“Tom Brady has that same quality and charisma you can only find in names like Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky. As such, his rookie cards are not only a superior investment but one of the safest in the entire hobby to boot.”
While 2020 was a year in which many things were in doubt and the world was in flux, Tom Brady, the GOAT, remained a constant.
Yes, he was with a new team, and at age 43, questions abounded about whether or not he still had it, but Tom Terrific delivered the goods.
He won his seventh Super Bowl and fifth Super Bowl MVP award, and first (in each category) with a team that wasn’t the New England Patriots.
When assessing the investment prospects of a Tom Brady rookie card, one has to start with the premise that you are talking about the greatest of all time at the most high-profile position in all of the sports.
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That is not hyperbole, and it means you will have to pay a premium. Brady is arguably the safest, most strongly established, and well-known commodity among all individual pro athletes, and thus his rookie cards already have a very high value.
Once you accept this reality, you can then do a compelling cost/benefit analysis on the investment value of each of his cards.
This is undoubtedly no risk in these rookie card investments; it’s as blue as a blue-chip stock can get. After all, Brady is the all-time leader in touchdown passes, Superbowl Titles/Appearances, and QB wins.
Best Overall: 2000 SP Authentic RC /1250 #118
Best Budget-Friendly: 2000 Bowman Chrome RC #236
Best Autograph: 2000 Playoff Contenders Auto RC #144
Without further ado, here are the 20 top-rated Tom Brady rookie cards from an investment perspective. In other words, based on which cards will have the best future return on investment going forward.
2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic RC /1250 #118
With a superior combination of price, scarcity, and brand recognition, the 2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady rookie card is our number one pick in terms of ROI over the next 20 years.
SP Authentic refers to a series of sports card sets produced by Upper Deck from 1993 to 2009 and was considered one of the more valuable and popular brands of sports cards at the time.
Fun Fact: Brady was the 199th pick overall, out of Michigan, in 2000. It’s undeniable that his sixth-round pick was the most incredible steal in NFL Draft history.
The 2000 SP Authentic Brady RC has to be one of the brand’s top cards, if not number one of all-time. The design is crisp and clean with an action photo of the Brady, white border, blue backdrop, and the SP Authentic logo. A stunning piece of art.
2. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Auto #144
If you go shopping for this on eBay, prepared the price of a car to obtain it. Check that, make it a very high-end luxury automobile.
This card has a very sleek design, with the dominant hues of silver and navy blue, matching the two most dominant shades in the New England Patriots color scheme.
The ticket graphic provides a perfect symmetry when juxtaposed against Brady standing tall in the pocket in the action photo. It’s a highly pricey card, but when you see the way the silver foil glitters like gold, you understand why it’s all worth it.
3. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket Auto RC /100 #144
The autographed version of the card described above is the most expensive Tom Brady rookie card.
You could probably buy two or three townhomes in a softer real estate market for what this signed card could get in the open market.
If some of these valuations seem extreme, you got to remember the (apologies to Drake) “started from the bottom now we here” story of Brady’s career.
The Michigan man began that 2000 rookie season as Pat’s fourth-stringer behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups John Friesz and Michael Bishop.
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By the time the season ended, he’d work his way up to QB2 after completing just one pass in three attempts for six yards that year. He has since made 14 Pro Bowls and counting.
Would have been number one if not for the extreme price tag removing 95% of the market from making an investment.
4. 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC #236
This is one of just two Tom Brady Rookie Cards released by brands owned by Topps. That in itself creates a lot of interest in this offering because Topps is the 400 lb gorilla of the hobby itself.
The refractors version of this card is very eye-catching, and one can see why it’s so popular. It is not numbered, and it doesn’t come in many colors as later sets did.
We feel the Bowman Chrome Brady RC is an ideal investment for investors on a budget or simply not looking to commit a large amount of money into alternative investments quite yet.
5. 2000 Tom Brady Revolution RC /300 #128
The first of the rookie cards here to feature Tom Terrific in a Michigan helmet conveys him in a moment after he just finished releasing a pass in a college all-star game exhibition. The design itself is pretty ugly, though, as it’s just way too busy.
There is a clash of color schemes and far too many visual stimuli to the point that the viewer is left distracted.
That said, it’s a scarce card and one without parallel, making it extremely special and valuable.
6. 2000 Tom Brady Leaf Limited RC /350 #378
The premium foil version of this card is also one of the rarest Tom Brady Rookie Cards out there, and as such, you’ll have to pay five figures at the absolute minimum.
There are only 350 copies of this card in existence, so it’s easy to see why this is so pricey.
It’s got an exciting design that creates an illusion of 3D.
The use of a two-point linear perspective, plus the central positioning of Brady with the specific pose (winding up in his delivery), feels like this card is coming right out at you.
2000 Leaf Tom Brady RC Parallels: Limited Series (/50)
7. 2000 Tom Brady Leaf Certified 4-star Mirror Gold RC /35 #207
The card listed above, this one also really jumps out the page at you. It’s jam-packed, with probably a little too much going on, but at the same time, some people might like that.
The Mirror Gold is a much more visually appealing edition, as at least you can read the fonts and letters on the bottom of it.
You can’t say the same about some of the other versions, all of which scream to get your attention. Regardless of how you feel about the design, the scarcity makes this one unique and remarkable card, as only 1,500 copies were ever produced.
2000 Leaf Certified Tom Brady Parallels: mirror red, Rookie die cuts, /250, mirror gold,/250
8. 2000 Tom Brady Upper Deck SPX /1350 RC #130 (parallels- spectrum /25)
The brand that defined premium and pioneered the concept of holograms on cards comes as one of the most valuable Brady rookie cards on the market, despite the lack of any real bells and whistles.
This card sort of looks like it began the process of adding some foil, refractors, holograms, something in that vein, but just stopped in mid-production.
The graphics evoke the 8-bit era of Nintendo or Sega Genesis 16-bit, and one can imagine the background music for those video games perfectly accompanying this specific card.
9. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Momentum RC /750 #180 (Parallels- X’s /199, O’s /60)
This one is probably the most eye-catching Tom Brady rookie card you can find, and this one has good visual balance and excellent symmetry.
It also sees the perfect middle ground between too busy and too bland- it’s just right.
The etched foil evokes the premium feel, and the shallow print run validates that feeling. It’s a card that brings both the sizzle and the steak to the table.
10. 2000 Tom Brady Upper Deck Pros and Prospects RC /1000 #124
The first card on our list to feature Brady in his Michigan Wolverines uniform is a reminder of just how lucky we are that enough card manufacturers decided to include him in their sets his rookie year.
Remember, he wasn’t heralded at all entering the league, so you can’t blame any card makers that decided to exclude him. This is a beautiful card when you see it in real life, and the light catches the refractor components just right.
But the card doesn’t photograph well, and when those photographs are posted online, it just doesn’t translate well to HTML pages.
There is a stark contrast between viewing it in these two very different scenarios. Remember that when you go on the hunt for this precious gem.
11. 2000 Tom Brady Fleer Tradition Auto Gold /50 #17
The second card on our list to feature him in his University of Michigan gear, this fact alone makes this card quite rare as most feature him in his Patriots uniform.
This is also one of just 13 Brady rookie card offerings that include an autograph.
Perhaps even more unique is the fact that this issue is horizontally focused instead of vertically focused. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing card, as the clean background juxtaposes very well with the emerging image of TB rolling out of the pocket.
The border shading works well too. It’s an expensive card, yes, but it has so many unique features that it’s well worth the price.
Parallels: silver version of this card
12. 2000 Tom Brady Fleer Showcase Firsts RC #36
A Tom Brady rookie card unlike any other on this list, or you’ll find anywhere else on any other list, as it features a close-up of his head and an action photo.
The two images balance each other out on the card as each is the focus of the design. That can be a little distracting, especially when you see a factor in the silvery refractory foil.
It’s so unique that it a card without parallel and one that probably polarizes. You most likely love the layout of this rookie card, or you hate it, with no middle ground to be claimed.
13. 2000 Tom Brady Pacific Vanguard RC /762 #139
One of the better-looking Brady rookie cards in our opinion and for sure his best rookie card in a Michigan Uniform.
A good option for moderate investors looking to spend a decent amount without breaking the bank.
14. 2000 Tom Brady UD Graded RC /1325 #104
The company’s typically green logo is blue here, as was the case for their line of cards graded in advance.
As the word “graded” in the title conveys, this specific line of cards was all about the grading process. Therefore, you don’t have a lot of solid parallels as this is a unique feature.
This card would have an otherwise solid and crisp, straightforward design because it has the same image appearing twice and in varying sizes. This decision was questionable by UD as it makes the card somewhat distracting and a bit confusing.
15. Tom Brady Fleer Showcase RC /2000 #136 (Parallels- Legacy /20 , Masterpiece 1/1)
If you are one of the many people on this Earth who find Tom Brady “dreamy,” then this is the Rookie Card Investment for you.
If you want to stare into his eyes or have his eyes look back at you, focus on the background.
There’s pretty much nothing else there other than TB’s windows to his soul and some holographic foil.
The rest is all pretty much negative space, and that makes sense given how this card would be way too busy if it added any more visual stimuli. The gold-plated font/titles imprinted in the right corner work well, though.
16. 2000 Tom Brady UD Ionic RC /2000 #77
The Ionix is a card that immediately knows where you stand in terms of scarcity. They had a print run of just 2000 copies, and up top, dead center tells you what number this card is in the production line.
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Just as the Milwaukee Bucks learned in the mid-1990s, purple and green don’t go well together, and these colors are clashing here.
Add in the maize and blue of Michigan in the photo, and this card isn’t beautiful from a color schematic standpoint. Although the design is solid and the overall layout works, they should have gone with more neutral colors in the background.
17. 2000 Tom Brady Donruss Elite RC /2000 #183
Another great-looking Tom Brady College rookie card with a decent price. Numbered #1283 the card shows Tom dropping back in the pocket looking as bold as ever.
2000 Donruss Elite Parrelles: Die Cut /500 Aspirations /90
18. 2000 Tom Brady UD Black Diamond RC /2400 #126 ( gold /500)
With a bustling and edgy design, this card has a lot going on. Some might say that it has too much going on, but the big R stamp truly defines it in a way that makes it stand out among the crowd of TB rookie cards.
And it’s that unique brand that makes this card unique because it is not on the scarcity side. Upper Deck made 2,400 of these, which puts this card among those with the larger print runs.
19. 2000 Tom Brady Collectors Edge Supreme RC /2000 #176 (parallels- Holo Gold /20)
The final year for the Collector’s Edge line is a little wild-looking, with the background is so colorful it distracts from the foreground.
Two thousand copies of this issue were produced in the year 2,000, but the Hologold parallel is uber-rare, as they only made 20 copies!
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It’s a very unique and interesting card, to be sure, very memorable.
Still, at the same time, it also looks more like it belongs in the opening credits to late ‘ the 80s/early ’90s comedies “In Living Color” or “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, instead of a football card.
20. 2000 Tom Brady Pacific Rim Prism Prospects RC /1000 #156
Straightforward or deceptively simple in its design, Pacific was able to make a very bold statement here with their design, and they did it without having to try too hard.
Less is more here, and the reason it works so well is that all objects are positioned correctly. It’s a card on the rarer end, as you only had 1,000 copies produced.
With that in mind, it cards that it is more or less without parallel and one of the more attractive cards you’ll find out on the open market.
Tom Brady Rookie Card Value
The most valuable Tom Brady rookie card is the 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph /100 #144 RC selling for 3.1 million dollars on 6/5/2021 via the 2021 Lealands Mid-Spring Classic Auction.
Tom Brady Rookie Card Checklist
- 2000 Quantum Leaf Tom Brady RC #343
- 2000 Paramount Tom Brady RC #138
- 2000 Impact Tom Brady RC #27
- 2000 SPx Tom Brady RC /1350 #130
- 2000 EX Rookie Tom Brady RC #122
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph Tom Brady RC #144
- 2000 Upper Deck Victory Tom Brady RC #326
- 2000 Upper Deck Tom Brady RC #254
- 2000 Crown Royale Rookie Autograph Tom Brady RC #110
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics Tom Brady RC #17
- 2000 Press Pass Autographs Tom Brady RC #3
- 2000 SkyBox Dominion Tom Brady/Giovanni Carmazzi RC #234
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Tom Brady/David Stachelski RC #352
- 2000 Score Rookie Preview Autographs Tom Brady RC #SR41
- 2000 Pacific Autograph Tom Brady RC #403
- 2000 Fleer Mystique Tom Brady RC #103
- 2000 Playoff Momentum Tom Brady RC #180
- 2000 Quantum Leaf Tom Brady RC #343
- 2000 Ultra Platinum Medallion Die-Cut Tom Brady RC #234
- 2000 Private Stock Rookie Card #128
- 2000 Pacific Vanguard Tom Brady RC #139
- 2000 Pacific Aurora Tom Brady RC #84
- 2000 Upper Deck Graded RC #104
- 2000 Pacific Tom Brady RC #403
- 2000 Fleer Showcase Tom Brady RC /2000 #136
- 2000 Aurora Tom Brady RC #84
- 2000 Playoff Momentum Tom Brady RC /750 #180
- 2000 Pacific Crown Royale Rookie Royalty Tom Brady RC
- 2000 Crown Royale Die-Cut Tom Brady RC #110
- 2000 Leaf Certified Tom Brady RC#207
- 2000 Donruss Elite Die-Cut Tom Brady RC #183
- 2000 Pacific Revolution Tom Brady RC #128
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Round Numbers Autographs Tom Brady/Marc Bulger #RN11
- 2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady RC /1250 #118
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Auto Tom Brady RC #144
- 2000 Score Tom Brady RC #316
- 2000 UD Ionix Tom Brady RC #77
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Tom Brady RC #352
- 2000 Pacific Holo Silver Tom Brady RC /85 #138
- 2000 Fleer Metal Universe Tom Brady RC #267
- 2000 Collector’s Edge Supreme Hologold Jersey Tom Brady RC #176
- 2000 Pacific “Finest Hour” Rookie Tom Brady RC #15
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics Tom Brady RC #17
- 2000 Revolution First Look Tom Brady RC #22
- 2000 Fleer Glossy Tom Brady RC #352
- 2000 Playoff Prestige Tom Brady RC #286
- 2000 Pacific Crown Royale Premier Date /145 Tom Brady RC #110
Tom Brady Rookie Card Sale
If you’re looking to purchase a Tom Brady rookie card, try eBay auctions as they will have the most available and competitive prices because it is an auction. Avoid the eBay Buy Now option due to prices being overvalued.
Search Tom Brady Football Rookie Cards on eBay Auctions Now
Are you thinking about purchasing a Tom Brady football card on Amazon? Stop! Again these cards tend to have excessively high prices, and the odds of overpaying are high.
Tom Brady Rookie Card: Risk/Return Analysis and Investment Outlook
In Tina Turner’s words, Brady is “simply the best, better than all the rest.” Next season, he’ll become the first QB to have a throw for 80,000 yards, and he’ll claim the top spot in all-time passing yards from Drew Brees.
- Investment Rating: Strongest Buy Possible (5 out of 5)
- Risk/Return Analysis: Very Low to Low Risk/Moderate to High Return
- Ownership Disclosure: 2000 Bowman Chrome RC
- Best Rookie Card: 2000 SP Authentic RC
Other than that, you wonder what left he has to accomplish in the game, which has implications for his rookie cards.
What kind of ceiling is there to reach?
How much more can these cards go up?
Time will tell, as Brady has that same if factor and name recognition you can only find in Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Wayne Gretzky.
They are the type of legends where people will tell the generations after them: “yeah, I saw him play,” and those youngsters will be in awe.
With that in mind, investing in a Tom Brady rookie card brings a sort of timeless quality and pride of ownership, not to mention it is one of the best if not the best investments in the modern sports card hobby.
If you don’t already own a piece of Tom Brady in the form of his rookie cards correctly that as soon as possible.
Before you invest in your Brady RC please read 22 Sports Card Investing Tips.