19 Most Valuable Football Cards of the 1980s

Even though the football players today are bigger, faster, and have more coaching than the players from the 1980s, the players from the 1980s are widely considered to have been more focused on the game and had a true love for it rather than just the fame and the glitz that come with it.

Maybe this is why being a Hall of Famer was more prestigious then than it is today. Today, players are accused of being too superficial and overly concerned about their personal brand and the commercial aspect of the sports rather than the actual love for the game, the widespread use of social media might also be a contributing factor to this.

In this article, we have listed 19 most valuable foot cards of the 1980s. You might already have one of these lying around.

Top 19 Most Valuable Football Cards of the 1980s

No.
1980s Cards
Grade
Price
1.
1981 Topps Joe Montana 49ers Rookie Card
PSA/DNA Certified
$1,688.00
2.
1980 Topps Lester Hayes Card
PSA 10
$1.009.99
3.
1980 Topps Clay Matthews Card
PSA 10
$787.77
4.
1982 Topps Kellen Winslow Card
BGS 10
$699.00
5.
1980 Topps Ken Stabler Card
PSA 10
$510.00
6.
1980 Topps Tony Dorsett Card
PSA 10
$550.00
7.
1980 Topps Super Tony Bradshaw Card
PSA 10
$624.75
8.
1984 Topps Dan Marino Rookie Card
BGS 8.5
$1,313.13
9.
1984 Topps USFL Steve Young Rookie Card
PSA 9
$949.99
10.
1985 Topps Walter Payton Card
PSA/DNA Certified
$624.99
11.
1983 Topps Jim McMahon Rookie Card
PSA 10
$586.56
12.
1987 Topps Randall Cunningham Rookie Card
PSA 10
$1,000.00
13.
1983 Topps Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Rookie Card
PSA 9
$106.04
14.
1986 Topps Jerry Rice Rookie Card
Ungraded
$1,250.00
15.
1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card
PSA 10
$1,699.00
16.
1989 Score Troy Aikman Rookie Card
PSA 10
$735.00
17.
1983 Topps Marcus Allen Card
Ungraded
$200.00
18.
1982 Topps Lawrence Taylor All-Pro Rookie Card
PSA 9
$499.00
19.
1984 Topps Eric Dickerson Rookie Card
BGS 9.5
$504.89

1. 1981 Topps Joe Montana 49ers Rookie Card

1. 1981 Topps Joe Montana 49ers Rookie Card

Year: 1981

Price: 1,688.00

Grade: PSA/DNA Certified

Card Number: #216

This is a 1981 Topps Joe Montana signed PSA/DNA autograph card for the Chicago 49ers. Montana was a quarterback who played in the National Football League, he was not only noticed for his ability to play the game but he stood out because of his intelligence and charisma. He led the San Francisco 49ers to numerous victories during the 1980s. He is a 2-time NFL MVP and 3-time Super Bowl MVP.

 

2. 1980 Topps Lester Hayes Card

2. 1980 Topps Lester Hayes Card

Year: 1980

Price: $1, 009.99

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #195

This 1980 Topps football Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders PSA 10 gem mint sold for  $1009.99. There is an NFL rule named after him called the “Lester Hayes Rule”. This rule bans the use of a sticky substance called the stickum that players use to have a better grip on the ball and Hayes was known to use this. He is a 2-time Super Bowl champion and 1980 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

 

3. 1980 Topps Clay Matthews Card

3. 1980 Topps Clay Matthews Card

Year: 1980

Price: $787.77

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #418

This is a gem mint 10 PSA graded card. Clay comes from a family of footballers, his father, son and brother were all footballers. Clay holds the record for the most games played at his position. He is a Super Bowl champion, during his career, he played as a linebacker predominantly for the Green Bay Packers.

 

4. 1982 Topps Kellen Winslow Card

4. 1982 Topps Kellen Winslow Card

Year: 1982

Price: $699.00

Grade: BGS 10

Card Number: #241

This is 1982 Topps, Kellen Winslow BGS 10 pristine card.  Kellen is an American former professional football player. Some of his career highlights include Pro Bowler ( 2001) BCS National Champion( 2001). John Mackey Award 2003 and Unanimous All-American, 2005.

 

5. 1980 Topps Ken Stabler Card

5. 1980 Topps Ken Stabler Card

Year: 1980

Price: $510.00

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #65

A PSA 10 gem mint Ken Stabler card. He is a  former quarterback and has won two national championships and a Super Bowl. He was NFL Most Valuable Player (1974) NFL Offensive player of the year (1974).

 

6. 1980 Topps Tony Dorsett Card

6. 1980 Topps Tony Dorsett Card

Year: 1980

Price: $550.00

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #330

A 1980 Topps PSA gem mint 10 Tony Dorsett card. He is a former American football running back who played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He’s a Super Bowl champion, NFL offensive Rookie of the Year (1977). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in the same year 1994.

 

7. 1980 Topps Super Terry Bradshaw Card

7. 1980 Topps Super Terry Bradshaw Card

Year: 1980

Price: $624.75

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #15

A Topps Super Terry Bradshaw PSA gem mint 10 card. Terry Bradshaw played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL. He won four Super Bowl titles. Bradshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

8. 1984 Topps Dan Marino Rookie Card

8. 1984 Topps Dan Marino Rookie Card

Year: 1984

Price: $1,313.13

Grade: BGS 8.5 NM-MT+

Card Number: #123

A 1984 Topps Dan Marino Beckett 8.5 near-mint grade autograph card sold for over $1,300.

Marino was immediately noticeable in his first NFL season. By the second year of his career, Marino stunned his fans with his stellar performance and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player. Marino was the most prolific passer in NFL history. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

 

9. 1984 Topps USFL Steve Young Rookie Card

9. 1984 Topps USFL Steve Young Rookie Card

Year: 1984

Price: $949.99

Grade: PSA 9

Card Number: #52

Steve Young, is an American former quarterback who played predominantly for the San Francisco 49ers. During his career, Young set a record for quarterbacks with a then-record 112.8 points passer rating by completing 324 passes to 461.

 

10. 1985 Topps Walter Payton Card

10. 1985 Topps Walter Payton Card

Year: 1985

Price: $624.99

Grade: PSA/DNA Certified

Card Number: #8

Walter Payton was a runner back for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League. Payton is considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He was the NFL Most Valuable Player(1977) and NFL Man of the Year (1977). He has 16, 726 NFL statistics. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.

 

11. Topps Jim McMahon Rookie Card

11. Topps Jim McMahon Rookie Card

Year: 1983

Price: $586.56

Grade: PSA 10 GEM MINT

Card Number: #33

This is a 1983 Topps Jim McMahon gem mint 10 card. Jim is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He’s among the 100 greatest Bears of all time and the NFL comeback player of the year (1991). He was a quarterback in the NFL for 15 seasons. In 1998, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

12. 1987 Topps Randall Cunningham Rookie Card

12. 1987 Topps Randall Cunningham Rookie Card

Year: 1987

Price: $1,000.00

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #296

A PSA 10 gem mint card of Randall Cunningham. Randall is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League for 16 seasons. Most of his NFL career was spent with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1992), 4-time Pro Bowl, NFL passer rating leader and he was inducted into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame and is also a College Football Hall of Famer..

 

13. 1983 Topps Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Rookie Card

13. 1983 Topps Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Rookie Card

Year: 1983

Price: $106.04

Grade: PSA 9

Card Number: #38

A 1983 Mike Singletary PSA 9 mint card. Michael Singletary is an American professional coach and former football player. He is nicknamed Samurai Mike, a 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1985, 1988), NFL Man of the Year (1990), 100 greatest Bears of All time. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and College Football Hall of Famer.

 

14. 1986 Topps Jerry Rice Rookie Card

14. 1986 Topps Jerry Rice Rookie Card

Year: 1986

Price: $1,250.00

Grade: Ungraded

Card Number: #161

A 1986 Topps Jerry Rice rookie card. Jerry Rice is the NFL’s greatest wide receiver; he holds almost every major receiving record. He has many achievements, including a three-time Super Bowl MVP. He was a member of the Pro football hall of fame and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

15. 1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card

15. 1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card

Year: 1989

Price: $1,699.00

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #257

A 1989 Barry Sanders PSA-10 gem mint card, it is a lovely green bordered card and it sold for over $1,699, definitely a very valuable card. Barry is one of the greatest running backs in history, his entire NFL career was played for the Detroit Lions. He was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1997 and was selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

 

16. 1989 Score Troy Aikman Rookie Card

16. 1989 Score Troy Aikman Rookie Card

Year: 1989

Price: $735.00

Grade: PSA 10

Card Number: #270

A green border PSA gem mint 10 condition card. Troy Aikman played in the  National Football League for 12 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion and a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

17. 1983 Topps Marcus Allen Card

17. 1983 Topps Marcus Allen Card

Year: 1983

Price: $200.00

Grade: Ungraded

Card Number: #294

Marcus Allen is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League for 16 Seasons. Among his numerous accolades are Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, and National Football League Most Valuable Player 1985. NFL offensive player of the year 1985. He’s an inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

18. 1982 Topps Lawrence Taylor All-Pro Rookie Card

18. 1982 Topps Lawrence Taylor All-Pro Rookie Card

Year: 1982

Price: $499.00

Grade: PSA 9

Card Number: #434

This is a 1982 Topps Lawrence Taylor rookie card in PSA 9 mint condition. Taylor played his entire career as an outside linebacker for the New York Giants in the NFL. He is widely remembered as a great defensive player. In fact, one of the greatest in NFL history. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion, and NFL Most Valuable Player (1986).  NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year(1981), he has many other awards and is a pro football hall of fame inductee.

 

19. 1984 Topps Eric Dickerson Rookie Card

19. 1984 Topps Eric Dickerson Rookie Card

Year: 1984

Price: $504.89

Grade: BGS 9.5

Card Number: #280

A Beckett 9.5 graded gem mint card in top condition. The centering, corners, and edges are rated 9.5, while the surface is rated 9, this is a superb quality card.  Eric Dickerson played as a running back in the National Football League for 11 Seasons. He set the NFL single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984 and he still holds that record. Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

 

Conclusion

Football cards are very desirable to collectors of all ages. There is a lot of variation from set to set and even from year to year. These 19 football cards of the 1980s reflect the popularity of the sport and its players, as well as the history of sports cards. They are among some of the most valuable football cards in history and have held their value despite tremendous amounts of time. Happy collecting!

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