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A 1980s Football Card Collection for $500

I’ve put together a Post-War Baseball Card Collection for $400, and a 1970s Basketball Card Collection for $250. Today, I’ll be building a 1980s football card collection with a budget of $500.

The great thing about 1980s football cards is that players from that era have already finished their playing careers but aren’t out of the limelight yet. Many still do commercials or sports broadcasting, so younger collectors know who they are. Additionally, many kids who grew up watching them, but stopped collecting, are now active in the hobby again. The point is that these cards aren’t going to pivot pricing, game to game, like modern cards do, and the known players and key cards from this era are established and more price-stabilized. 

So again, if you’re getting priced out of modern card collecting, or just want something new to target for your collection, take a look at what I was able to put together.

The rules this time are more limited:

  1. Budget $500, using eBay sold prices as my cost basis.
  2. Football cards from the 1980s
  3. Cards must be graded

1980 Topps #225 Phil Simms PSA 8 – $15.50

1980 Topps #225 Phil Simms

1982 Topps #488 Joe Montana PSA 8 – $25

Montana’s 1981 Topps rookie card was just too pricey for my budget.

1982 Topps #488 Joe Montana All-Pro

1982 Topps #434 Lawrence Taylor SGC 7 – $23.50

1982 Topps #434 Lawrence Taylor

1983 Topps #38 Mike Singletary BGS 8 – $10.5

1983 Topps #38 Mike Singletary

1984 Topps #123 Dan Marino SGC 8 – $53

1984 Topps #123 Dan Marino

1984 Topps #63 John Elway PSA 8 – $55

1984 Topps #63 John Elway

1985 Topps #156 Ronnie Lott PSA 8 – $2.25

Seriously…below grading cost.

1985 Topps #156 Ronnie Lott

1985 Topps #251 Warren Moon PSA 8 – $13.5

1985 Topps #251 Warren Moon

1986 Topps #161 Jerry Rice PSA 7 – $62

1986 Topps #161 Jerry Rice

1986 Topps #374 Steve Young PSA 8 – $68

1986 Topps #374 Steve Young

1986 Topps #275 Reggie White BGS – $14.5

1986 Topps # 275 Reggie White

1986 Topps #389 Bruce Smith PSA 8 – $13.5

1986 Topps #389 Bruce Smith

1987 Topps # 362 Jim Kelly PSA 9 – $26

1987 Topps #362 Jim Kelly

1988 Topps #327 Bo Jackson PSA 8 – $28

1988 Topps #327 Bo Jackson

1989 Score #257 Barry Sanders SGC 96 – $72

1989 Score #257 Barry Sanders

1989 Score #246 – Deion Sanders PSA 8 – $17

1989 Score #246 Deion Sanders

Total cost, $499.25 for 16 cards. Honestly, even I’m surprised how far $500 went in this endeavor, especially since I mostly picked rookie cards. If you avoid PSA 9/10 type grades, your dollar goes a long way. However, there are players like Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, and many more that weren’t included.

Thanks for checking out my list. Are there any cards that you think are necessary for a 1980s football card collection? Let me know in the comments down below or on Twitter.

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