Market Guide: Tom Brady Rookie Cards

Posted on 8/9/2022

CSG provides an introduction to the world of Tom Brady rookie cards.

In the world of sports cards, Tom Brady is a unicorn. He’s one of the greatest players to ever step on a football field — and he’s still going. Brady has been in the league for 23 years, and after a brief retirement after the 2021 season, he’s back for another one. It’s another year for potential records and another possible championship.

Not that he needs an introduction, but here’s a brief reminder about why Tom Brady is the GOAT. He has a record of seven Super Bowl victories, including five MVP awards in the big game. He’s the all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and quarterback wins and ranks in the top five in every passing category that means anything. He also holds most postseason records, including wins, touchdowns, and game-winning drives.

And he’s still playing at a high level, which means he’ll almost certainly add to this vast collection of records.

That’s why a Tom Brady rookie card is so valuable. What’s interesting about the rookie cards is that, if you remember, Brady was a very unheralded rookie. He was a sixth-round pick who lost his starting job in college at Michigan to Drew Henson. Henson had been a heralded two-sport star but didn’t pan out in football or baseball.

There were six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Brady. After taking him as a quarterback in the sixth round, coupled with the fact that the Patriots already had star quarterback Drew Bledsoe on their roster, it’s safe to say the Pats weren’t expecting much. Brady played in just one game as a rookie, throwing three passes and completing one for just six yards. The fact that there are rookie cards altogether is actually a bit of a surprise. No one could have expected that Brady would become, well, Brady.

Investment potential

It’s time to talk about the Tom Brady rookie card value. After all, that’s the main reason why collectors collect. You want a card that will appreciate in value. With Brady, there’s usually a good chance of your investment paying off. Valuations vary, of course, but one rookie card went for 1.32 million. Another one went for $2.3 million — the third-most expensive football card ever . That was right after his retirement, and there was a 233% increase in Tom Brady rookie card sale transactions. The second most expensive card is a higher-graded version of the same card, which went for $3.1 million . Believe it or not, the most expensive card is a 1-of-1 Patrick Mahomes rookie card. The damage? $4.3 million . You can find where these cards rank in the list of most expensive sports cards ever by clicking here.

Because of his stature, all of his rookie cards are valuable. However, there are a lot — 44 in total. That’s because there were many more manufacturers when he was a rookie in 2000. Still, even though there are plenty of cards in rotation, his career is such that the lack of rarity isn’t a problem in terms of value.

You won’t find a cheap rookie card for the GOAT. Not every card, though, is in the millions. So you can find something that fits in a reasonable budget and still has great potential to appreciate tremendously. He’s still a fantastic quarterback on a great team. Yet another Super Bowl visit is certainly not out of the question.

A tremendous number of cards are available, all of which will be a fantastic addition to any collector’s collection.

List of Tom Brady rookie cards

There are so many cards to go through, but we’ll do it in order of most interesting. Of course, some of that is subjective. But with such a wide variety of cards, collectors and investors are liable to find plenty of fantastic options.

2000 Tom Brady Bowman rookie card

Click images to enlarge.

The 2000 Bowman Tom Brady Card is legendary. Certified Sports Guaranty graded this 2000 Chrome #236 a CSG Gem Mint 10. It’s a Bowman Refractor Card, meaning it is printed with a coating that causes a reflection when viewed at a certain angle. On the front is a picture of Brady, in a white Patriots jersey, on the run and looking for a target. On the back is a “Bowman Briefing” with his college stats. He also has skills listed. One of them? Plays best in big games. Talk about prescience! It also has some little-known facts, like how the Montreal Expos drafted him in the 8th round of the 1995 MLB draft. He was picked as a catcher. Pair this with a 2000 Bowman Tom Brady RC #236. It doesn’t have a flashy look, but it’s one of two sets to have a first-year Brady card. Remember, Topps does not have a rookie card of the GOAT, a decision they must be kicking themselves for.

2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144

This card is one of the most valuable trading cards ever made. There were just 100 copies produced. With a high grade of Nm-MT 8.5 and a high signature grade of 10, this card has a rare black ink signature. In fact, it’s the only official rookie card to have his signature on it. You’d want to pony up for this card. A lesser version went for over two million.

2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady rookie card

One of these cards went for $312,000, yet it doesn’t have an autograph. It’s only one of 1,250, so it’s not super rare. However, back in 2000, SP Authentic was one of the top brands known for quality. Only 13 of these cards obtained a high grade of 10, which makes this card valuable. Brady is wearing a red practice jersey.

2000 Donruss Elite Aspirations #183

This variation on the rookie card might catch you by surprise. Though it says rookie in the bottom right corner, Brady is pictured in his Michigan jersey. A Patriots logo is in the bottom right corner. Only 90 of these cards were put into production. Given the fact that Brady has only worn two professional jerseys, this one certainly stands out. At Michigan, he wore number 10 instead of his iconic number 12. That adds to the mystique.

2000 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Tom Brady RC #124

This card is classic Upper Deck, with foil outlines and a futuristic vibe. Only 1,000 of these cards were made. Brady is seen in his blue Michigan jersey, winding up to throw a pass. Draft Class 2000 insights are on the card, looking downfield for a receiver. This card, with a gem mint of 10, it’s a great addition to any collection.

2000 Leaf Rookies and Stars #134 Longevity

There were only 30 copies made of this card, and when found in 9 or better condition, this can go for about $8,000. The back of the card has his stats from Michigan and a short write-up of his skill-set. He was billed as a “good choice to learn the ropes from Drew Bledsoe.” Little did anyone know that he would take over the job from Bledsoe. This card’s value stems from its rarity.

2000 Pacific Omega Tom Brady

This card is one of just 500, making it one of the rarer rookie cards in the world. Though its design is fairly simple, there’s a nice foil portrait at the bottom. He’s in a Michigan helmet with an all-star jersey. The rarity helps here. However, don’t confuse it with a second card from the 2000 Pacific Omega set, where Brady is featured on a dual card with Chris Redman. Redman was one of the six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Brady in the 2000 draft. Though they both have Super Bowl victories, Redman’s came as a backup for the Baltimore Ravens. He and Brady overlapped in New England in 2005, but Redman, returning from injury, was cut before the season started.

2000 SPx Football Tom Brady

This has just 1,350 copies, making it quite rare. SPx was particularly popular in the early 2000s and was known for its design skills. Though SPx cards had just introduced autograph cards at this time, Brady wasn’t one of them (remember, he wasn’t expected to be this good). Still, this card can go for $75,000.

2000 Lead Limited Tom Brady RC #378

With its fine-looking foil and only 300 copies in production, this Leaf Limited card can go for a lot. It’s one of the rarer rookie cards and one of the few with a genuine action shot. This limited edition card is a fine one to have in your rotation.

2000 Metal Tom Brady RC #267

Though on the cheaper side, this card stands out as one of the few to show Brady in a full Patriot uniform. He’s shown warming up before a game. This Fleer card is nice to have in any collection, and given the rarity of the full uniform, it could easily jump in value.

2000 Tom Brady Upper Deck Black Diamond rookie card

Tom Brady in sweatpants? Tom Brady in sweatpants. This card shows Brady in a practice jersey wearing gray adidas sweatpants. He’s carrying the football in a running position. When graded at a 9 mint, this card can go for nearly $8,000.

2000 Ultra Tom Brady  #234 rookie card

This card is fairly generic; however, the Platinum Medallion parallel has only 25 copies. That makes it incredibly tough to find, and thus the value goes up.

2000 Upper Deck Victory Tom Brady #236 rookie card

This card came in a pack that went for just $0.99. Can you imagine finding a Tom Brady rookie card for just $0.99? It might have seemed like a throwaway at the time, but it would morph into something special. That’s a good lesson to remember — you never know which card or which player is going to surprise you. There are enough of these cards to go around, so it’s a good starter card for the burgeoning Brady collector.

2000 SkyBox Dominion Tom Brady/Giovanni Carmazzi RC #234

On this card, Giovanni Carmazzi is featured right next to Tom Brady. Though he was drafted ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL draft, Carmazzi never threw a touchdown. In addition, he never actually appeared in a regular season game. This card is great to have since it’s so odd. Brady is featured in a generic-looking jersey, while Carmazzi is in the same type of outfit. Pair this with the 2000 Fleer Tradition Tom Brady/David Stachelski RC #352. Stachelski is a tight end who played in nine games in his career, catching just one pass for five yards. Both he and Brady are shown in Patriots practice jerseys as “rookies to watch.”

2000 E-X Tom Brady RC #122

Click images to enlarge.

There are only just 25 of the Essential Credential version of this card. That’s why it can go for up to $25,000 when graded at a Mint 9. It’s one of the rarer cards out there, and 14 of the 25 cards are graded by other services at Mint 9, with none graded above that. So even though he’s wearing a red non-contact jersey and gray sweats, this is a card that defies expectations — just like a rookie Brady did all those years ago.

In conclusion

Tom Brady rookie cards are a must-have for any serious collector. He’s one of the best ever to do it and deserves a place on your mantle. Though they may be expensive, the fact that there are more than you might think means some can be had at reasonable prices. Given that the Hall of Famer’s career is still going on, the value can still increase exponentially. Imagine if he wins another Super Bowl? Another MVP? It’s never a good idea to count out Brady, and that applies for opposing defenses and for serious card collectors. That means that buying a card now can still mean a tremendous appreciation in value down the road. It’s not just a collector’s item. It’s a good investment. That’s how great cards should be, and all these rookie Brady cards do just that.

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