Top Vintage RCs
One of the most successful franchises in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers feature some of the top names in the league and have amassed 13 titles. Given their impressive Hall of Fame total, it is not surprising that the Packers boast a large assortment of top rookie card options for collectors. The top vintage Green Bay Bay Packers rookie cards can be seen below and the top modern Green Bay Packers rookie cards can be found on the next tab.
While it is a main part of card collecting in general, it is important to note that condition is especially crucial for vintage Green Bay Packers rookie cards. This can cause huge fluctuations in value and can be the difference between a card worth $20 or $30 versus one worth hundreds.
The list below contains the top Green Bay Packers vintage rookie cards of all-time. For the purposes of this list, vintage is considered to be anything before 1980. Actual card values were the main basis for the rankings but the historical significance of the players was taken into account when values were close.
In addition to the main releases covered below, several players have cards that pre-date official rookies in the 1961 Lake to Lake set.
Top Vintage Green Bay Packers Rookie Cards of All-Time
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One of the few bright spots during the team's slump in the 1970s and 1980s, James Lofton played for five teams in the NFL, but his first and longest stop took place in Green Bay. Named to the Pro Bowl eight times, the Hall of Fame receiver is a fan favorite. The most modern of the vintage options, prices for Lofton's 1979 Topps rookie card remain largely inexpensive.
Easily confused with several other pro athletes that have the same name, the Willie Davis of the Green Bay Packers is the most successful of the bunch. Although he played in a time where sacks and tackles were not official statistics, research indicates that Davis was a prolific sacker and he anchored the line for five title teams. Willie Davis' card is the third key rookie for the Packers found in 1964 Philadelphia.
A mainstay on the offensive line in Green Bay during the late-1950s and 1960s, Forrest Gregg won five titles with the Packers during his Hall of Fame career. Another reasonable vintage option for collectors, the Forrest Gregg rookie card in 1960 Topps can be found for cheap.
A Hall of Fame cornerback who played for both the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, Herb Adderly was a prominent figure for the Packers defense in the 1960s. A Hall of Fame player with three total Super Bowl wins, Adderley was also named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team and the 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. His rookie in 1964 Philadelphia showcases a large grin and is one of the key cards in the set despite misspelling his last name.
Along with Herb Adderley and Forrest Gregg, Fuzzy Thurston is one of just three players in history to play on six title teams. A fan favorite well into his retirement, Thurston was an important part of the offensive line and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. His rookie card is found in 1962 Topps and the black borders make it tougher to locate high grades.
Although he started his career with the Cleveland Browns, Henry Jordan spent the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with the Packers. His 1961 Topps rookie was one of the first to showcase the green and gold uniform that is now synonymous with the Packers and is another inexpensive option for collectors.
One of the bigger offensive threats for the Packers during the 1960s, Jim Taylor was paired in the backfield with Paul Hornung. The Hall of Fame back is certainly an all-time great for the Packers, but that did not keep Topps from mixing up images for his rookie card. The 1959 Topps card actually shows the Jim Taylor of the Chicago Cardinals instead of the bruising runner for the Packers. Topps made the same mistake in 1960 before finally showcasing the correct image in 1961.
While his overall accolades are not on the same level as many of the others on the list, Max McGee cemented his legacy with the Packers based on his play during the first Super Bowl. His two touchdowns and 138 receiving yards were even more impressive since he was not slated to start until an injury thrust him into the lineup. McGee's rookie is also found in 1959 Topps, but Topps got the right image this time.
Arguably the biggest figure in the overall history of the Packers, Vince Lombardi is largely credited for the revitalization of the team after a down period during the 1950s. Coach Lombardi led the Packers to five titles in the 1960s and is generally considered to be one of the greatest coaches of all-time. Although he does not have an official rookie card, a subset in 1964 Philadelphia featured a small image of Lombardi along with the "Packers' Play of the Year." A similar card is also included in 1965 Philadelphia.
While he is mainly remembered for his defensive prowess, Willie Wood was a quarterback for the University of Southern California before switching to safety in the NFL. Wood played his entire career with the Packers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989. His rookie card offers a great collecting option, but the colored borders are susceptible to wear.
Also part of the success for the Packers in the 1960s, Jerry Kramer was a guard and kicker for the team. Kramer is considered one of the top overall snubs for the Hall of Fame, but he was named to the NFL 50th Anniversary team and 1960s All-Decade Team as well as being inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. His rookie card is found in 1959 Topps and the orange background makes it one of the more vivid cards on the list.
One of the most recent inductions to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Packers' franchise, Dave Robinson was a strong linebacker for the Packers during the end of their dominance in the 1960s. His rookie card in 1967 Philadelphia features rich colors and a reasonable price tag.
Although he played for the Philadelphia Eagles later in his career after a trade, Jim Ringo is remembered fondly by fans of the Packers. The Hall of Fame center won two titles with Green Bay and his blocking was vital for the running success of Jim Taylor. Ringo also coached for multiple NFL teams after he retired. His rookie card showcases the primary colors of the Packers and features a captivating look.
A stark contrast to the many colorful releases of the vintage era, the 1948 Bowman rookie card for Buford Ray keeps things simple. The design mirrors the 1948 Bowman Baseball release and is known to suffer from centering issues. While Buford Ray is in the Packers Hall of Fame and part of the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team as a tackle, interest in the "Baby" Ray rookie card is boosted because it is a short print.
A member of the Packers Hall of Fame and a top NFL defensive back in the 1950s, Bobby Dillon remains the Packers' all-time leader leader in interceptions and accomplished this feat with only one functioning eye. His rookie card in 1952 Bowman showcases Dillon during his college days with the University of Texas. The cards are available in both large and small editions and the artwork makes it one of the most attractive cards on the list.
Ray Nitschke played 15 seasons with the Packers at linebacker and and was a terror for opposing offenses. The Hall of Famer player is one of only six Packers to have their number retired by the team. Ray Nitschke's rookie in 1963 Topps is a top option for collectors and part of a set that includes many top defensive rookie cards.
An elite halfback for the Packers in the 1940s, Tony Canadeo is a Hall of Fame player and part of a select group Packers to have their number retired. With a bold, painted image, the classic 1950 Bowman design is on full display in this rookie card for Canadeo.
Generally regarded as the first modern receiver, Don Huston was an All-American at the University of Alabama before spending his entire Hall of Fame career with the Packers. Despite being one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, Hutson's first national card release did not come until he playing days were over. The college-themed 1955 Topps All-American is still very popular with collectors and Hutson's rookie card is a key part of that interest. Value is further enhanced because the Don Hutson card is a short print.
Clarke Hinkle played alongside Don Hutson for the Packers in the 1930s and was one of the top fullbacks in the league during his playing days. His rookie card came in the first national release to include only football players. The vivid cards maintain considerable interest with collectors.
One of the many elite player for the Packers during the 1960s, Paul Hornung won the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame before joining Green Bay. Hornung would win four titles with the Packers and a league MVP in 1961 in his Hall of Fame career. Just like Bart Starr, collectors can find his rookie card 1957 Topps.
The face of the Packers during their dominant run in the 1960s, Bart Starr is one of the most revered players in the history of the Green Bay Packers. The Hall of Fame quarterback led the Packers to five titles in his career and was the league MVP in 1966. The dual-image 1957 Topps design is a hobby favorite and the strong checklist takes that to the next level. Starr's rookie card is one of the most popular options in the set and the top vintage Green Bay Packers rookie card.
Top Modern RCs
While the list of top modern Green Bay Packers rookie cards might not seem as impressive in comparison to the vintage list, there are still some big names to collect. The list below features top rookie options from 1980 to the present and deliberately omits players that do not have at least a few notable seasons with the team. Given the shift of the hobby toward numbered rookie cards and autographs, the rankings are based more on overall significance than value.
Top Modern Green Bay Packers Rookie Cards of All-Time
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The current receiving star for the Packers, Jordy Nelson only has a few seasons under his belt as the starter but has put up big numbers and is the main deep option for Aaron Rodgers. This premium rookie card from Exquisite is the preferred choice based on the on-card autograph and patch.
The face (and hair) of the Packers' defense, Clay Matthews comes from a storied line of NFL players and is one of the most popular players on the team. The limited rookie card in 2009 Exquisite tops the list for Matthews.
A defensive lynchpin for the Packers in the 1990s, LeRoy Butler is also remembered as the originator of the famed "Lambeau Leap" where players jump into the stands following a touchdown score. His 1990 Action Packed rookie is found in the update set and can be obtained for very little.
Another top modern receiver for the Packers, Greg Jennings has since joined he rival Minnesota Vikings but remains popular with the Packers' fan base. His seven seasons in Green Bay were largely productive and he was a primary option for Aaron Rodgers. Greg Jennings has a ton of rookie cards but his best overall is found in 2006 Exquisite.
After starting his career with the Seattle Seahawks, Ahman Green spent seven seasons in Green Bay and most of them were very productive. He totaled over 1,000 yards in six of the seven years and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Green has a ton of rookie choices, but his top option is from 1998 SP Authentic and numbered to 2,000 copies.
The older brother of Shannon Sharpe, Sterling Sharpe was a star in his own right and may have joined his brother in the Hall of Fame if not for a career-ending neck injury in his seventh season. His rookie is found in an update to 1989 Score and originally available as a complete set. The purple border gives the card a distinct look but clashes with the Packers' colors.
Another player that debuted in 1998, Charles Woodson played the majority of his career with the Oakland Raiders, but his seven seasons in Green Bay were highly successful and he remains a fan favorite. Like Ahman Green, Woodson's top rookie is from 1998 SP Authentic.
Donald Driver spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers and is remembered for his consistent production with the team throughout his time there. A favorite option for both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, Driver gained additional fame by winning the 14th edition of Dancing with the Stars. Despite a print run of 3,850 copies, Driver's top rookie is found in 1999 Fleer Focus and is one of just three total options for collectors of Donald Driver rookie cards.
Although he only spent six seasons with the Packers, the late Reggie White is one of the most celebrated players in the Packers' history. A sack machine, White won a Super Bowl with the Packers and totaled 13 Pro Bowls in his entire career. The official rookie for the Hall of Fame defensive end is found in 1986 Topps. He also has an early USFL card that many treat as his primary rookie card.
Rapidly approaching the level of reverence bestowed on Brett Favre and Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers already has one Super Bowl and looks to a add a few more before he is done. As the top quarterback in the league and still in his prime, Rodgers may one day rank first overall for Green Bay rookie collectors. His top rookie card is a limited release from 2005 SP Authentic that is signed on-card and includes a small patch.
His exit from Green Bay could hardly be described as graceful, but, good or bad, Brett Favre was always exciting. A Packer favorite and one of the top modern quarterbacks, Favre has several rookies but his top option comes from 1991 Stadium Club. Originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, Favre's name was misspelled on this popular card.