Score Football Card Designs Through the Years, 1989-2013

Score Football Card Designs Through the Years, 1989-2013

Since debuting in 1989, Score Football cards have been among the most affordable and widely collected sets in the hobby. Focused largely on giving a comprehensive checklist aimed at set builders, the brand has never been hugely focused on secondary market values. Rather, it's about covering the gridiron happenings with key stars, mid-range players and plenty of rookies. The formula is straightforward. There's something to be said for being able to have fun in the hobby without worrying about investment potential and the big hits. That's why Score Football has been a hobby pillar for a quarter of a century.

2013 Score Football marks the set's 25th year. The made its pigskin debut in 1989 with one of the best sets of the Junk Wax Era. The 1989 Score Football checklist includes, arguably, the most iconic rookie cards of Barry Sanders and Troy Aikman amongst others. Like baseball, the design was bright and unmistakable. In fact, colorful designs were a staple for Score Football for many years. Until recently, it's not a brand that's been know for its subtleties. Rather, rainbow borders, lots of lines, a sometimes dizzying number of energetic subsets and loud looks were all regular features for the brand's first decade.

Since 2002, Score Football has gone with more traditional white borders. While some of the designs have continued to be busy, they're a far cry from the brand's early days. As the years have gone on, the designs have shifted even further to stronger photography and even further away from being loud, at least for veterans photos.

As an early release, Score Football rookie cards have a long history of looking a little more generic. Portraits, college uniforms and generic threads have been used on the vast majority of the brand's rookie cards. Sometimes it works, other times, not so much.

Below is a complete visual guide showcasing all Score Football card designs from its 1989 debut through 2013. What's your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Visual History of Score Football Base Card Designs, 1989-2013

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Top eBay Listings

2006 Score #301 CC Brown Houston Texans C.C. RC Rookie Football Card 0c4

2004 Score #160 Gary Stills Kansas City Chiefs RC Rookie Football Card 0c4

2007 Score Select Gold Zone 381 Marshawn Lynch 50 Buffalo Bills Rookie Card 0v1

1989 Score #270 Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboys RC Rookie Football Card 0o9

2007 Score Select #317 Syndric Steptoe 40 Cleveland Browns Auto Rookie Card 0m4

2003 Score Inscriptions IN19 Rien Long Auto Autographed Rookie Football Card 0l0

Omar Jacobs 2006 Score Rookie Super Bowl XLI Embossed Logo #379 RC ONLY 10 MADE!

Willie Reid 2006 Score Rookie Super Bowl XLI Embossed Logo #440 ONLY 10 MADE

Tamba Hali 2006 Score Select Rookie Red Zone #368 (#20 25) RC Chiefs

2014 Score Helmets #31 Jeremy Hill Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Football Card 0v1

2014 Score Helmets Throwback 9 Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers Rookie Card 6x8

06 Playoff Score Sinorice Moss NFL RC ROOKIE BLACK PRINTING PLATE #1 1 2006

1989 score #270 TROY AIKMAN dallas cowboys rookie card BGS 9.5 (9 9.5 9.5 10)

2011 Score Hot Rookie #23 Ryan Mallett ROOKIE BECKETT 10 Patriots

2008 Score Factory Set Base Black #39 Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills Rookie Card 0b6

2008 Score Factory Set Base Black #333 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons Rookie Card 0b6
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

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