Johnny Unitas Rookie Card Highlights Vintage Football Card Collection

1950's Football Card Collection Finds New Home at Just Collect
  • November 20, 2023



A collection of vintage football cads from the 1950's has been proudly purchased by Just Collect. Including stars and Hall of Famers like Frank Gifford, Bobby Lane, Paul Hornung, and a sharp-looking Johnny Unitas rookie card, the condition of these cards is stunning..

Andrea's late husband was an avid sports fan. Devoted to passions like art, literature, and classical music, it was sports that had his deep love. As a young man, Andrea's husband bought and traded sports cards as he searched for his boyhood heroes. Keeping the collection nearly 70 years kept him close to the sports he loved. 

While in town here in Millburn, NJ., Andrea's close friend saw our Just Collect store. Realizing that we buy vintage card collections, the friend began to help Andrea sort and research the cards before reaching out for the free appraisal we offer. Your local card shop is generally not well equipped to appraise or purchase vintage cards or collections like this. The retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don't have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections. This is where I am happy to help you!  My name is John, Vice President and vintage card specialist at Just Collect. If you're interested in selling your collection, reach out directly to 

The collection was dropped off in-person to our Just Collect store. As I began to review the collection, I could tell that Andrea's late husband took pride in his collection; the cards are in great condition! In the 1950's and 1960's kids would often play games of FLIP or place card in their bike spokes to make their bicycles sound cool. These cards appeared to be safely stored. When evaluating or grading cards, condition is very important when determining the value. On a scale from 1 to 10 with a 10 being a flawless, gem mint card, the difference in value by just one numerical grade could be thousands of dollars.

In the first two photos below, you can see 1957 Topps football cards. Topps released a 154-card set that features a portrait on one side and an action post on other; the best of both worlds! Each background has a variety of colors in the set. The highlight of the 1957 Topps cards is a Johnny Unitas rookie card. Unitas is a three-time NFL MVP and won multiple championships including Super Bowl V. Next to Unitas in the 1957 Topps cards you see are other football legends like Paul Hornung and Bart Starr. 

Topps produced 120 cards for their 1956 set, each having eye-popping colors in the backgrounds. The third photo has all-time greats in Y.A. Tittle, George Blanda, Roosevelt Brown, and Frank Gifford. Look at the stack of 1956 Topps cards in the fourth photo - each look as if they were pulled fresh from a pack just yesterday. 

In the final photo you can see a collection of 1955 Bowman football cards. Each card has a glow around the player and a pastel background. In the center you see a young Frank Gifford. In his playing days, Gifford won the MVP and the NFL Championship in 1956 and was an eight-time Pro Bowler. 







After evaluating the collection and the free appraisal, I made a fair offer to Andrea that she accepted. I then paid Andrea how she wanted to be paid. When you choose to sell your collection to Just Collect, I'll pay you how you want to be paid. Whether you'd prefer to be paid in cash, company check, or wire transfer, I'm ready to make a deal. 

Andrea was ready to pass the legacy of her husband's football collection to a new home, one that will love the cards as much as her husband did. We are proud to have purchase this vintage football collection here at Just Collect. 

Not only did Andrea's husband collect football cards, he also collected baseball cards! I am currently evaluating the baseball cards. Check back here on the Just Collect blog to see the remainder of this spectacular collection.


Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect Buy List.

We always offer a FREE APPRAISAL for your collection here at the Just Collect site. Just click here:


We offer may ways to evaluate your cards other than or using our website, too.

  • Travel to Us

If you can make the trip here like the son from my hometown did for this collection- we can make a deal at the office. We once met a father-son duo that drove eight hours from Virginia to meet us to sell a Michael Jordan rookie card stored in Tupperware since 1986 - great read here

  • Come to convention

We keep a LIST of card shows we'll be attending.  Come stop by the Just Collect table and chat.

  • Meet in-person

If you have a valuable collection and want us to come to you, we'll hop on the next plane out.

  • Meet in New York City

We have another location in New York you can meet us at; read all the information here.

  • SHIP your collection 

If you choose to mail your cards for an appraisal, we will evaluate your cards for FREE still. If you choose not to sell the cards, we'll ship them back shipping fees paid by us!  We can offer our FedEx account with 2-day shipping, fully insured, all covered by us. Simply contact the office to set up this option.


We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Whether you have vintage cards or modern wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time! 


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