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Jim Kelly Cards, Rookie Cards and Autograph Memorabila Guide

Jim Kelly

Date of Birth: 2/14/1960
Rookie Card Year: 1984
Investment Rating: 6.5


Jim Kelly was a terrific quarterback in both the USFL and NFL. He helped lead the small-market Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, all of his Super Bowl appearances were losses for the Bills and, despite Kelly's stellar career, his mainstream reputation is mostly associated with those losses. Kelly was named to four Pro Bowls over his 11 NFL seasons and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. To this day, Jim Kelly cards remain popular among collectors.

Although he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1983 NFL Draft, Kelly decided to sign with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. Therefore, Kelly's first rookie card was included in the 1984 Topps USFL set. This remains one of the top Jim Kelly cards. Due to it's lower production run and the roster of players included, collectors have shown great interest in the product. Joining Kelly in the USFL set were fellow rookies Steve Young, Herschel Walker and Reggie White. Kelly made his NFL card debut in 1987 Topps Football after joining the Bills, who retained his NFL rights.

Jim Kelly is a typical name included in the "greatest to never win a Super Bowl" discussion. Because of this perceived failure, Kelly has limited hobby value, despite his Hall of Fame production. The University of Miami alumnus is not even the top option from the 1983 NFL Draft, falling in behind John Elway and Dan Marino, another great player that was unable to claim a Super Bowl win. Although he was a great player and is revered in the Buffalo area, Kelly is not a player to invest in expecting sizable gains. Despite this, Jim Kelly cards make a great addition to any football collection and should maintain solid value over time.

Jim Kelly Rookie Card Checklist

1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly RC #36

Technically not a true NFL rookie card, the 1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly is still the top option for collectors. The patriotic-themed card shows an action shot of Kelly and sheds light on an interesting time in the history of football when top talent still joined the NFL's competition. This will always be considered one of the best Jim Kelly cards.

1987 Topps Jim Kelly RC #362

1987 Topps Football showcases Kelly's first official NFL rookie card and features a simple design. The card can be found online for as little as just a few bucks and as much as $20-30 for one in mint condition.

Top eBay Listings

Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills 27 Card Lot 1985-95 Topps BP Tiffany Silicone FACT UK**

1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly rc rookie #36 PSA 9 MINT *63811


2001 UD Legends Past Patterns JIM KELLY Jersey card, BILLS !!!! BOX 30


2013 Fleer Retro Flair Showcase Shrine Time #ST23 Jim Kelly 06 25


1992 Skybox Impact Football Factory Sealed Box 36Ct 12 in Each Jim Kelly Auto??

1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly XRC RC PSA 7 #36 - Nice Corners

1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly XRC RC PSA 8 #36

1987 Topps Football Jim Kelly ROOKIE RC #362 BGS 6 GEM MINT

1984 Topps USFL Jim Kelly XRC RC PSA 9 OC #36


06 Topps NFL 8306 Jim Kelly Jay Cutler Dual Auto Autograph Beckett NM-Mt+ 8.5

National Treasures Hall of Fame 2002 Prime Jersey Bills Jim Kelly 04 25 2013

2017 certified cuts John elway Jim Kelly dual 3 color patch 10
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Autograph Guide

Jim Kelly Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Jim Kelly's authentic signature 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, Tristar, Upper Deck Authentic and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Jim Kelly Cut Signature Exemplar

Jim Kelly Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Jim Kelly signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item signed or when in his career, look for these signature characteristics:

Jim Kelly Signature Characteristics

  1. The signature is written on a slightly elevated plane of about 15 degrees.
  2. The letter "J" is legible and pronounced, no other letters of the first name are present.
  3. The pen lifts to start the letter "K" which is roughly of equal size to the "J."
  4. The "K" contains two lines, the first is slightly curved with a small curl at the top; the second creates a small loop and forms the up and down strokes of the "K."
  5. The letter's "e-l-l" look nearly identical, as small cursive "e"'s with open loops.
  6. The letter "y" is implied by the down stroke off of the second ""l" and a small line to the left.
  7. The last name is "underlined" with a fish hook shaped line.

Jim Kelly Signed Football Pricing:

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Jim Kelly Signed Football

Jim Kelly Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Jim Kelly Signed Jerseys

Jim Kelly Signed Jersey

Jim Kelly Signed Helmet Pricing:

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Jim Kelly Signed Helmet

Jim Kelly Signed Photograph Pricing:

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Jim Kelly Signed Photo

Top eBay Listings

Jim Kelly Signed White Panel NFL Football Autograph Auto PSA DNA Y66469


Jim Kelly Signed Autographed *Silver Houston Gamblers ProLine Helmet- JSA Auth

Jim Kelly Signed 2002 Goal Line Art Card Autograph Auto PSA DNA AC76091

Jim Kelly Signed 2002 Goal Line Art Card Autograph Auto PSA DNA AC76090

Jim Kelly Framed Jersey Signed JSA COA Autographed Buffalo Bills

Jim Kelly Thurman Thomas Signed Buffalo Bills F S ProLine Helmet W HOF- JSA W A

Buffalo Bills Jim Kelly Signed 1987 Topps Rookie Card Steiner Sports COA

Jim Kelly Signed Gateway FDC Autographed Bills PSA DNA Z39317

Jim Kelly Signed Gateway FDC Autographed Bills PSA DNA Z39315

Jim Kelly Framed Jersey Signed JSA COA Autographed Buffalo Bills

Bills Legend Jim Kelly Authentic Signed Wilson NFL Football PSA DNA #AA36155

JIM KELLY PSA DNA Autographed Signed Football NFL Buffalo Bills 05577

Jim Kelly Signed Buffalo Bills Football Jersey JSA W796835

Jim Kelly Signed Bills Jersey (JSA COA) 5× Pro Bowl (1987, 1988, 1990–1992)

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More Info

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 |  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+.

User Comments

  1. I have a ’92 hologram sky box Jim Kelly.
    I can’t find it to price it,like a lot of my cards.
    Any help would be appreciated. Ty

    Leave a Comment:

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