This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
We feel this card could very well be a top investment in trading cards and the entire investment realm (and yes, that includes Tesla stock, real estate in Africa, and bitcoin).
Sportscards, real estate, and stock investing will have ups and downs. The world is constantly threatened by forces that would love to see the US fail. Gas and food prices rise faster than a fat kid on a Snickers bar. But one thing remains a constant Tom Brady, the undisputed G.O.A.T of the NFL and his rookie cards.
FACTS: Tom Brady’s rookie cards are not only a superior investment but the best in the hobby. The 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC currently has a 91% ROI. $1,600 price tag in Jan 2018 vs. $15,600 Aug 2021. In other words, if you don’t own the Brady Bowman Chrome rookie card, please change that today.
The New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He flourished in New England, winning six Superbowls and added another with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, along with his fifth Super Bowl MVP award.
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 sports.
That is not hyperbole, and it means you will have to pay and will pay a premium. Brady is the safest, most strongly established, and well-known commodity among all individual pro athletes living or deceased.
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. He is the all-time leader in touchdown passes, Superbowl Titles/Appearances, and QB wins.
Only Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky can claim undisputed GOAT status in their respective leagues the way Brady can.
Top 3 Tom Brady Investments
Best High-End: 2000 SP Authentic RC /1250 #118
Best Overall: 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.
#1. 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC #236
This is one of just two Tom Brady RCs released by brands owned by Topps. That 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 doesn’t come in many colors as later sets.
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.
#2. 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic RC /1250 #118
With a superior combination of price, scarcity, and brand recognition, the 2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady RC 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 out of Michigan in 2000. His sixth-round pick undeniably 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, a white border, a blue backdrop, and the SP Authentic logo. A stunning piece of art.
#3. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Auto #144
If you shop for this on eBay, prepare a car’s price to obtain it. Check that, make it a very high-end luxury automobile. This card has a 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 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 how the silver foil glitters like gold, you understand why it’s all worth it.
#4. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket Auto RC /100 #144
A MONSTER IN TERMS OF VALUE AND PROFIT. NOT THE TOP IN TERMS OF ROI BUT TOPS IN PROFIT, STRICTLY ON DOLLARS. GOOD LUCK GETTING YOUR OVER MITS ON THIS BAD BOY, HOWEVER.
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.
By 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. It would have been number one if not for the extreme price tag removing 95% of the market from investing.
#5. 2000 Tom Brady Upper Deck Gold Reserve RC #215
We must credit one of our loyal readers for posting this bad boy of a Tom Brady rookie card in the comments below. Thanks, Aaron!
Upper Deck has outdone itself in terms of this card’s design and overall beauty. If it would contain an autograph? In our opinion, this card would be in the six digits at a PSA 10.
Numbered #215, the 2000 Tom Brady UD Gold Reserve RC shows Tom passing the ball with his red Patriots “can’t hit the QB jersey.” The true beauty lies in the design and the gold color in the backdrop that blends beautifully with the silversides.
A true masterpiece.
Please note the following Tom Brady RCs below are suitable investments, but we do not usually recommend buying them as the top 5 above are the cards you should target. However, we understand not every collector is profit-driven, and sometimes a card is unique to that buyer for reasons only known to him. So buy, buy, and BUY, you really can’t go wrong buying TB12 rookie cards unless China somehow destroys the US and China forces us to watch Soccer.
#5A. 2000 Tom Brady Revolution RC /300 #128
The first of the rookie cards here to feature Tom Brady in a Michigan helmet convey him a moment after he just finished releasing a pass in a college all-star game exhibition. The design is pretty ugly, though, as it’s 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. Only 350 copies of this card exist, 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 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 his most valuable 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, or 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 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 reminds us of how lucky we are that enough card manufacturers decided to include him in their rookie year sets.
Remember, he wasn’t heralded entering the league, so you can’t blame any card makers that decided to exclude him. When you see it in real life, this is a beautiful card, 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, including an autograph.
Perhaps even more unique is that this issue is horizontally focused instead of vertically. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing card, as the clean background juxtaposes the emerging image of TB rolling out of the pocket. The border shading works well too. It’s an expensive card, 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 distracting, especially when you see a factor in the silvery refractory foil.
It’s so unique that it is 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
In our opinion, he is one of the better-looking TB12 rookie cards and 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, 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 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,” 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 nothing else besides TB’s windows to his soul and some holographic foil.
Check Out: Gold Card Auctions YouTube Channel and Sub!
The rest is all negative space, which makes sense given how this card would be too busy if it added more visual stimuli. The gold-plated font/titles 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 regarding 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.
Just as the Milwaukee Bucks learned in the mid-1990s, purple and green don’t go well together, and these colors clash here.
Add the maize and blue of Michigan in the photo; 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 defines it in a way that makes it stand out among the crowd of TB12 rookie cards.
And that unique brand 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 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.
It’s a unique and exciting card 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 made a very bold statement here with their design, and they did it without having to try too hard.
Less is more here; it works so well because 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 is more or less without parallel and one of the more attractive cards you’ll find on the open market.
Let’s look at the three most valuable Tom Brady rookie cards.
- The GOAT of his rookie cards comes in the form of 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.
- Although not a million-dollar card, the value of the 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic rookie card /1250 #18 clocks in at just over $100,000 as a PSA 10 grade. It sold for $18k in the Spring of 2018.
- Middle man? The 2000 Tom Brady Leaf Limited Tom Brady RC /350 #378. This card is valued at more than $40,000.
- The 2000 Revolution Tom Brady RC #128 /300 places fourth.
- Finally, here is the 2000 Tom Brady SPx RC #130 /1350, which places fifth. The SPx brand was a big name in the early 2000s and commanded extremely high values at top grades.
Regarding the best return on investment, the 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic RC #18 is our pick as it appeals to more buyers than the Championship Ticket RC but still commands a considerable value.
- 2000 Quantum Leaf RC #343
- 2000 Paramount RC #138
- 2000 Impact RC #27
- 2000 SPx RC /1350 #130
- 2000 EX Rookie RC #122
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph RC #144
- 2000 Upper Deck Victory RC #326
- 2000 Upper Deck RC #254
- 2000 Upper Deck Gold Reserve RC #215
- 2000 Crown Royale Rookie Autograph RC #110
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics RC #17
- 2000 Press Pass Autographs 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 RC #SR41
- 2000 Pacific Autograph RC #403
- 2000 Fleer Mystique RC #103
- 2000 Playoff Momentum RC #180
- 2000 Quantum Leaf RC #343
- 2000 Ultra Platinum Medallion Die-Cut RC #234
- 2000 Private Stock Rookie Card #128
- 2000 Pacific Vanguard RC #139
- 2000 Pacific Aurora RC #84
- 2000 Upper Deck Graded RC #104
- 2000 Pacific RC #403
- 2000 Fleer Showcase RC /2000 #136
- 2000 Aurora RC #84
- 2000 Playoff Momentum RC /750 #180
- 2000 Pacific Crown Royale Rookie Royalty RC
- 2000 Crown Royale Die-Cut RC #110
- 2000 Leaf Certified RC#207
- 2000 Donruss Elite Die-Cut RC #183
- 2000 Pacific Revolution RC #128
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Round Numbers Autographs Tom Brady/Marc Bulger #RN11
- 2000 SP Authentic RC /1250 #118
- 2000 Playoff Contenders Auto RC #144
- 2000 Score RC #316
- 2000 UD Ionix RC #77
- 2000 Fleer Tradition RC #352
- 2000 Pacific Holo Silver RC /85 #138
- 2000 Fleer Metal Universe RC #267
- 2000 Collector’s Edge Supreme Hologold Jersey RC #176
- 2000 Pacific “Finest Hour” Rookie RC #15
- 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics RC #17
- 2000 Revolution First Look RC #22
- 2000 Fleer Glossy RC #352
- 2000 Playoff Prestige RC #286
- 2000 Pacific Crown Royale Premier Date /145 RC #110
If you’re looking to purchase a Tom Brady RC, 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.
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.
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 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 that 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 is as soon as possible. Before investing in your Brady RC, read 22 Sports Card Investing Tips.