Learn All About the Joe Montana Rookie Card

By: Marty Beets

Joe Montana is widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.  He played most of his career for the San Francisco 49ers and led them to four Super Bowl titles in 13 years.

His rookie and early cards are very sought after and valuable. Let's take a look at some of these vintage Joe Montana cards:

1981 Topps

Card #216

This is the card that is universally considered to be the primary Joe Montana rookie card.  

The 1981 Topps card #216 card is the first major release Joe Montana card. This is hard to find in mint condition because of centering issues that plague this set.

1981 Holsum disc

This was a regional issue circulated with a few different bread brands. This is considered an Oddball Rookie card.

disc #24

The 1981 Holsum Disc was circulated in the US Upper Midwest in Holsum and Gardner bread products. This is much more rare than his 1981 Topps rookie card.

1979-83 Coral-Lee Postcard

This postcard set was released over sevearl years. The Montana was not released before 1982. This is not considered a rookie.

The 1979-82 Coral-Lee Joe Montana postcard is not a rookie. The photo shows him playing Washington. That game didn't happen until late in 1981 making this a 1982 release.

1981 LEaders 

Card #257

This leader card honors the passing leaders from 1981, but it's from the 1982 set. It is not a rookie card.

The 1982 Topps "1981 Passing Leaders" card #257 honors Montana for leading the NFC in passing.  He had 3,565 yards in 1981, the 5th highest total of his career. 

Here's a summary of Montana's early cards:

1981Holsum Disc Considered an oddball rookie

1981 Topps Universally considered  a rookie card

1979-83 Coral-Lee Postcard Not considered a rookie card

1982 Topps "81 Passing Leaders" Not considered a rookie card