Ray Nitschke Cards, Rookie Card and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Ray Nitschke

Date of Birth: 12/29/36
Rookie Card Year: 1963
Investment Rating: 7.5


When it comes to legendary football players from the smash-mouth, glory days of the 1960s, few were tougher than Ray Nitschke. As a 15-year member of the Green Bay Packers, his football cards and autographed memorabilia have always in strong demand. His dominating presence at linebacker helped the Packers win five NFL Championships and two Super Bowls.

Ray Nitschke's rookie card was released as part of the 1963 Topps Football set. He also has three other cards that were issued in his early years. The most notable are a 1959 Packers team-issue, 1961 Lake to Lake and 1961 Kahn's.

Ray Nitschke has several autograph cards in the market including a Goal Line Art Card, circa 1989-1997, as well as issues from 1995 Collector's Edge and both Topps and Upper Deck in 1997. One of Nitschke's most popular autograph cards comes from 1997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs. The set is a modern classic, loaded with early Hall of Fame players and Nitschke's is among the most desirable.

Nitschke also has several memorabilia cards. His first were in 2000 Leaf Certified Heritage Collection. Two cards were issued in the set, the first serial numbered to 100 total copies and the second, a parallel, with a stated print run of just 21.

Ray Nitschke died relatively young at the age of 61. However, he does have plenty of signed memorabilia in the marketplace. Prices reflect its popularity and investment potential.

Ray Nitschke Rookie Card

1963 Topps Football Ray Nitschke RC #96

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It's very unfortunate that the great Ray Nitschke is photographed in one of the most ridiculous poses ever featured on a trading card. His face has a look that says, "You want me to do what? Like this?" The color schemed borders are a nice design element and the text and font choice add a nice accent. However, nothing can detract from that dreadful photograph.

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Autograph Guide

Ray Nitschke Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Ray Nitschke autograph 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, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Ray Nitschke Cut Signature Exemplar

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Ray Nitschke Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Ray Nitschke signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. A fairly legible and even handed signature written on a relatively horizontal plane with a distinct lean to the right.
  2. The letters "R" and "N" are over-sized in nature.
  3. There are no stops and starts and is very fluid.
  4. Signature remained legible even into Nitschke's later years
  5. The "R" has a line that goes down and to the left on a 45-degree angle before starting a wide curl back and to the right and then down.
  6. The "a" is not connected to the "R" and displays an open loop, the "y" looks like a "u" with a short straight line below the plane.
  7. The "N" starts with a unique long vertical tail at the top before beginning the letter.
  8. The "i" is dotted, The "t" is crossed", the "h" looks more like a closed loop "l", the "e" shows no loop usually.

Ray Nitschke Signed Football Pricing:

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Ray Nitschke Signed Helmet Pricing:

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Ray Nitschke Signed Photograph Pricing:

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More Info

For general information about Ray Nitschke as well as his player statistics, visit:

Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

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