$500,000 Bounty Offered For Rare Tom Brady *Baseball* Card. Is It Now His Most Coveted?

One of the more popular baseball cards collectors are searching for is none other than… Tom Brady? That’s right! The legendary quarterback is featured in 2023 Bowman Draft as a special insert and autograph to commemorate Brady being drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft. And because of Brady’s popularity, there is a $500,000 bounty for one specific card from the set.

The half-million-dollar bounty belongs to the 12/50 Gold Brady autograph. Brady inscribed the card with, “If baseball doesn’t work out, there’s always football.” No one has yet to pull it.

However, the 1/1 SuperFractor autograph card was already pulled and is currently for sale at Goldin Auctions, with bidding ending Saturday, Jan. 13. That Brady card is expected to sell for six figures.

“With its crisp, youthful image of the league-altering superstar, hard-signed autograph, and dazzling, opulent SuperFractor visual effect, here’s a truly laudatory ‘grail’ collectible that presents a player, who played at the very height of his sport, in the very height of exclusivity,” writes Goldin.

Five years after being drafted by the Expos, the New England Patriots took Brady in the sixth-round of the 2000 NFL Draft, where he became the greatest football player of all-time. During his illustrious 23-season career with the Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he won a record-setting seven Super Bowls (six with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers) and five Super Bowl MVPs. Not only does he hold those two Super Bowl records, but the 15-time Pro Bowler won three NFL MVPs and holds the records for most passing yards and most passing touchdowns of all time. Because of his accolades, Brady cards are a must-have for any collector, but which ones are the most sought-after? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the top five best Tom Brady cards that collectors should look out for.

There is one record Brady doesn’t have, though — the most expensive football card ever. A 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 BGS-9, numbered to 100, sold for over $3.1 million in 2021. However, that same year, a 2017 National Treasures NFL Shield Patrick Mahomes Rookie Auto 1/1  BGS-8.5 sold for $4.3 million — making it the highest-selling football card of all time.

Whether you are an expert in collecting sports cards or are just starting out, there are a few things to keep in mind as you build your collection. We have listed them below to help guide you in your journey.

Tips for Football Card Collecting:

  1. Define Your Collecting Goals: Determine whether you’re aiming for a complete set, focusing on specific players or eras, or seeking investment opportunities.
  2. Set a Budget: Establish a realistic budget to guide your collecting decisions and prevent overspending.
  3. Research and Educate Yourself: Immerse yourself in the world of football cards, learning about grading, pricing, and market trends.
  4. Seek Reputable Sources: Purchase cards from reputable dealers, online platforms, or card shows to ensure authenticity and condition.
  5. Protect Your Collection: Store cards properly in protective sleeves, binders, or cases to preserve their condition and value.
  6. Join the Community: Engage with fellow collectors through online forums, clubs, or local events to share knowledge and insights.
  7. Enjoy the Journey: Above all, appreciate the fun and camaraderie of collecting, and savor the thrill of discovering new treasures.

Are you ready to upgrade your collection with some top-end Brady cards? StudyFinds has put together a list of the best Tom Brady cards every collector needs. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below!

Tom Brady as quarterback of the New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks to throw a pass against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Debby Wong on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Tom Brady Cards, According to Collectors


1. 2000 SP Authentic #118 Rookie Card

Topping the list is Tom Brady’s 2000 SP Authentic #118 rookie card. “This card is valuable owing to its popularity,” says Sportskeeda. “The card is immensely iconic among collectors and there are a total of 1250 copies in the world. SP Authentic was the most premium brand for rookie cards during the 2000s which helped establish the popularity and value of this card.”

2000 SP Authentic #118 Rookie Card
Tom Brady 2000 SP Authentic #118 Rookie Card (psacard.com)

“Just 97 copies of this card are in PSA 10 condition. And considering that of the BGS population of 999, roughly 1% achieved the revered 10 grade, you’re lucky if you have one,” writes MoneyMade. “Now, it makes sense that the 2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady Rookie Card #118 card is one of the most sought-after football cards today. It has a limited print run of only 1,250, is exquisite in looks and presence, and it makes for an incredibly desirable collector’s piece. Considering Tom Brady’s popularity and recent auction prices for his cards, this one is only gaining demand.”

Beckett calls is “one of the most iconic football cards of all-time.” Why? “This is another card where brand matters. Before autographs and memorabilia took over, SP Authentic was positioned as the premium brand in the hobby. And it was firmly established in that regard as well. Those chasing Rookies bought it. A lot of collectors went after complete sets. And then team and player collectors look for a seat at the table. So while it doesn’t make sense, the popularity of this card makes perfect sense. Demand, meet supply.”

2. 2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph #144 Rookie Card

Brady’s 2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph #144 is his only autographed rookie card, making it a must-have for any collector. “One of the most sought-after Tom Brady rookie cards is the 2000 Playoff Contenders rookie ticket autograph,” writes Graded Card Investor. “A PSA 10 example of this card fetched an astonishing $289,066 at a Goldin Auctions event in September 2023. The most recent recorded sale of a PSA 9 variant occurred in February 2020, when PWCC Auctions sold one for $41,000.”

2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph #144 Rookie Card
2000 Playoff Contenders Autograph #144 Rookie Card (psacard.com)

“The significance of the 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady rookie card is that it’s his only autographed rookie. He does have a number of autographed releases from 2000, but surprisingly, this is the only official rookie card that has his signature,” says Sports Card Specialist. “Although the base card isn’t numbered, it’s popular because of the autograph, but that’s not the only appeal – The Contenders brand is hugely popular in the hobby, with the distinct rookie ticket design.”

All Vintage Cards notes that these Brady rookie cards in the PSA 6-7 range go for around $20,000. “The 2000 Playoff Contenders set featured 200 cards, with the first 100 being base cards and the remaining 100 autographed cards. Thus, the 2000 Playoff Contenders Brady Autograph #144 is Brady’s only autographed rookie card that is part of a base set.”

3. 2000 Bowman Chrome #236 Rookie Card

Coming third on the list is Brady’s 2000 Bowman Chrome #236 rookie card. “The value of an ungraded Tom Brady base set Bowman Chrome rookie card is between $800-$1,200, depending on the condition,” notes Graded Card Investor. “PSA 9 examples sell between $2,000-$3,000, while PSA 10s sell between $7,000-$8,400. The most recent PSA 10 example was sold by PWCC Auctions in October 2023 for $7,200.”

2000 Bowman Chrome #236 Tom Brady RC BGS 10 Super Rare Ultra High End POP 102
2000 Bowman Chrome #236 Tom Brady RC BGS 10 Super Rare Ultra High End POP 102 (ebay.com)

“Print runs are important when it comes to a modern card’s value, but they’re not the only factor. The 2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady Rookie Card is one of his most valuable,” writes Beckett. “That said, it’s not particularly high-end and it’s not numbered. So why is it so popular? It’s his only chromium-style card for starters. As far as football card styles go, Chrome is a juggernaut most years. This is also one of only two Tom Brady Rookie Cards released by Topps. That concentrates a lot of the interest from the company’s fans in a small number of places.”

There’s also a refractor version of Brady’s 2000 Bowman Chrome rookie card. “At first glance, Brady’s Refractor parallel rookie card from 2000 Bowman Chrome appears virtually identical to his 2000 Bowman Gold parallel rookie card. However, Brady’s 2000 Bowman Chrome parallel rookie card emerged from an entirely different set and isn’t serial-numbered,” says Public.com. “Although slightly less valuable than his 2000 Bowman Gold parallel rookie card, Brady’s 2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor rookie card has a BGS population of 250, with this copy meriting a BGS 9.5, with only one BGS card graded higher.”

4. 2000 SPx #130 Rookie Card

Brady’s 2000 SPx #130 rookie card is limited to a 1,350 print run. “Despite there being much more scarce options, this card is one of the more popular and valuable Tom Brady rookies,” says Sports Card Specialist. “The card itself has quite a premium feel to its design – the blue and white background with the gold foiled text make for a clean looking card.”

2000 SPX #130 TOM BRADY RC ROOKIE #'D/1350 PSA 10 GEM MINT GOAT Blue Chip
2000 SPX #130 TOM BRADY RC ROOKIE #’D/1350 PSA 10 GEM MINT GOAT Blue Chip (ebay.com)

“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,” writes CGC Cards. “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.”

All Vintage Cards writes, “I love the look of Brady’s SPx card and it is among the upper echelon of Brady rookies in the minds of nearly all collectors. With a defined supply of only 1350 cards, it also helps dictate the value—and anything in NM-MT condition or above is likely going to run you up about $6K.”

5. 2000 Leaf Limited #378 Rookie Card

Rounding out Brady’s best cards is his 2000 Leaf Limited #378 rookie card. “If you break the 2000 Leaf Limited Football base set down, it has a somewhat confusing tiered structure. But what’s important here is the fact that the Brady has just 350 copies,” says Beckett. “This puts the quarterback in the rarest group for the product. The premium foil card is also one of the rarest Tom Brady Rookie Cards, period.”


“With only 350 copies around the world this card is already valuable due to its rarity,” notes Sportskeeda. “The specialty is that it has a special colorful foil look and features Brady in action as it was released at the latter part of the 2000 NFL season.”

MoneyMade writes that Brady’s 2000 Leaf Limited #378 rookie card “will fetch top dollar” if it’s a PSA 10. “Put your hands together for the 2000 Leaf Limited Tom Brady Rookie Card #378. This premium foil card has all the potential of the GOAT quarterback himself. Sporting an impressive print run of only 350 copies, it fits firmly among the rarest on this list.”

How are football cards graded?

  • Condition:
    • Centering: The centering refers to how evenly the image is positioned on the card. A perfectly centered card will have the image perfectly aligned with the borders on all sides.
    • Corners: The corners are the most vulnerable parts of a card, so they are closely inspected for damage. Sharp corners are essential for a high grade.
    • Edges: The edges of the card are also inspected for damage, such as chipping or fraying. Smooth, clean edges are important for a high grade.
    • Surface: The surface of the card is inspected for any defects, such as creases, scratches, or stains. A clean, defect-free surface is essential for a high grade.
  • Rarity: Rarer cards are typically in higher demand, which can drive up their prices. Rarity is determined by a number of factors, such as the year the card was produced, the player featured on the card, and the size of the print run.
  • Company: Some grading companies are more respected than others, and their grades are therefore considered to be more reliable. The three most popular grading companies are PSA (Professional Sports Authenticators), Beckett Grading Services (BGS), and SGC (Sportscard Grading Company).
  • Subgrades: Some grading companies also provide subgrades for individual aspects of the card’s condition, such as centering, corners, edges, and surface. These subgrades can provide more detailed information about the card’s condition and can help to explain its overall grade.
Grade Description
10 Gem Mint
9 Mint
8.5 Near Mint
8 Excellent
7.5 Very Good
7 Good
6 Poor
5 Fair
4 Very Poor
1 Awful


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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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