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

1989 SCORE THURMAN THOMAS RC PSA 10 hof
$49.99

1989 Score DERRICK THOMAS RC KC CHIEFS rookie NMMt ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE Card 258
$5.95

2011 Score Signatures Rookie Card RC #318 Cecil Shorts AUTOGRAPH AUTO
$5.90

2015 Score #368 Marcus Mariota RC - Tennesse Titans
$6.00

T3358 - 2006 Score Select #372 Bruce Gradkowski RC 599 - NM-MT
$5.99

2006 Score Red #375 Devin Hester Rookie Bears 120
$6.99

2009 SCORE INSCRIPTIONS #358 JOSH FREEMAN AUTO. ROOKIE RC BUCCANEERS 37 50
$35.96

2016 Score Derrick Henry Auto 1 1 Rookie Press Plate Card
$199.99

1989 SCORE MICHAEL IRVIN PSA 10 GEM MINT #18 COWBOYS ROOKIE RC HOF REGISTRY
$59.95

1989 SCORE DEION SANDERS PSA 10 GEM MINT #246 ROOKIE RC HOF REGISTRY
$89.95

1990 EMMITT SMITH SCORE SUPPLEMENTAL RC #101T BGS 9.5 GEM ROOKIE
$275.00

1989 Score TIM BROWN RCs OAKLAND RAIDERS rookie NOTRE DAME 3 Cards 86 305 328
$9.95

Jeremy Maclin 2009 Score Inscriptions End Zone Autograph Auto RC #ed 4 6
$20.00

2008 SCORE GLOSSY 250 CHRIS JOHNSON RC PSA 10...CARDREGISTRY
$14.99

Darren McFadden 2008 Score Gold Zone RC (lot of 2) serial #'ed 132 400
$5.00

2009 Score #370 Mark Sanchez Rookie BGS 10 PRISTINE NY Jets
$34.73
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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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