6 Best Rookie Cards to Invest in 2021 (Increase Your ROI)

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We’ve identified six modern, young players whose rookie cards are a must-add to your sports card investment portfolio. Here is number one.

Top Rookie Card To Invest 2021


Luka Doncic Rookie Cards


Luka Doncic Rookie Card Value

He’s clearly the real deal, so it’s no surprise that Luka rookie cards are one of our best have investments in regards to modern sports cards.

Not only is Luka still only 22 years old but many experts feel he is better at that age than LeBron at the same point in his career. Luka is a screaming buy, and please have at least two or, better yet, three of his rookie cards in the risk portion of your sports card investment portfolio.

Keep reading to discover the final four recommendations.

As 2021 moves along, the collectible market tosses in a few curveballs. While vintage and certain SP/Parallel type modern rookie cards remain somewhat intact, the base rookie card market is starting to fall (not all but some big names base RC’s have seen a value lost).

We feel the following rookie cards have an excellent chance of seeing profit as long as the players can maintain their current form or build from the previous year. And remember to invest for the long haul (5 to 20 years) and not for a short-term flip.

Best Sports Cards to Buy in 2021

The list contains six of the best sports card investments for 2021, listed in no particular order. And remember we are not currently recommending base rookie card purchases of these cards.

PLEASE NOTE: This list will focus on specific players and their rookie cards from 2017 to 2021 only. If you wish to obtain specific sports card investments that should have a tremendous ROI in the long term please read: Best Sports Cards To Invest In Now 


2020 Justin Herbert Rookie Cards

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Best Rookie Cards 2021

Justin Herbert had one of the best rookie seasons of all time by an NFL QB, and he is only going to get better, much better in our opinion, moving forward.

Between Luka and Herbert, you could have two up-and-coming GOATS.

We are investing a good amount of the riskier portion of our investments into these two phenoms, and Luka only won the number one spot by a hair over the more than capable Herbert.


2017 Ronald Acuna Rookie Cards

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ronald acuna jr rookie card

Just in case yall didn’t know Ronald Acuna Jr. has officially overtaken the number one spot in baseball from the former #1 Mike Trout.

Only 23 years old. Enough said. Invest in his 2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects or his 2018 Topps Update and thank us in 15 years.


2020 LaMelo Ball Rookie Cards

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best sports cards to buy 2021

This play is a little more risk but has a huge payoff potential.

Before LaMelo went down with an injury we thought he might challenge Luka for the best rookie season in the last decade.

We think this Ball pans out, and in a major way.


2016 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Rookie Cards

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Top Sports Cards to Invest in 2021

Back in January 2021, we wrote an article entitled “Have We Lost Faith In Vladimir Guerrero Jr. RCs?”.

In the article, we discussed how Vlad Jr. has not lived up to his lofty expectations and as his rookie card values drop are we (contact Gold Card Auctions) losing faith in his ability to be a Super Star.

Here is how we ended the article:

For us, we believe in Vlad Jr. and think he could make the all-star game this season (2021) as he hits for both power”

Now let’s hope he can continue this insane run that has him at the top of just about every fantasy baseball league in the United States.

Trending: Wander Franco Rookie Cards


2020 Joe Burrow Rookie Cards

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best football card to invest in 2021

See Justin Herbert. His career could follow a similar path and they may develop an epic rivalry, not unlike Manning vs. Brady. One can only dream.


6 Best Sports Cards to Invest in 2021: Summary and Investment Outlook

There are a number of good sports card investments that have the potential to make a profit over the next 12 months.

Of course, there is an element of a risk considering they’re all young sports stars, but they’ve already begun to make a mark on their respective sports in some shape or form.

Trending: Most Valuable Michael Jordan Cards

As always, we’d recommend sticking to PSA 10, PSA 9, BGS 10, BGS 9.5 when possible. The cards mentioned above are all recent releases, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find copies that have achieved a mint seal of approval.

Maximize Your Sports Card Profits: View our HOTTEST Hobby Boxes to Buy in May of 2022 for BIG PULLS!
Sports Card Investor - Trusted, sports card investor dedicated to maximizing sports card portfolio profits. Part-time contributor to Chicago Tribune.com, NBC Chicago.com, www.espn.com, wsj.com, and the Washington Times.com.


      • I would to invest in a card long term, I have a budget of 1200 dollars but I’m not sure in which card. I would love if you could give me some suggestion and if it were Soccer, basketball or NFL related it would be perfect!

        I’m new at the hobby and I have been reading a lot about investments but I am still lost and can’t determine the best investment.

        Thank you!

        • Hey Pedro, we like Messi long-term in soccer as it seems his worldwide popularity does not come close to what his RC should be valued.. a 2004 Messi Mundi Cromo Liga rookie card #617 at a PSA 7 grade should fit your budget

          • Thanks a lot for your answer!

            What about basketball? Luka doncic Prizm psa 10 and Zion Williamson Prizm psa 10 are bad investments? Are there another good investments to make on basketball with my budget?

  1. Hey thanks for the article… great read, good info. Would you mind giving your opinion on the grade of a card I got?

  2. Hey so I’ve been doing research on all the herbert cards you gave me, what do you like best out of all of them relative to price still one of the panini contenders?
    1. Herbert panini contenders 104-optic teal-psa 9 card/10 auto-2100 roughly
    2.herbert absolute kaboom psa 9-2500
    3.herbert black and white checker prizm—bgs 9.5-2325
    4.herbert panini prizm light blue-psa 10-2400
    5.herbert panini contenders red ticket104-bgs 9.5/10 auto-rougly 2500-2800
    6. Herbert panini mosaic prizm-ra4 psa 10/10 auto-1825.00
    Can you tell me which is your favorite 2? And if you think those prices look right? Thanks so much for all your help this is just a very big purchase for me I want to make sure I get it right!

    • Hey Joe! Man those are all sick options… I would say it’s between the #104 optic teal, black and white checker prizm,. red ticket #104… all should have same ROI moving forward… pick your favorite out of those 3… cheers!

  3. Hey sorry to bother you but I have a question for you, I haven’t pulled the trigger on the herbert yet, I was reading your articles and I was thinking about buying 3 Derek jeter rc sp foil in a psa 8, roughly 800 each so would come to 2400, is it me but with jeters hof induction coming up won’t that raise his prices, also espn is coming out with a docuseries in 2022 on jeter it will be a 6 part series, also won’t that be another big catalyst for the card? I saw psa 8 of jeter rc peak out at 3000 Early this year do you ever see it hitting that price again? Thanks again for all your help much appreciated!

    • Great research and question Joe! So we do think Jeter SP prices will rise again due to the DOC and his HOF induction, but they will not reach the highs we saw in early 2021 although they will be close. One other issue to keep in mind in regards to all card values is the US Gov money printing machine. If they turn that bad boy off in the fall and the overall economy reacts poorly we could see another fall in the overall value of investment-grade cards. let’s hope this is not the case however, cheers!

  4. Do you believe Kobe Bryant’s topps chrome rc in a psa 9 is a good investment right now? It’s roughly selling for 2900, please let me know thanks!!

    • yes if you’re going to buy and hold the long term (12 years or more). short term is hard to predict as it could drop or start rising again. We feel pretty good about the short term right now but feel the Fall could bring problems as the US Gov stops handouts the economy may react poorly.

  5. I am trying to invest in some of the GOATS, but want to diversify and not break the bank. Would you recommend picking up some PSA 9’s and 10’s of the lesser Kobe rookies (Collector’s Choice, Upper Deck)? I can get a few for around $100 right now. Do you see these as good 10-15 year investments or will these always be lower end?

    Also, any thoughts on picking up a Tiger Woods UD rookie as a long term hold? Again, these are around $100 right now (BGS 9.5).



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