Nowadays, “The GOAT” is a term all too often thrown around. No offense to the farm animal, but the title of “Greatest of All Time” shouldn’t be taken so lightly. It is a title that should be reserved for the truly elite – the Muhammad Alis, Michael Jordans, Babe Ruths and Wayne Gretzkys out there, that tiny fraction of timeless athletes that comprise the upper echelon of sports. And it’s a title rarely thrown around during a player’s active days.
Then came one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
Overcoming a handful of names on his birth certificate, absolutely zero expectations and the looming obscurity that comes with a sixth-round draft pick, Tom Brady eventually earned the starting quarterback gig in New England in 2001. And he never relinquished the title. Since then, there’s really no need to go into specifics; the six Super Bowl rings, 14 Pro Bowl selections and slew of other accolades says it all. What’s really scary is, as of this writing, the ageless quarterback is 42 years old and doesn’t look to be slowing one bit. Not even cheating accusations can deflate Brady’s ego. The quarterback has the track record, and he’s still putting up the numbers, 19 years into his pro career.
Love him for his on-field gifts or hate him for his six championship rings and penchant for ill-inflated footballs, his GOAT status looks less like a debate and more like an established fact.
But back to his cardboard. Brady has an abundance of rookie cards – 44, to be exact, many of which command steep prices due to the quarterback’s stellar accolades. (Just look at his 2000 Playoff Contenders rookie card, which has sold for prices well over six figures.) But if you consult the playbook, you can find Brady rookies at a price that won’t sack your bank account.
With the game on the line, we’ve scanned the opposing defense and came up with four Brady rookies in PSA NM-MT 8 and PSA MINT 9 to get you started on his Rookie Player Set. It turns out, collecting the rookie cards of the arguable GOAT isn’t an impossible pursuit.
2000 Pacific Aurora #84
- PSA Population: 157 PSA NM-MT 8, 685 Pop higher
- Average Cost for PSA 8: $40
Starting off with the most affordable issue, our first entry on the list is the Pacific Aurora. (The Pacific what?) Yes, the maker of this rookie card doesn’t command the hobby clout of Topps, for instance, but it’s a necessary addition to completing your Brady Rookie Set. And it’s with cards like the Pacific issue that we make our play for affordable Brady rookies. As an added bonus, that halo effect surrounding the young quarterback’s image is almost an omen to the on-field greatness that would ensue. A PSA 8 example will run you just $40. But you can add a PSA 9 to your collection for just about $20 more. You can also set your sights on the Premiere Date parallel, if you’re so inclined.
2000 Pacific Paramount #138
- PSA Population: 297 PSA Mint 9, 242 Pop higher
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $97
Another Brady rookie card issued by Pacific, this card dials back on the visual noise of Pacific Aurora, opting instead for a more subdued layout. Like each of the cards we’ve included in this list, 2000 Pacific Paramount is not tough to find, with 297 PSA 9s and counting. But that also means this early Brady rookie, depicting the young quarterback geared up to launch a pass in his college digs, can be yours for around $90 or so in PSA 9. The card comes in five serial-numbered parallels: Draft Picks, HoloGold, HoloSilver, Premiere Date and Platinum Blue.
2000 SkyBox Impact #27
- PSA Population: 517 PSA Mint 9, 806 Pop higher
- Average Cost for PSA 9: $95
Impact hit the hobby scene in the early 2000s without making much of a, well, impact. Still, propelled by the golden goose that is Brady, this 2000 offering holds its own in today’s market, in terms of collectability. Given the theme of this entry, we’ve chosen to feature a PSA 9 example, valued at roughly $95. But if you have that PSA GEM-MT 10 itch, you can scratch it for around $240. Both of these values are apt to shoot up once the first-ballot Hall of Famer calls it a career.
One plus evident in the Population numbers … the card isn’t hard to find.
2000 Upper Deck Encore #254
- PSA Population: 43 PSA NM-MT 8, 75 Pop higher
- Average Cost for PSA 8: $133
Alright, now we’re going for the game-winner, ending with the most rare, valuable card on our list. Featuring the same image as the Upper Deck Victory issue (not featured on this list), Upper Deck Encore sees the future Hall of Famer with ball tucked under arm, apparently jogging in his sweatpants. Though more appealing Brady action shots are available in his deep rookie catalog, the gold trimming that flanks the quarterback makes for an eye-catching aesthetic. And, for all of you rarity seekers out there, the card was a fairly tough pull back in its day, which is echoed in its comparatively small PSA population. This card came at a rate of one in every sixth pack.
For the sake of this entry, we’ve chosen to feature a PSA 8, valued at around $133. But if you have a PSA 9 in mind, it can be yours for around $200. Once you hit the PSA 10 realm, however, the price jumps up to around $700.
There are many reasons for this card’s popularity, most of which being that, of this bunch, it is the lone card with Brady in his Patriots digs.
Upper deck, mostly because he’s in the pats uniform.
— Looking for Rosen or Vols. (@SportsCardsTy) October 30, 2019
We know, we know. Brady is a polarizing figure. But after an incredible 19-year run, he has the stats and the hardware to back him up in the Greatest Of All Time debate. And, he hasn’t lost a step! Love him or hate him, watching Brady carve up opposing defenses is akin to watching Jordan hit a buzzer beater, Gretzky skate circles around defenders or Ruth crush a towering home run; it’s witnessing greatness. Considering this, if we told you that you could get a jump start on your Brady rookie set and pick up four cards of the arguable GOAT for just around $365, wouldn’t you want to grab them?
Check out the Tom Brady rookie set on the PSA Set Registry and take your shot at greatness, at least in cardboard form.
We know, we know. Brady is a polarizing figure. But after an incredible 19-year run, he has the stats and the hardware to back him up in the Greatest of All Time debate. And, he hasn’t lost a step! Despite your feelings about him, watching Brady carve up opposing defenses is akin to watching Jordan hit a buzzer beater, Ali knock somebody out, Gretzky skate circles around defenders or Ruth crush a towering home run; it’s witnessing greatness. Considering this, if we told you that you could get a jump-start on your Brady Rookie Set and pick up four cards of this living legend for just around $365, wouldn’t you want to grab them?
Check out the Tom Brady Rookie Player Set on the PSA Set Registry and take your shot at greatness, at least in cardboard form.Start Your Set Today