Joe Montana has a base card in every mainstream football card product through the 1980s. He has more than 3,600 autographed cards and more than 3,200 memorabilia cards listed in the Beckett database. The top-five most common players on cards with Montana are Jerry Rice, Dan Marino, Steve Young, John Elway, and Tom Brady. Here are 10 important cards for any serious Montana collection, not including his iconic 1981 Topps Rookie Card.
1981 MSA Holsum Discs Joe Montana
These 2 3/4-inch discs were distributed in bread brands. They were not numbered but included several NFL stars. Itʼs licensed by the NFL Players Association and released the same year as Montanaʼs 1981 Topps Rookie Card.
1982 Topps Joe Montana AP #88
Montanaʼs second mainstream card in 1982 Topps is the third most-valuable
card in a set that includes Rookie Cards of Lawrence Taylor and Ronnie Lott. It notes Montana as an All-Pro, as he was selected as a Second-Team All-Pro.
1988 Kenner Starting Lineup Joe Montana
The first run of Kenner Starting Lineup football figures included Montana throwing a jump pass in a pose similar to his pass during “The Catch” play to Dwight Clark. This card came with the figure, and an unopened package sells for about $40. The card alone is about $10.
1991 Upper Deck Heroes Joe Montana Autograph
Before inserts were a thing (heck, before autographed cards were mainstream), this was the big chase card of the early 1990s that Upper Deck used to promote its first football product. Itʼs part of the Joe Montana Upper Deck Heroes insert celebrating Montanaʼs career. Itʼs hand-numbered to 2,500.
1996 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Joe Montana #GJ3
The first football jersey cards came in the 1996 Upper Deck Game Jersey insert—a simple but iconic 10-card set with legends such as Montana, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino and Steve Young. This Montana doesnʼt come up for sale often.
1997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs Joe Montana #AL178
The greatest football autographed set ever made featured an absurd amount of all-time legends. Montana was, of course, among them.
1997 SP Authentic Tradition Jerry Rice / Joe Montana #TD3 Autograph
There are more than 130 autographed cards with Montana and Jerry Rice. This is the first one and arguably the best. A recent sale went for more than $800.
2000 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads Autographs Joe Montana #TT5
Throwback Threads is a long-running memorabilia insert, and the 2000 set might be the best with a cool design and amazing checklist. Montanaʼs is numbered to 100. The first 50 are autographed.
2000 Upper Deck Game Jersey Greats Autographs Joe Montana #GJGJM
This Game Jersey Greats insert is one of the best autographed jersey sets of all time. It has an awesome design, on-card autographs and is packed with legends.
2002 Topps Ring of Honor Autographs Joe Montana
In 2002, Topps launched the Ring of Honor autographed set featuring all Super Bowl MVPs. Montana has three: #RHJM SB XVI, #RHJM2 SB XIX and #RHJM3 SB XXIV. Each card identifies each Super Bowl at the top.