Some of Topps' most treasured football cards include the 1957 Johnny Unitas, 1965 Joe Namath and 1976 Walter Payton rookie cards. Some more affordable options include the 1981 Joe Montana rookie issue and 1984 debut cards of John Elway and Dan Marino.
Due to its age, the 1957 Unitas rookie card is especially tough to find in mint condition. There are believed to be less than 10 in existence; one such card changed hands for nearly $18,000, according to eBay.
The Broadway Joe rookie issue has sold for several thousand dollars in near-mint condition; mint cards are extremely tough to find, likely because of the larger-than-normal size of the 1965 Topps set.
Payton, who retired as the game's all-time leading rusher, is perhaps the most popular Chicago Bear of all-time. Cards that rate a 10 through Beckett Vintage Grading typically sell for upwards of $10,000.
The popularity of Joe Montana, thanks to four Super Bowl victories, make his rookie card a must-have for collectors and the most valuable football rookie card of the 1980s, explains CardboardConnection.com.
The 1984 Topps set boasts inaugural issues of two of the greatest quarterbacks of the era: Elway and Marino. While Elway was able to capture two Super Bowl victories, both cards are in relatively equal demand on collectors' lists.