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1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Cards

1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Cards

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Very few modern products are considered game changers in the collecting world. 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football earns that designation. It was truly ahead of its time and remains one of the most popular options of all-time. Centered on former greats, the appeal of the set is driven by on-card autographs for many Hall of Fame subjects.

Featuring one of the more classic UD base set designs, 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football includes a full-bleed image and small text area at the bottom with a black-and-white photo. Some of the primary images are truly amazing. Card backs offer a detailed statistical breakdown and career highlights.

Shop for 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football autographs on eBay.

The 208-card set includes a checklist of some of the greatest NFL players in history along with two different subsets. Legendary Leaders honors ten of the most celebrated coaches in the league and Super Bowl Memories documents unique moments captured by photographer Walter Iooss. This candid look back at the Super Bowl consists of the final 30 cards.

1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Base Joe Montana1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Base Joe Montana back

While the base set presents a great reminder the sport's storied past, the real draw of 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football is the base autograph parallel. Covering the majority of the base cards (#1-178), the on-card autograph set was originally intended to feature all the players outside of the Legendary Leaders subset. Although several players originally issued as redemptions never returned the signed cards, most of the big names are live in the release.

Despite the high values assigned to many of the Hall of Fame names, the autographs are relatively easy to pull overall, averaging 1:5 packs and around four per hobby box. However, some are short prints, including many of the truly elite players. Because of this, sealed boxes are very tough to find. Also, counterfeits are also as issue because it is not difficult to pass a signed base card as a true pack-pulled autograph. The key thing to look for is the AL- prefix and authenticity on the back. View a detailed guide to the Upper Deck Legends Autographs here, including the updates and reboots of the line.

1997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs Bart Starr #AL-11997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs Roger Staubach #AL-11

Because of the popularity of the base autographs, it is easy to overlook the other aspects of 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football. Another very notable option is the Sign of the Times Autographs. While they are much tougher to pull, the football-themed cards also command strong values. This is helped by the reported print run of just 100 copies and a ten-card checklist of some top NFL names.

1997 Upper Deck Legends Sign of the Times Autograph Johnny Unitas #ST-3

Several foil inserts round out the product. Big Game Hunters offers another rare option with a fragile die-cut design. Much more common, Marquee Matchups pair top players on the same card. Finally, jumbo versions of the Legendary Leaders subset are found as retail box toppers.

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Set Checklist

1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Checklist

Base Set Checklist

LL = Legendary Leaders coach subset, SB = Super Bowl Memories subset.
1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Base Joe Montana

1 Bart Starr - Green Bay Packers
2 Jim Brown - Cleveland Browns
3 Joe Namath - New York Jets
4 Walter Payton - Chicago Bears
5 Terry Bradshaw - Pittsburgh Steelers
6 Franco Harris - Pittsburgh Steelers
7 Dan Fouts - San Diego Chargers
8 Steve Largent - Seattle Seahawks
9 Johnny Unitas - Baltimore Colts
10 Gale Sayers - Chicago Bears
11 Roger Staubach - Dallas Cowboys
12 Tony Dorsett - Dallas Cowboys
13 Fran Tarkenton - Minnesota Vikings
14 Charley Taylor - Washington Redskins
15 Ray Nitschke - Green Bay Packers
16 Jim Ringo - Green Bay Packers
17 Dick Butkus - Chicago Bears
18 Fred Biletnikoff - Oakland Raiders
19 Lenny Moore - Baltimore Colts
20 Len Dawson - Kansas City Chiefs
21 Lance Alworth - San Diego Chargers
22 Chuck Bednarik - Philadelphia Eagles
23 Raymond Berry - Baltimore Colts
24 Donnie Shell - Pittsburgh Steelers
25 Mel Blount - Pittsburgh Steelers
26 Willie Brown - Oakland Raiders
27 Ken Houston - Washington Redskins
28 Larry Csonka - Miami Dolphins
29 Mike Ditka - Chicago Bears
30 Art Donovan - Baltimore Colts
31 Sam Huff - New York Giants
32 Lem Barney - Detroit Lions
33 Hugh McElhenny - San Francisco 49ers
34 Otto Graham - Cleveland Browns
35 Joe Greene - Pittsburgh Steelers
36 Mike Rozier - Houston Oilers
37 Lou Groza - Cleveland Browns
38 Ted Hendricks - Oakland Raiders
39 Elroy Hirsch - Los Angeles Rams
40 Paul Hornung - Green Bay Packers
41 Charlie Joiner - San Diego Chargers
42 Deacon Jones - Los Angeles Rams
43 Bill Bradley - Philadelphia Eagles
44 Floyd Little - Denver Broncos
45 Willie Lanier - Kansas City Chiefs
46 Bob Lilly - Dallas Cowboys
47 Sid Luckman - Chicago Bears
48 John Mackey - Indianapolis Colts
49 Don Maynard - New York Jets
50 Mike McCormack - Cleveland Browns
51 Bobby Mitchell - Washington Redskins
52 Ron Mix - San Diego Chargers
53 Marion Motley - Cleveland Browns
54 Leo Nomellini - San Francisco 49ers
55 Mark Duper - Miami Dolphins
56 Mel Renfro - Dallas Cowboys
57 Jim Otto - Oakland Raiders
58 Alan Page - Minnesota Vikings
59 Joe Perry - San Francisco 49ers
60 Andy Robustelli - New York Giants
61 Lee Roy Selmon - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
62 Jackie Smith - St. Louis Cardinals
63 Art Shell - Oakland Raiders
64 Jan Stenerud - Kansas City Chiefs
65 Gene Upshaw - Oakland Raiders
66 Y.A. Tittle - New York Giants
67 Paul Warfield - Cleveland Browns
68 Kellen Winslow - San Diego Chargers
69 Randy White - Dallas Cowboys
70 Larry Wilson - St. Louis Cardinals
71 Willie Wood - Green Bay Packers
72 Jack Ham - Pittsburgh Steelers
73 Jack Youngblood - Los Angeles Rams
74 Dan Abramowicz - New Orleans Saints
75 Dick ANderson - Miami Dolphins
76 Ken Anderson - Cincinnati Bengals
77 Steve Bartkowski - Atlanta Falcons
78 Bill Bergey - Philadelphia Eagles
79 Rocky Bleier - Pittsburgh Steelers
80 Cliff Branch - Oakland Raiders
81 John Brodie - San Francisco 49ers
82 Bobby Bell - Kansas City Chiefs
83 Billy Cannon - Houston Oilers
84 Gino Cappelletti - New England Patriots
85 Harold Carmichael - Philadelphia Eagles
86 Dave Casper - Oakland Raiders
87 Wes Chandler - San Diego Chargers
88 Todd Christensen - Oakland Raiders
89 Dwight Clark - San Francisco 49ers
90 Mark Clayton - Miami Dolphins
91 Cris Collinsworth - Cincinnati Bengals
92 Roger Craig - San Francisco 49ers
93 Randy Cross - San Francisco 49ers
94 Isaac Curtis - Cincinnati Bengals
95 Mike Curtis - Indianapolis Colts
96 Ben Davidson - Oakland Raiders
97 Fred Dean - San Francisco 49ers
98 Tom Dempsey - New Orleans Saints
99 Eric Dickerson - Los Angeles Rams
100 Lynn Dickey - Green Bay Packers
101 John McKay - Tampa Bay Buccaneers LL
102 Carl Eller - Minnesota Vikings
103 Chuck Foreman - Minnesota Vikings
104 Russ Francis - New England Patriots
105 Joe Gibbs - Washington Redskins LL
106 Gary Garrison - San Diego Chargers
107 Randy Gradishar - Denver Broncos
108 L.C. Greenwood - Pittsburgh Steelers
109 Roosevelt Grier - Los Angeles Rams
110 Steve Grogan - New England Patriots
111 Ray Guy - Oakland Raiders
112 John Hadl - San Diego Chargers
113 Jim Hart - St. Louis Cardinals
114 George Halas - Chicago Bears LL
115 Mike Haynes - Los Angeles Raiders
116 Charlie Hennigan - Houston Oilers
117 Chuck Howley - Dallas Cowboys
118 Harold Jackson - Los Angeles Rams
119 Tom Jackson - Denver Broncos
120 Ron Jaworski - Philadelphia Eagles
121 John Jefferson - San Diego Chargers
122 Billy Johnson - Houston Oilers
123 Ed Too Tall Jones - Dallas Cowboys
124 Jack Kemp - Buffalo Bills
125 Jim Kiick - Miami Dolphins
126 Billy Kilmer - New Orleans Saints
127 Jerry Kramer - Green Bay Packers
128 Paul Krause - Minnesota Vikings
129 Daryle Lamonica - Oakland Raiders
130 Bill Walsh - San Francisco 49ers LL
131 James Lofton - Green Bay Packers
132 Hank Stram - Kansas City Chiefs LL
133 Archie Manning - New Orleans Saints
134 Jim Marshall - Minnesota Vikings
135 Harvey Martin - Dallas Cowboys
136 Tommy McDonald - Philadelphia Eagles
137 Max McGee - Green Bay Packers
138 Reggie McKenzie - Buffalo Bills
139 Karl Mecklenburg - Denver Broncos
140 Tom Landry - Dallas Cowboys LL
141 Terry Metcalf - St. Louis Cardinals
142 Matt Millen - Oakland Raiders
143 Earl Morrall - Miami Dolphins
144 Mercury Morris - Miami Dolphins
145 Chuck Noll - Pittsburgh Steelers LL
146 Joe Morris - New York Giants
147 Mark Moseley - Washington Redskins
148 Haven Moses - Denver Broncos
149 Chuck Muncie - San Diego Chargers
150 Anthony Munoz - Cincinnati Bengals
151 Tommy Nobis - Atlanta Falcons
152 Babe Parilli - New England Patriots
153 Drew Pearson - Dallas Cowboys
154 Ozzie Newsome - Cleveland Browns
155 Jim Plunkett - Oakland Raiders
156 William Perry - Chicago Bears
157 Johnny Robinson - Kansas City Chiefs
158 Ahmad Rashad - Minnesota Vikings
159 George Rogers - Washington Redskins
160 Sterling Sharpe - Green Bay Packers
161 Billy Sims - Detroit Lions
162 Sid Gillman - San Diego Chargers LL
163 Mike Singletary - Chicago Bears
164 Charlie Sanders - Detroit Lions
165 Bubba Smith - Indianapolis Colts
166 Ken Stabler - Oakland Raiders
167 Freddie Solomon - San Francisco 49ers
168 John Stallworth - Pittsburgh Steelers
169 Dwight Stephenson - Miami Dolphins
170 Vince Lombardi - Green Bay Packers LL
171 Weeb Ewbank - New York Jets LL
172 Lionel Taylor - Denver Broncos
173 Otis Taylor - Kansas City Chiefs
174 Joe Theismann - Washington Redskins
175 Bob Trumpy - Cincinnati Bengals
176 Mike Webster - Pittsburgh Steelers
177 Jim Zorn - Seattle Seahawks
178 Joe Montana - San Francisco 49ers
179 1966 AFL Champs - Kansas City Chiefs SB
180 Daryle Lamonica - Oakland Raiders SB
181 Max McGee - Green Bay Packers SB
182 Joe Namath - New York Jets SB
183 Johnny Unitas - Indianapolis Colts SB
184 Len Dawson - Kansas City Chiefs SB
185 Chuck Howley - Dallas Cowboys SB
186 Roger Staubach - Dallas Cowboys SB
187 Paul Warfield - Miami Dolphins SB
188 Larry Csonka - Miami Dolphins SB
189 Fran Tarkenton - Minnesota Vikings SB
190 Terry Bradshaw - Pittsburgh Steelers SB
191 Ken Stabler - Oakland Raiders SB
192 Fred Biletnikoff - Oakland Raiders SB
193 Chuck Foreman - Minnesota Vikings SB
194 Harvey Martin - Dallas Cowboys SB
195 Tony Dorsett - Dallas Cowboys SB
196 Terry Bradshaw - Pittsburgh Steelers SB
197 John Stallworth - Pittsburgh Steelers SB
198 Franco Harris - Pittsburgh Steelers SB
199 Ken Anderson - Cincinnati Bengals SB
200 Joe Theismann - Washington Redskins SB
201 Jim Plunkett - Oakland Raiders SB
202 Roger Craig - San Francisco 49ers SB
203 William Perry - Chicago Bears SB
204 Steve Grogan - New England Patriots SB
205 Joe Montana - San Francisco 49ers SB
206 Russ Francis - San Francisco 49ers SB
207 Joe Montana - San Francisco 49ers SB
208 Joe Montana - San Francisco 49ers SB

Autographs Set Checklist

168 cards. 1:5 hobby packs.
Short prints (SP) are noted below. Redemptions that were never issued feature an asterisk (*).
1997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs Bart Starr #AL-1

AL1 Bart Starr SP
AL2 Jim Brown SP
AL3 Joe Namath SP
AL4 Walter Payton SP
AL5 Terry Bradshaw SP
AL6 Franco Harris SP
AL7 Dan Fouts
AL8 Steve Largent
AL9 Johnny Unitas SP
AL10 Gale Sayers
AL11 Roger Staubach
AL12 Tony Dorsett SP
AL13 Fran Tarkenton
AL14 Charley Taylor
AL15 Ray Nitschke
AL16 Jim Ringo
AL17 Dick Butkus SP
AL18 Fred Biletnikoff
AL19 Lenny Moore
AL20 Len Dawson
AL21 Lance Alworth SP
AL22 Chuck Bednarik
AL23 Raymond Berry
AL24 Donnie Shell
AL25 Mel Blount
AL26 Willie Brown
AL27 Ken Houston
AL28 Larry Csonka SP
AL29 Mike Ditka
AL30 Art Donovan
AL31 Sam Huff
AL32 Lem Barney
AL33 Hugh McElhenny
AL34 Otto Graham
AL35 Joe Greene SP
AL36 Mike Rozier
AL37 Lou Groza
AL38 Ted Hendricks
AL39 Elroy Hirsch
AL40 Paul Hornung
AL41 Charlie Joiner
AL42 Deacon Jones
AL43 Bill Bradley
AL44 Floyd Little
AL45 Willie Lanier
AL46 Bob Lilly
AL47 Sid Luckman*
AL48 John Mackey
AL49 Don Maynard
AL50 Mike McCormack
AL51 Bobby Mitchell
AL52 Ron Mix
AL53 Marion Motley
AL54 Leo Nomellini
AL55 Mark Duper
AL56 Mel Renfro
AL57 Jim Otto
AL58 Alan Page
AL59 Joe Perry
AL60 Andy Robustelli
AL61 Lee Roy Selmon
AL62 Jackie Smith
AL63 Art Shell SP
AL64 Jan Stenerud
AL65 Gene Upshaw
AL66 Y.A. Tittle
AL67 Paul Warfield
AL68 Kellen Winslow
AL69 Randy White
AL70 Larry Wilson
AL71 Willie Wood*
AL72 Jack Ham
AL73 Jack Youngblood
AL74 Danny Abramowicz
AL75 Dick Anderson
AL76 Ken Anderson
AL77 Steve Bartkowski
AL78 Bill Bergey
AL79 Rocky Bleier
AL80 Cliff Branch
AL81 John Brodie
AL82 Bobby Bell
AL83 Billy Cannon SP
AL84 Gino Cappelletti
AL85 Harold Carmichael
AL86 Dave Casper
AL87 Wes Chandler
AL88 Todd Christensen
AL89 Dwight Clark
AL90 Mark Clayton
AL91 Cris Collinsworth
AL92 Roger Craig
AL93 Randy Cross
AL94 Isaac Curtis
AL95 Mike Curtis
AL96 Ben Davidson
AL97 Fred Dean*
AL98 Tom Dempsey
AL99 Eric Dickerson
AL100 Lynn Dickey
AL102 Carl Eller
AL103 Chuck Foreman
AL104 Russ Francis SP
AL106 Gary Garrison
AL107 Randy Gradishar
AL108 L.C. Greenwood
AL109 Rosey Grier
AL110 Steve Grogan
AL111 Ray Guy
AL112 John Hadl
AL113 Jim Hart
AL115 Mike Haynes
AL116 Charlie Hennigan
AL117 Chuck Howley
AL118 Harold Jackson
AL119 Tom Jackson
AL120 Ron Jaworski
AL121 John Jefferson
AL122 Billy Johnson*
AL123 Ed Too Tall Jones
AL124 Jack Kemp
AL125 Jim Kiick
AL126 Billy Kilmer
AL127 Jerry Kramer
AL128 Paul Krause
AL129 Daryle Lamonica
AL131 James Lofton
AL133 Archie Manning
AL134 Jim Marshall
AL135 Harvey Martin
AL136 Tommy McDonald
AL137 Max McGee
AL138 Reggie McKenzie
AL139 Karl Mecklenburg
AL141 Terry Metcalf
AL142 Matt Millen SP
AL143 Earl Morrall
AL144 Mercury Morris
AL146 Joe Morris
AL147 Mark Moseley
AL148 Haven Moses
AL149 Chuck Muncie
AL150 Anthony Munoz
AL151 Tommy Nobis
AL152 Babe Parilli
AL153 Drew Pearson
AL154 Ozzie Newsome
AL155 Jim Plunkett
AL156 William Perry
AL157 Johnny Robinson
AL158 Ahmad Rashad
AL159 George Rogers
AL160 Sterling Sharpe
AL161 Billy Sims
AL163 Mike Singletary
AL164 Charlie Sanders
AL165 Bubba Smith SP
AL166 Ken Stabler
AL167 Freddie Solomon
AL168 John Stallworth
AL169 Dwight Stephenson
AL172 Lionel Taylor
AL173 Otis Taylor SP
AL174 Joe Theismann
AL175 Bob Trumpy*
AL176 Mike Webster SP
AL177 Jim Zorn
AL178 Joe Montana

Big Game Hunters Die-Cuts Set Checklist

20 cards. 1:75 packs (Hobby), 1:58 packs (Retail).
1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Big Game Hunters Len Dawson

B1 Joe Montana
B2 Bart Starr
B3 Roger Staubach
B4 Johnny Unitas
B5 Terry Bradshaw
B6 Ken Stabler
B7 Jim Plunkett
B8 Len Dawson
B9 Fran Tarkenton
B10 Dan Fouts
B11 Daryle Lamonica
B12 Y.A. Tittle
B13 Joe Namath
B14 Ken Anderson
B15 John Brodie
B16 Billy Kilmer
B17 Earl Morrall
B18 Jack Kemp
B19 Steve Grogan
B20 Joe Theismann

Marquee Matchups Set Checklist

30 cards. 1:17 packs (Hobby), 1:8 packs (Retail).
1997 Upper Deck Legends Football Marquee Matchups

MM1 Joe Namath - Dan Fouts
MM2 John Unitas - Joe Namath
MM3 Len Dawson - Bart Starr
MM4 Roger Staubach - Fran Tarkenton
MM5 Terry Bradshaw - Ken Stabler
MM6 Joe Montana - Ken Anderson
MM7 Bart Starr - John Unitas
MM8 Joe Greene - Jim Kiick
MM9 Franco Harris - Walter Payton
MM10 Dan Fouts - Ken Stabler
MM11 Charlie Joiner - Steve Largent
MM12 James Lofton - Drew Pearson
MM13 John Brodie - Deacon Jones
MM14 Fred Biletnikoff - Don Maynard
MM15 Jim Brown - Chuck Bednarik
MM16 Ray Nitschke - Gale Sayers
MM17 Paul Hornung - Dick Butkus
MM18 Joe Montana - Eric Dickerson
MM19 Tony Dorsett - Mike Singletary
MM20 Billy Sims - Chuck Foreman
MM21 Len Dawson - Willie Brown
MM22 Johnny Robinson - Larry Wilson
MM23 Marion Motley - Raymond Berry
MM24 Ron Mix - Jim Otto
MM25 Roger Staubach - Terry Bradshaw
MM26 Bob Lilly - Billy Kilmer
MM27 Ted Hendricks - Russ Francis
MM28 Babe Parilli - Jack Kemp
MM29 Deacon Jones - Alan Page
MM30 Dick Butkus - Ray Nitschke

Sign of the Times Autographs Set Checklist

10 cards. Reported print run = 100 copies.
 1997 Upper Deck Legends Sign of the Times Autograph Johnny Unitas #ST-3

ST1 Joe Montana
ST2 Fran Tarkenton
ST3 Johnny Unitas
ST4 Joe Namath
ST5 Terry Bradshaw
ST6 Jim Brown
ST7 Franco Harris
ST8 Walter Payton
ST9 Steve Largent
ST10 Bart Starr

Jumbo Legendary Leaders Box Topper Set Checklist

10 cards. Retail exclusive.

101 John McKay
105 Joe Gibbs
114 George Halas
130 Bill Walsh
132 Hank Stram
140 Tom Landry
145 Chuck Noll
162 Sid Gillman
170 Vince Lombardi
171 Weeb Ewbank


Trey Treutel  |  E-Mail Author
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute or Google+.

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