To say there are many valuable football cards out there at the present moment is an understatement. Of epic proportions. And when it comes to vintage cards, the market is as hot as ever. But what about the decade most known for tie-dye, bell-bottoms, and disco balls? Does the sports card craze apply to the 70s? Of course! So next time you want a little boost of nostalgia, don’t turn to some dusty old records and a pair of ugly platform shoes. Instead, think about adding some of the most valuable football cards of the 1970s to your collection! And guess what? Today is your lucky day because we have some great card suggestions to help you do just that!
Related Content: Check out the most valuable football cards of the 1980s!
1972 Topps Roger Staubach (Check eBay Listings)
Staubach was affectionately known as both “Captain America” and “Captain Comeback”. In addition to the cool nicknames, he also led the Cowboys to a whopping 4 Super Bowl appearances and brought home the Lombardi Trophy two of those times. And if you’ve ever heard the football phrase “Hail Mary”, you’ve got Roger to thank for that. Check out the touchdown pass to Drew Pearson during a playoff matchup in 1975 where the phrase was coined if you don’t believe us!
When taking a look at the 1972 Staubach, you can’t help but feel a sense of deep nostalgia. The light purple background helps to accentuate the clean and classic look of this card. When it comes to the photo, we get a nice image of Staubach in his Cowboys jersey with a cool and confident look on his face. Whether he’s deep in thought or caught up in the moment, it is almost as if he knows that there is a looming battle ahead. Yet, as we all know, Roger is fully capable of handling it.
As far as prices go, there are only 2 in existence that have reached the PSA 10 level of condition, and the last sales price on one of those exceeded $20,000. Meanwhile, the 8.5 shown above recently sold on eBay for around $5,500 If you’re looking to spend less pick up a PSA 7 or below for less than $1,000.
1971 Topps O.J. Simpson (Check eBay Listings)
Another of the NFL’s most talented players of all time comes next on our Most Valuable Football Cards 1970s list. O.J Simpson would finish his career with over 11,000 yards in 9 seasons with his best season coming in 1973. During that season, the Juice would but up 2,003 rushing yards in only 14 games to go along with 12 touchdowns. A performance that was good enough to win MVP as well as offensive player of the year.
This card grabs your attention immediately with its red outline around the sides and bottom of the card. The white color of the font used with the player’s name and the light blue color of the inflated “Bills” font brings the beautiful colors of this classic to life in a way you don’t always see with cards from the 70s. As far as the picture goes, Simpson appears to be resting. Probably after one of the many long runs that he had that season.
Cool colors aside, the main reason this card stands out is because of its incredible value with the PSA 9 above going for over $18,000 recently. Another reason the card stands out is that it’s the most valuable OJ card even though it’s not his rookie card. A PSA 9 of the 1971 Topps card shown here tops the 1970 Topps OJ rookie card in value by quite a bit. This likely has something to do with the fact that there is none graded higher than the PSA 9 shown above. Meanwhile, there is a PSA 10 of the 1970 rookie card som were out there but to our knowledge, it has never been sold. Therefore, we can only speculate what the 1970 PSA 10 would be worth.
1976 Topps Walter Payton (Check eBay Listings)
Last but not least we arrive at the legendary Walter Payton. One of the greatest running backs of all time, Payton held the NFL rushing record for years until it was broken by Emmitt Smith in 2002. On top of that, Payton rushed for more than 1,000 yards 10 times in his 13 seasons and racked up 2,000 all-purpose yards 4 times throughout this career.
The card has a classic depiction of one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. The light background of the card is a great way to direct attention towards the focus – Walter Payton. The profile features a picture of Payton posing for a picture in a manner that is indicative of the confidence that he had as a player.
Speaking of confidence, if you happen to own a PSA 10 of this card you should have plenty of it when putting it up for auction? Why? Because this card is THE card when it comes to the most valuable football cards of the 1970s. There are 51 PSA 10 grades out there and the most recent sale price on one of them topped a mind-blowing $70,000. However, when we go down to grade 9s or lower prices start to become fairly similar to the last two cards on the list. Regardless of what you’re looking to spend, you should be able to find something somewhere close to your price range.
1970 O.J. Simpson (Check eBay Listings)
Now we arrive at that 1970 OJ card we mentioned earlier. His TRUE rookie card. Simpson is featured in the middle of the card wearing a pair of those monster shoulder pairs that were the style at the time. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot going on with this card. A boring boring border and a lackadaisical look on OJ’s face pretty much round out a card that would be completely forgettable if not for one thing. THE VALUE.
We have no idea what the true value of a 10 PSA GEM MINT would be as there is only 1 in existence. And guess what? It hasn’t been sold. Not any time recently anyways. At any rate, we could only speculate on what the card might bring in once it does go up for sale but we’ll go ahead and resist the temptation to do so. Until then, were satisfied with letting you know that the PSA 9 1970 Topps OJ Simpson rookie cards are selling for around $4,000 at the moment.
Red Hot Rookie Alert – Check out our Mac Jones rookie card primer!
3 Other Most Valuable Football Cards 1976
1976 Topps Roger Staubach (Check Price)
1976 Topps Randy White (Check Price)
1976 Topps Lynn Swann (Check Price)
Most Valuable Football Cards 1970s vs. Most Valuable Baseball Cards 1970s
As far as which are most valuable, baseball gets the nod. For instance, the 1979 Ozzie Smith rookie card tops out at over $140,000 as a PSA 10. Meanwhile, a similar condition 1975 Topps Robin Yount card should fetch you around $65,000. Even a 1970 Topps Thurman Munson/Dave McDonald mashup can bring in around $30,000.