 Topps Johnny Unitas souvenir seating Baltimore memorial stadium seat Card
$19.99

Johnny Unitas 1971 Topps #1 - Nice Card Must See.
$14.95

1970 Topps Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts #180 Football Card
$9.19
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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 signed official NFL white panel wilson football JSA
$174.99

JOHNNY UNITAS FRAMED SIGNED 30X26 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED LIVING LEGENDS PSA DNA COA
$399.99

JOHNNY UNITAS COLTS SIGNED 8X10 PHOTO DOUBLE MATTED & FRAMED JSA #L16595
$239.00

Johnny Unitas AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED 75th Anniversary authentic mini psa#f17364
$675.00

johnny unitas ray lewis signed baseball cap, mcfarlane figures, more PSA DNA QO
$229.00

JOHNNY UNITAS d. 2002 AUTHENTIC SIGNED BUSINESS CARD IN PSA DNA SLABBED HOLDER
$95.00

JOHNNY UNITAS SIGNED INDEX CARD WITH JSA CERT. AND STICKER
$99.00

Johnny Unitas Signed Colts Football 8x10 Photo PSA DNA COA Picture Autograph HOF
$199.99

THE GOLDEN ARM!!! Johnny Unitas Signed Indianapolis Colts Sports Illustrated PSA
$225.00

Johnny Unitas PSA DNA Signed Autographed Auto 83556029
$99.99

Johnny Unitas First Day Cover PSA DNA Signed Autographed Auto 83556030
$99.99

johnny unitas signed official NFL football, figure, magazine & more PSA DNA QO
$469.00

JOHNNY UNITAS Autographed Signed Mini Helmet PSA DNA Certified Authentic COLTS
$324.99

1964 Philadelphia #12 Johnny Unitas Signed AUTO AUTOGRAPH JSA BGS SLABBED COA
$199.99

Johnny Unitas Colts Signed Auto 1979 Pro! Football Magazine JSA I36583
$179.00

JOHNNY UNITAS VINTAGE PSA DNA CERT SIGNED 1970 TOPPS AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH
$139.00
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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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