A generous and gracious signer throughout his career, John Elway adopted, at an early age, a very simple autograph style. His signature has remained the same to this day, "John Elway 7." At times, his jersey number was excluded from his signature. His autograph has remained virtually the same since the late 1980s, with a large oversized "J" being the focal point of the signature. The rest of his autograph flows together with his first name virtually attached to his last name.
Finding an Elway signature shouldn't be much of a problem with photos, jerseys, helmets and footballs readily available in the marketplace. Considered more scarce is his vintage signature from 1983, when Elway was a minor leaguer in the New York Yankee farm system. Elway signatures from this period are the scarcest versions and the few examples that have surfaced feature a long, flowing signature, showing every letter of his name.
John Albert Elway, Jr. (June 28, 1960-) (QB) was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1979 amateur baseball draft and again by the New York Yankees in the 1981 Major League Baseball Draft, before Hall of Famer Padre Tony Gwynn. As the son of a football coach, Elway moved frequently following his father’s career, but eventually established himself as one of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks. He chose Stanford University over 60 other institutions and became one of the elite college quarterbacks as well. He played baseball and football for the Cardinal and set numerous school records, despite never leading his team to a bowl game victory. The Baltimore Colts took Elway with the Number 1 pick overall and immediately traded him to the Denver Broncos as he refused to played for the struggling Colts team. In 1986, Elway led the Broncos to the AFC Championship game against the Cleveland Browns where he orchestrated a 98-yard come-from-behind touchdown drive in the last five minutes of regulation capturing the AFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XXI. This impressive performance is referred to as “The Drive.” The Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants 39-20.
During his 16-year career Elway led Denver to a record 47 game winning or tying drives. He earned his first of nine Pro Bowl selections in 1986. In 1987, John led his Broncos back to Super Bowl XXII and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. The Broncos would again fall in the title game, this time to the Washington Redskins. Elway and the Broncos finally won the elusive Super Bowl victories in his final two seasons, Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII. Elway earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXIII. Elway played 16 seasons for the Denver Broncos and started a record five Super Bowls. At the time of his retirement, he ranked second all-time in three career passing categories with 51,475 passing yards on 4,123 completions in 7,250 attempts. He is the only player in NFL history to pass for more than 3,000 yards and rush for another 200 yards in the same season seven consecutive times. John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He has enjoyed tremendous success in various business ventures and in 2011; he joined the Denver Broncos front office as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.