Joe Montana is a football legend with eight Pro Bowls, multiple MVPs, and four Super Bowls. His football cards are still coveted by collectors today.
Updated Jul 17, 2023
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Joe Montana is a football icon—one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. With eight Pro Bowls, multiple MVPs, and four Super Bowls, it's no wonder some of his gem-mint rookie cards are worth tens of thousands of dollars.
But Montana is more than just his stats. Aside from being "Joe Cool" under pressure and the "Comeback Kid," he was also known for his leadership, resilience, and work ethic on and off the field.
With his reputation firmly set in stone, it's not surprising that Joe Montana football rookie cards are coveted by passionate collectors as a viable investment asset.
Joe Montana is touted as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever—winning national championships at Notre Dame to four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers.
An NFL MVP, eight-time Pro Bowler, and Comeback Player of the Year Award winner, Montana achieved more records and accomplishments than can be counted. He also completed 2,929 out of 4,600 passes for 35,142 yards with 244 touchdowns and 123 interceptions while starring for the 49ers.
A collage of 12 Joe Montana sports cards from the 1980s.
The ex-player also holds the Super Bowl record for most passes without an interception (122). After retiring his No.16 jersey number in 1997, Montana earned spots on the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the 1980s All-Decade Team.
What many don't know about Montana is that he had thirty-five300-yard passing games and actually threw over 400 yards in seven of those games—which is no surprise when you consider that the guy was named the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN.
While the legend may have cemented his position in NFL history, how much is a rookie card of Joe Montana worth?
Let’s get into the details of the four best Joe Montana rookie cards to invest in.
Gem mint 1981 Topps Joe Montana RC #216 are rare with a supply of 110 cards.
In 2021, the 1981 Topps Joe Montana rookie card #216 hit its highest sale price at $87,000. Although this card can be fairly easy to find in good condition, it might still have some imperfections like off-centering or print flaws.
Just a heads-up: Only 110 gem mint copies of the 1981 Topps card are available.
Topps changed the design of the 1985 Topps Joe Montana #157 with a new color scheme.
The 1985 Topps #157 card of Joe Montana is a card of split opinions. The highest sale price for this card was $3,500 as of February 2021. The investment potential is clear with only 56 PSA 10s floating around.
The sales data shows that a PSA 10 Topps Joe Montana rookie card #157 was auctioned on eBay in March 2022 for $1,554, and another purchase went for $880 on Lelands.
Only thirteen 2020 Panini Silver Prizm Joe Montana cards are graded PSA 10.
Montana may have retired from the NFL in 1994, but his legacy still lives on through trading cards like the 2020 Panini Prizm #290.
Though it’s scarce, you can get your hands on this card for around the lowest prices, from $2 to $200. It has already hit an all-time high of $200 as of February 2023.
The Topps Joe Montana rookie card #156 sold for nearly $6,000 in March 2021.
The 1986 Topps Joe Montana card features an unflattering photo and a unique diagonal border. However, despite this, it has a legion of fans and can fetch up to $6,000 in near-mint condition.
There are only 23 PSA 10-graded 1986 Joe Montana #156 as of April 2023—but if you're lucky enough to have one, it may make sense to hold on to it.
As a sports card and memorabilia collector, it’s important to research the true worth of the item you’re investing in. By knowing the market and what items fetch high prices, you can make educated decisions when investing in Joe Montana rookie cards and other high-value sports memorabilia.
As an investor, you should keep track of the current market value of your cards and stay up-to-date on the latest cards being released. An easy way to do this is to check out collectibles investing platforms to compare prices for similar assets.
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