Long before the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs squared off in Super Bowl LIV, the two franchises were already steeped in Super Bowl history.

To wit, the Chiefs played in two of the first four Big Games, and the 49ers won four championships in the 1980s and another in 1995 — and lost one in 2013.

Not surprisingly, several players from these franchises shined bright in the Super Bowl, sometimes even when they were playing for other teams!

Here, then, is the list of men who have won Super Bowl MVP awards and played for either the Chiefs or 49ers — or both — at some point in their careers.

And, because we’re collectors here, we’ll check out their rookie cards along the way.

1963 Fleer Len Dawson (#47)

1963 Fleer Len Dawson

Len Dawson and the Chiefs may have dropped the first Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers (35-10) in January 1967.

And Dawson himself may have been left for dead when he suffered a devastating knee injury in the second game of the 1969 season.

But he hobbled back into the lineup after missing just five games, and after backup Mike Livingston ran up a 6-0 record.

Dawson was back in the saddle full-time by the playoffs and guided K.C. to road victories over the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, then handed the Minnesota Vikings the first of their four 1970s Super Bowl losses, 23-7.

In that game, Dawson passed for 142 yards and a single touchdown, a 46-yarder to Otis Taylor in the third that represented the last points in the contest.

It was enough to earn the geezer QB Super Bowl MVP honors.

Incidentally, that was also the last game ever played by an AFL team, as the AFL-NFL merger gave birth to one league and two conferences (AFC and NFC) in 1970.

Though Dawson started out with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, he didn’t land a rookie card until the 1963 Fleer issue — the upstart got the jump on Topps by a year.

The Dawson rookie card is a toughie and runs into the hundreds (raw) or thousands (high grades), depending on condition and whether it’s graded.

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1972 Topps Jim Plunkett (#65)

1972 Topps Jim Plunkett

Plunkett was the first overall pick of the New England Patriots in the 1971 NFL Draft after winning the Heisman Trophy in 1970.

He threw a lot of picks and took a lot of hits (and sacks) in five years with the Pats before they traded him to the San Francisco 49ers.

After two seasons by the Bay, he headed … well, across the Bay, to the Oakland Raiders. In his second season with the Men in Black, Plunkett led the Raiders to a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

In that one, Plunkett passed for 261 yards and three TDs to cop MVP honors.

His 1972 Topps rookie card ranges from less than $20 to $150 or more for high-end graded copies.

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1981 Topps Joe Montana (#216)

1981 Topps Joe Montana

You know all about Joe Montana, but just in case, the gist is …

Teamed with Bill Walsh to make the West Coast offense a thing and the 49ers a force … won four Super Bowls and three SB MVP awards in the process.

Teamed with Jerry Rice to become Montana-to-Rice …

Lost that to Young-to-Rice, and the Niners’ QB job to Steve Young.

Signed with Chiefs on big three-year free agent deal, led them to two playoff appearances, then retired.

Oh yeah … Montana also set the hobby on fire with his 1981 Topps rookie card, a relic that still stirs collector emotions today.

Expect three figures-plus unless half of it is missing.

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1983 Topps Marcus Allen (#294)

1983 Topps Marcus Allen

After a season as Marc Wilson‘s backup and a strike-shortened 1982, Plunkett had the Raiders back in the Super Bowl after the 1983 season … you know, with a little (lot of) help from his friends.

Chief among those was second-year running back Marcus Allen from USC.

After a Heisman performance at Southern Cal, Allen was the tenth overall pick in 1982.

And after racking up 1000-plus yards in his second season in 1983, Allen pounded the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII to the tune of 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Yep, that was an MVP performance in the Raid-ahz 38-9 victory, one of many accolades in Allen’s Hall of Fame career.

His 1983 Topps rookie card has been a popular buy for nearly 40 years and remains a classic today.

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1985 Topps Richard Dent (#24)

1985 Topps Richard Dent

The 1985 Chicago Bears were one of the greatest teams of all time, and maybe the greatest one-season champs (though they gave it a good ride in 1986, as well).

And, though the team featured the legendary Walter Payton and other big names like Jim McMahon, Willie Gault,and William Perry (The Fridge!), on offense, it was Buddy Ryan’s legendary “46” defensive unit that carried the day most of the time.

So, as Mike Ditka‘s team stormed through the playoffs and practiced their “Super Bowl Shuffle,” there were plenty of dudes on D who could dominate any given game.

Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Gary Fencik, Wilber Marshall, Otis Wilson, Perry … the names roll off the tongue of long-time football fans.

But it was first-year starter Richard Dent who led the NFL in sacks (17) and copped Super Bowl XX MVP honors by virtue of a sack-and-a-half and name recognition at defensive end.

In truth, the Patriots were overmatched by just about every Bear in that 46-10 drubbing, so you could have picked MVP from a hat.

Dent is a rightful denizen of Canton, though, and his rookie card in the iconic black-bordered 1985 Topps set looks as menacing as ever and remains a collector favorite.

Oh, right … the Chiefs-Niners connection?

Dent played two games for San Fran in 1994, the year Young led them to Super Bowl victory over the San Diego Chargers.

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2014 Panini Prestige Malcolm Smith (#200)

2014 Panini Prestige Malcolm Smith

The Seattle Seahawks selected Smith in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC, and he never really did become a full-time starter in his four seasons in the northwest.

The middle linebacker did make it into Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos after his third season, though, and he made the most of it.

Smith tied for the team lead with ten tackles and also recovered a fumble.

The big news, though, was the Peyton Manning pass he picked off and ran back for a 69-yard touchdown in the second quarter. It was all part of Seattle’s 43-8 blowout and enough to garner Smith MVP honors.

After another year in Seattle, Smith was off to Oakland for two seasons before spending 2018 with the Niners to make our list. (He split 2019 between the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars.)

Debuting as he did during the modern card era, Smith offers collectors a few choices when it comes to rookie cards.

We’re going with the 2014 Panini Prestige because … well, because it shows Smith with the Seahawks and because it looks pretty cool.

You won’t have to break the bank to buy one, either.

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2012 Topps Nick Foles (#186)

2012 Topps Nick Foles

Foles is the the guy the Philadelphia Eagles never seemed to really want but who pulled their butts out of the fire over and over again.

A third-round pick in 2012 out of Arizona, Foles quickly became a relief specialist … Philly called on him any time their starter went down or self-destructed.

They even traded him to the St. Louis Rams before the 2015 season, which eventually led him to the Chiefs after the Rams released him in the summer of 2016.

Foles relieved K.C. starter Alex Smith after the latter suffered a concussion, but Smith soon reclaimed his job … in all Foles played three games and started one for the Chiefs.

They released him in March 2017.

The Eagles signed him that month as a free agent to backup second-year QB Carson Wentz, who went on a tear in the fall — and then tore his ACL in Game 14.

Foles relieved Wentz in that game and led the Eagles on a storied run that culminated in a Super bowl LII victory over the Patriots — and a SB MVP award for Foles.

The Eagles and Foles danced around for another year before Wentz predictably nailed down the starting job for good. Foles left as a free agent in 2019, landing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Like Smith, Foles offers up a lot of rookie card options. We’re going with the standard Topps issue here, showcasing a classic throwing motion from Foles.

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