This post contains affiliate links to include the eBay Partner Network which may earn a commission. We truly appreciate your support.

Below are our top ten GOATs in sports ranked in terms of how much money their cards will return over the next 20 years. We feel these ten players’ rookie cards will have the top ROI over the long term, with many outperforming blue-chip stocks.


Some of the cards we like on this list include the 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome #236, the 1996 Kobe Bryant Topps Chrome #138, the 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update, and the Babe Ruth Goudey Baseball Cards.

Who To Buy

  1. 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome – SHOP EBAY
  2. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer – SHOP EBAY
  3. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey – SHOP EBAY
  4. 1977 Wayne Gretzky OPC – SHOP EBAY
  5. 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update – SHOP EBAY
  6. 1996 Kobe Bryant Topps Chrome – SHOP EBAY
  7. 1998 Peyton Manning Topps Chrome – SHOP EBAY
  8. 1960 Muhammad Ali Hemmets – SHOP EBAY
  9. 2001 Tiger Woods SP Authentic Golf – SHOP EBAY
  10. 2003 LeBron James Topps Chrome – SHOP EBAY

We always suggest investing in a graded card and usually opt for a PSA, BGS, or SGC in that order—one side note concerning older cards and grading. SGC has a reputation for grading older sports cards, and BGS has a reputation for grading new cards.

Grading Concerns

  • Buying new cards? – shop PSA, BGS graded
  • Buying old cards? – shop PSA, SGC graded

Which Grades To Buy

Finally, let’s discuss which grades to buy regarding number rating. A PSA 10 is the dream of the crop and can only be topped by a BGS Black Label, but these are extremely rare. The highest SGC grade comes from an SGC 10 Pristine rating.

New Cards vs. Old Cards

If you invest in a new sports card, purchase one of the following grades – PSA 10, PSA 9, BGS 10, BGS 9.5, or an SGC 10. Some in the hobby will purchase a BGS 9, but we feel these cards don’t meet the quality we want in a new card investment.

Are you looking to purchase an old card, such as a Ty Cobb T206 or Wayne Gretzky OPC rookie? Consider PSA and SGC-graded cards.

Here is where older card investing differs from new cards. We will never buy anything lower than a PSA 10 or 9 for new cards. But the older a card is, the lower we are willing to go regarding the grade.

For example, if we buy a 1977 Wayne Gretzky OPC rookie card, we may go down as low as a PSA 6 or SGC 7.

Another example – let’s say you’re considering a T206 baseball card investment. We might go as low as a PSA 4 if the card is a Ty Cobb or another HOF player. The general rule of thumb is that the older the card, the lower grade you can invest in.

You must also consider your budget. If you can afford a Ty Cobb T206 PSA 4 or a 1977 Waybe Gretzky OPC PSA 9, we would always lean towards the higher grade value being equal.

Like this article?

Check out our Best 10 Sports Card To Invest In Now.