12 Most Valuable Tom Brady Rookie Cards
I may very well have thrown away a Tom Brady rookie card or two at one point...
Why would I do such a thing?
Growing up in central Indiana, my grandparents took me to tons of Purdue football games.
And while Michigan used to (and still does) routinely pound on Purdue, I don't even remember much about Tom Brady's days at Michigan.
That's all because I was hyper-aware of who Drew Brees was around that same time since he was leading Purdue to many NCAA records and lots of rare Purdue football wins.
And then we all know the story of Brady being a sixth-round pick and becoming Drew Bledsoe's back-up until Mo Lewis's monster hit on Bledsoe made Brady the starter.
Long story short, like many at the time, I just had no idea who Tom Brady would one day become.
But, because of his legacy and all those championships, Tom Brady's rookie cards are some of the most expensive in the hobby.
And in this guide, we look at his 12 most valuable.
Let's jump right in...
2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 Autograph
Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $450,000
One of just a few modern football cards to make our list of most valuable football cards ever produced, Brady's 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket issue has seen its value skyrocket over the past several years.
A parallel of his base 2000 Playoff Contenders card, these were limited to a run of just 100 copies making them extremely scarce in any grade.
Is Brady the greatest quarterback of all-time?
You'd think after winning six Super Bowls there would be no debate.
What's not debatable is the fact that these cards should continue to fetch monster price tags for years to come as Brady's legacy is all but cemented at this point.
2000 Playoff Contenders #144 Autograph
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $168,000
Can't afford a $400,000 Tom Brady card in PSA 9 condition?
You're in luck, this one can be had for less than half that in PSA 10 condition.
Sarcasm aside, this is the base version of the Championship Ticket parallel mentioned above and as you can see, it also sells for well into the six-figure range.
This set was a breakthrough product in the football card community when it was first released and its reputation has obviously held up well over time.
Although Brady had other autographed cards that were released in 2000, many consider this to be the only autographed "true" rookie card that Tom Brady has which adds to its value.
2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor #236
Estimated PSA 10 Value $30,000
Many refractor parallels that you see in the hobby today will come in a "rainbow" of different colors from red, blue, orange, etc. and will be numbered to various degrees of limited print runs.
That's not the case here.
Brady's 2000 Bowman Chrome refractor comes in one style only and they are not numbered at all.
Of the cards on this list, this one is among the least flashy and overall I think it has a nice straightforward look and feel to it.
I'm not sure how many were produced but in top grade these can easily go for five figure price tags.
2000 SP Authentic #118
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $17,500
When SP Authentic was released, it was marketed as a premium product with high-quality design elements.
And this particular Brady card was numbered to just 1,250 copies.
By today's standards, you'd likely need an autograph on the card and a far more limited print run to be considered a truly premium brand or product.
But as you can see, SP Authentic's place in the hobby has held up well over time and collectors still go wild over this particular card.
2000 Donruss Elite Aspirations #183
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $12,000
Many in the hobby would not consider this to be a rookie card at all given the fact that Brady is pictured wearing his Michigan Wolverines jersey.
But, it does say "Rookie" right on the bottom of the card.
Regardless of which side of the rookie card fence your'e on, this particular die-cut Brady card numbered to just 90 copies total is easily one of his most valuable.
The imagery is fantastic and the red background really makes Brady stand out in his Wolverines uniform.
2000 Fleer Showcase #136
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $11,000
It's hard to complain about any early Brady card but I do think this one in particular would be better served without the image of his eyes in the background.
The image of him passing is fantastic but the eyes in the background just seem out of place.
Collectors don't seem to mind as much as I do and that's just fine.
These holographic foil cards were limited to just 2,000 copies total and sell in the five-figure range in top grade.
And even though that number doesn't seem all that scarce by today's standards, consider who we're talking about here and you can understand how demand can still quickly outpace supply with this guy.
2000 Playoff Contenders #RN11 Tom Brady & Marc Bulger Round Numbers
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $6,500
Here is a beaming example of how you just never know whose rookie cards may later be worth huge price tags and how manufacturers can't predict the future any better than we can.
To get an idea of what Playoff Contenders thought about Brady at the time, you need only notice that they placed fellow rookie Marc Bulger on the front and Brady on the back of this dual-player autograph rookie card.
That's not to knock on Bulger at all since he had a decent career himself and was a two-time Pro Bowler.
But, we're talking about six-time Super Bowl winner, Tom Brady, in this case...
That six near Brady's helmet obviously wasn't the number of Super Bowls that the company thought Brady would win, it was just a nice way to feature two six-round picks on the same card.
2000 Leaf Rookies and Stars #134 Longevity
Estimated PSA 9 Value: $5,500
One of the scarcest of all Tom Brady rookies, the 2000 Leaf Rookies and Stars "Longevity" issue was limited to just 30 copies in total.
The regular Leaf Rookies and Stars Brady rookie is no slouch in its own right as it can be worth around $3,000 in PSA 10 condition.
But there were 1,000 of those produced versus 30 of the "Longevity".
With such a low production run, you rarely see these surface for sale or auction.
And what a great name for a Tom Brady card that truly speaks to his legacy as one of the game's biggest winners of all-time: "Longevity".
2000 Playoff Momentum #180
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $5,500
Numbered to just 750 in total, these foil cards can be extremely condition sensitive due to the propensity of chipping and dings on the foil.
The design of the card is one of my favorites on this list as it features great modern design elements without being too over-the-top.
The large image of Brady dropping back to pass makes for a card with strong eye appeal that many collectors strive to add to their collections.
2000 Leaf Limited #378
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $5,000
2000 Bowman Rookie of the Year Promotion
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $4,500
Tom Brady was not even close to being the 2000 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Running back, Mike Anderson, of the Denver Broncos took that honor.
And as far as quarterbacks were concerned, Doug Johnson, of the Atlanta Falcons was the QB named to the NFL All-Rookie Team that year.
However, professional sports can be full of surprises and few things have been more surprising than Tom Brady's career given how it started.
Nevertheless, Bowman still included him in their Rookie of the Year Promotion series and in top grade, they can be worth thousands of dollars.
2000 Leaf Certified Mirror Red
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $4,500
I love this card and its not because of the great design and scarcity of these red versions...
It's the sweat pants.
While several Brady rookies feature images of the legendary quarterback in sweat pants (and were most likely all taken during the same practice session), this is the only one on the list that can make that claim.
This "Mirror Red" parallel is far more scarce than the base version, which was limited to just 1,500 copies itself.
Tom Brady plus scarcity always equates to huge price tags, especially when it's a rookie card.
Another unique thing about the card that I like is the way Leaf overlaid "Rookie" together with "2000" near the bottom of the card.
Tom Brady's Legacy
The only thing more impressive than Tom Brady's legacy is likely that it's still being written.
You'd think a guy with six Super Bowl rings in his early 40's would have achieved enough to be convinced to finally hang up his cleats.
But, not Tom Brady...
He's still competing at a high-level and his Patriots are seemingly always Playoff and Super Bowl contenders.
That said, some of the things that the beloved NFL legend has achieved to date are:
- 14x Pro Bowl
- 6x Super Bowl Champion
- 3x NFL MVP
- 3x NBA All-Pro
Those are only a few of his many accomplishments, none of which anyone saw coming early on in his career.
Love him or hate him, at this point it's tough not to admire the guy and all he has done for the NFL, the Patriots organization, and fans everywhere.
His legacy as one of the NFL's greatest players of all-time and extreme popularity will keep his rookie cards in high demand for a long, long time.