After a summer full of baseball players wrapped in burlap, collectors got a sensory reprieve when cooler temperatures brought with them the new batch of 1968 Topps football cards.

Featuring clear, crisp photos and just a couple of small design elements — player & team info in an oval at the card bottom, team logo in a circle near the top — the ’68s gave us a clear look at our gridiron heroes.

Indeed, helmets were about as scarce in this issue as Buffalo Bills victories were on the field.

1968 Topps football cards unopened wax pack

And, if you’re looking for big-name rookie cards, the 1968s probably fall a little short of your expectations (unless you’re a Dolphins or Broncos fan).

But if you’re good with an avalanche of handsome Hall of Fame shots … well, you’re in luck.

Because you’ll find plenty of those in this rundown of the 12 most valuable 1968 Topps football cards … hike!

(Price source: PSA SMR Price Guide for PSA 8 cards.)

1968 Topps Bob Griese Rookie Card (#196)

1968 Topps Bob Griese

It took the Dolphins a few years to get rolling after they selected Bob Griese with their first pick in the 1967 NFL Draft.

By 1970, though, Griese and coach Don Shula were starting to click, and the team finished 10-4.

And two years after that … well, Griese got hurt and only started five games during what would turn into the NFL’s only perfect season.

He was back by season’s end, though, taking the offense back from oldster Earl Morrall and leading the Fins to a Super Bowl title.

Then, they did it again in 1973 (though they lost two games that year).

Griese stayed with Miami through 1980, then moved on to Canton ten years later.

Today, his rookie card sells for about $90 in PSA 8 condition.

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1968 Topps Joe Namath (#65)

1968 Topps Joe Namath

Man, those AFL guys will never match the physicality and talent of NFL teams.

I mean, who do they think they are even daring to take the field against the big boys?

Super Bowl! What a farce.

And now this young whippersnapper with the Jets guarantees they’ll beat the Colts?

Horse pucky.

The Jets will no more win Super Bowl III than Joe Namath will make it to the Hall of Fame.

I’d bet his $70 Topps card on it!

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1968 Topps Bart Starr (#1)

1968 Topps Bart Starr

What do you get for winning two Super Bowls in a row?

Like, if they’re the first two Super Bowls?

And you’re the legendary quarterback of the Green Bay Packers?

Well, you get card #1 in the 1968 Topps set, that’s what.

This late-career Starr card lines up around $65 in graded NM-MT condition.

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1968 Topps Gale Sayers (#75)

1968 Topps Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers was a great pro running back from the time the Chicago Bears made him the fourth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft until he hung up his cleats in 1971.

But in 1968, Sayers showed that he was human, maybe even fragile.

That season, after running for 856 yards in his first nine games, Sayers blew out his right knee.

He came all the way back in 1969 (even as his backfield mate and friend Brian Piccolo was dying) to lead the NFL with 236 carries and 1032 yards.

It was all too much load, though, and Sayers managed just four appearances over the next two seasons combined before bowing out.

This card from the season that began the end for Sayers sells for $45 or so in PSA 8 condition.

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1968 Topps Dick Butkus (#127)

1968 Topps Dick Butkus

Sayers’ counterpart on the defensive side of the ball for those 1960s Bears teams can say the same — his 1968 Topps card runs about $45 for PSA 8 copies.

But you never really had to worry about Dick Butkus’ durability, as the Monster of the Midway played in all 14 games in six of his first eight seasons (and in 13 in each of the other two).

Along the way, he picked up eight Pro Bowl and five All-Pro selections, and he was an easy Canton choice in 1979.

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1968 Topps Johnny Unitas (#100)

1968 Topps Johnny Unitas

Look …

Johnny Unitas may have lost his starting role to Earl Morrall (why does that sound familiar?), but the man is a legend.

He’ll be back in time for the Super Bowl, and if Earl falters at all, it will be Johnny’s game to win.

Should be easy enough for the Colts to beat the Jets, right?

And then, in a few years, Unitas will waltz into the Hall of Fame, and this card that shows him on the verge of a Super Bowl victory will sell for, like, $35.

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1968 Topps Floyd Little Rookie Card (#173)

1968 Topps Floyd Little

The Denver Broncos weren’t all that much to look at for most of the 1960s.

In fact, they finished just .500 once in the entire decade (1962), and it would take them until 1973 before they put up a winning seasons.

But they did have some stars, and Floyd Little loomed large among them.

The sixth overall pick out of Syracuse in 1967, Little started 12 games that fall, splitting time at halfback and as a return man for both punts and kicks.

After eleven games in the same role in 1968, Little made just nine starts in ’69 but rushed for 729 yards.

It was more of the same the next five years or so, and he peaked with a league-leading 284 carries and 1133 yards in 1971.

For his career, Little ran for 6300+ yards, caught 215 passes for 2418 yards, and secured his Canton bust in 2010.

It all adds up to a $35 rookie card in PSA 8.

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1968 Topps Mike Ditka (#162)

1968 Topps Mike Ditka

After a star-studded run with the Bears from 1961-66, a stretch that saw him nab five Pro Bowl and two All-Pro honors, Ditka found himself with the Eagles in 1967.

By that point, all the hits and bangs and bruises that come with being an NFL tight end had started to take a toll on the former Pitt standout.

And, while he stuck around to land with Dallas in the 1970s and win a Super Bowl, Iron Mike was never quite the same.

Of course, his stint as Bears coach, including that magical run to a title in 1985, made him a football god.

Today, the HOFer’s 1968 card sells for about $30 in slabbed NM-MT condition.

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1968 Topps Jack Kemp (#149)

1968 Topps Jack Kemp

Kemp’s All-Pro career under center with the Buffalo Bills might have been enough for him to crack this list, but when you add in the fame (notoriety?) from his political career, it’s a no-brainer.

This is a $30 card in PSA 8 today.

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1968 Topps Ray Nitschke (#157)

1968 Topps Ray Nitschke

Like Starr, Nitschke was a key part of the Packers’ victories in Super Bowls I & II, and in their countless (not literally, dude) wins in the decade before this now-$30 card first popped out of wax packs.

Icing on the cake? Nitschke’s 1978 Hall of Fame induction and his status as a legend at linebacker.

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1968 Topps Fran Tarkenton (#161)

1968 Topps Fran Tarkenton

After spending six years in Minnesota with middling results, Tarkenton found himself thrown into the fire of the New York Giants in 1967.

This card shows him in that first year with the NYG, but of course he would only find real success — and three Super Bowl berths — when he went to … um, yeah, the Minnesota Vikings … in 1972.

This card also sells for about $30 in PSA 8.

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1968 Topps Don Meredith (#25)

1968 Topps Don Meredith

Before Craig Morton and Roger Staubach, Don Meredith was the man under center for the Dallas Cowboys.

And, while he never reached the level of success that Staubach enjoyed, Dandy Don was (and is) a fan favorite.

Today, his 1968 card sells for about $25 in graded NM-MT condition.

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1968 TOPPS FOOTBALL CARDS LOT (80+ CARDS) - BUTKUS, DITKA, MEREDITH

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6 - Different 1968 Topps Football Cards w Jim Nance & Jackie Smith

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1968 Topps Football Bob Griese ROOKIE RC #196 PSA 5.5 EX+ (PWCC)

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1968 Topps Football Milt Plum #104 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

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