Rookie Cards of the GOAT Tom Brady
The irony of writing this piece about Tom Brady is that he literally, without exaggeration nor inaccuracy is the greatest quarterback of All-Time, also known as, the GOAT! If you were to compare it to boxing, he is the undisputed Heavy Weight Champion of the world. Love him or hate him you can not deny his accomplishments nor his statistics.
Up until a couple of years ago, I would’ve argued that Joe Montana was the greatest quarterback of all time. Growing up in the ’80s and watching Joe I just developed the mindset that Joe was the man. But I’ve also had the chance to watch the entire career of Tom Brady and I must give credit where credit is due. After the 2020 season, I considered everything this man has accomplished in the NFL.
7x Super Bowl Champion | 14x Pro-Bowler | 3x All-Pro | 3x MVP | 2x All-Pro Offensive Player of the Year
Current career statistics: 581 Touchdowns | 191 Interceptions | 79,204 Yards Gained by Passing | 64.0 Completion Percentage | Team Record is, 230 wins and 69 losses with Tom Brady as the quarterback during the regular season only.
As of the date of this post, Brady just recently turned 43 years of age and is showing no signs of retiring. He’s proven his naysayers wrong every time so it’s exciting to see what the future holds for this NFL legend.
Looking at his rookie cards there are a total of 44 official rookie cards. 12 of them show him in his New England Patriots uniform, 22 of them show him in his Michigan University uniform and 10 show him in his practice uniform. There are also 52 parallels for a total of 96!
Rookie Cards of Current Great
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Overall a really nice card design. I’m not a fan of the practice uniforms but the card back gives collectors something very unique, it gives the New England Patriots 1st Round Draft Picks for the last 10 years.
Rookie cards in this set were serial-numbered to 3000. Parallels include Coaches Honors which offers silver holofoil and are serial-numbered to 300. Players Honors parallel give us gold foil and are serial-numbered to only 10.
This is a really exciting product that features a fantastic design and dual portrait/action photography, background colors were designed to match the color scheme of the NFL team. Gold foil lettering on the card front and the card back look like something out of a spaceship.
There is one parallel in this product, Premiere Date gives collectors more gold foil highlights and is serial-numbered to 85.
Included in the Black Diamond were 30 Rookie Gems and 30 Rookie Jersey Gems which featured an authentic piece of a jersey worn by the featured player in the 2000 NFL Rookie Premiere Photo Shoot.
Tom Brady was in the Rookie Gems subset which did NOT feature the jersey swatch like the Rookie Jersey Gems did. However, overall a really nice-looking card with great design, card stock, and colors.
Parallels include Black Diamond Gold and are serial-numbered to 500.
Brown and black borders make it challenging to find mint copies due to chipping along the edges and dog-eared corners. Great action photo in front and card back gives us another action photo, player bio, commentary, and stats.
Parallels include Bowman Gold which offers collectors a gold foil finish and is serial-numbered to 99.
The Chrome offering mimics the design given to collectors in the standard paper Bowman, therefore concerns over dark borders carry over to this release as well. But the popular refractor parallels are available in this product and are serial-numbered to 99.
Now we’re getting into the big-boy cards with this premium product offered by Playoff. One of the most sought-after rookie cards and one of the most valuable. Rookie Ticket theme offers on-card autograph and NFL team colors throughout the front and back of design which is an absolute stunner of a card.
One parallel, Championship Ticket also autographed and serial-numbered to 100.
This product is one of my favorites. The 144 card set is all die-cut in the shape of a crown. This is the hobby version and the card front features the crown with a gold background highlighted in silver foil.
Parallels include Limited Series which is stamped on the card front in red foil, they are serial-numbered to 144. Also, Premiere Date which does NOT feature a date like one would think instead features a gold foil text box showcasing the serial-numbered to 145.
The retail version of Crown Royale did not have any parallels. Card backs are the same but the card front is featured with a maroon background highlighted in silver foil.
My least favorite rookie card of Mr. Brady. I typically frown on dual rookie cards then we have college uniforms with no team logos. The card back only gives commentary and that’s it. BUT! it is an official rookie card of an HOFer so for that reason alone I respect it.
One parallel does exist in this set “Extra” it has a mirror background with gold foil font on the card front and is NOT serial numbered.
Dark borders front and back make it difficult to find mint copies of this thin papered beauty. Brady is shown in his practice, light workout uniform which I’m not a fan of but I prefer that over the college uniform.
Just my opinion. The full photo of the stadium in the back of the card is genius and low serial numbers are always a plus. Parallels do exist; Stat Line Season serial-numbered to 90 and Stat Line Career serial-numbered to 3.
This one is an absolute stunner! Card stock is quality, card design unique, serial-numbered to 1500 is perfect. The full action photo in the front is fantastic however, the reverse negative photo in the back is the only foul.
One parallel is inserted, Essential Credentials Futures serial-numbered to 25.
The photo doesn’t do it justice but this mirrored beauty has tremendous eye appeal. However, I’m not a fan of college uniforms on NFL products. The card back can be challenging with dark borders on the sides but overall very nice and are serial-numbered to 2000; surprisingly the first 500 of these are die-cut.
Parallels include Aspirations serial-numbered to 56 and Elite Status serial-numbered to 54.
This was a retail-only product and it offers collectors a premium product look and feels. Rookie Action subset is serial-numbered to 2500 and is showing Mr. Brady reaching back ready to fire one-off. Card back gives another photo and offers everything a good card back should have. There are no parallels.
The impact was a kid-friendly product released by Skybox and had a .99¢ per pack price point. The card stock is very thin therefore vulnerable to damage. The front design is simple and clean, a fantastic full action photo with big bold font letters indicating Brady’s rookie status is a nice touch.
The card back is excellent too giving collectors everything a good card back should have. There are no parallels to speak of.
This was a retail-only product and shows Brady in his Michigan uniform, some are a fan of college uni’s on cards and others like myself are not. Overall, a really nice-looking card with a “futuristic” design. These are serial-numbered to 2000 and there are no parallels in the set.
Dark borders make this one condition sensitive. Practice uniform is a negative but that silver foil explosion in the background makes up for it. Decent card back giving us everything a good card back should and serial-numbered to 1500.
Parallels include Mirror Red with no serial number and Mirror Gold which are serial-numbered to 30.
Beautiful card design that offers collectors a great action photo but card front can easily suffer from surface scratches. Card back fails to deliver player photo but does give us a bio, stats, and commentary. Also, these may be really hard to find due to them being serial-numbered to only 350.
Parallels are the Limited Edition which has enhanced rainbow color and is serial-numbered to just 25.
This is a 300 card set and features 160 rookies including 40 European Prospects. This large rookie checklist doesn’t fail to deliver when it comes to card design either; the front and back of this one is a beauty.
Everything that a great card should have is found right here and it’s serial-numbered to 1000 is the icing on the cake.
Parallels include Longevity which has a silver foil and serial-numbered to only 30.
Made of cardboard but designed to look like metal this 300 card set has 50 short-printed rookie cards that are in the horizontal position, the rest of the set is in the vertical position.
These SP rookies also have a bronze-colored ink used in the front while the rest of the set uses silver ink.
The only parallel is Emerald Green and it is NOT serial numbered, a shade of green runs across the top of the card, and on the back, right below the card number, you’ll see “E”.
Handsome card design with the browns, blues, and silvers stamped with white lettering really gives this one lot of eye appeal. This base rookie is numbered to 750 and parallels include Momentum O’s #’d to 10 and Momentum X’s #’d to 9.
Fleer’s high-end product did not disappoint. The stunning full action photo in the card front and portrait photo in the back. Base card rookies are serial-numbered to 2000 and came with a thick dark covering that had to be peeled off to reveal the card.
Parallels include Mystique Gold not serial numbered and Mystique Masterpiece are serial-numbered one of one.
Pacific Omega offers collectors a fantastic game-time action photo. The card front design is well-balanced. The card back gives us everything a good card back should have and is serial-numbered to 500. Set offers four types of parallels but the checklist for them does not include any of the rookies.
This borderless beauty gives us a full action photo and that cool football helmet at the lower right side of the card. The card back is well thought out and balanced.
Parallels include Copper serial-numbered to 75 inside hobby packs only. Gold is found in retail packs and is serial-numbered to 199. And Premiere Date numbered to 78.
This card has a clean design with a twist. The card sits on white borders and the color scheme is meant to match the color of their NFL team colors. The Patriots are navy blue and red and so is the color scheme of this beauty.
More of the same on card back however, stats are hard to read and there is no player bio. If you like parallels this is your set.
The Holo-Golds serial-numbered to 130, Holo-Silver #’d to 85, Platinum Blue #’d to 75, Premiere Date has a gold foil seal and is serial-numbered to 79. All parallels are stamped on the card front.
This is a very nice product as well, rookie cards are serial-number to 2500. The card front features a full action photo on foil card stock which looks great but if not handled carefully it will show the slightest scratch.
Card back offers something very different, the New England Patriots Top 10 Draft Picks for 2000. Two parallels in this one, Spectrum Green serial-numbered to 25 and Spectrum Red numbered to 100.
This 200 card set features 100 rookies. Not a fan of any uniform other than the NFL so that’s a negative for me. The holofoil background gives an abundance of shine which is always a good thing. It’s serial-numbered to 1000 and there are no parallels of this card.
Has anyone noticed the majority of Brady’s rookie cards feature him in his college uniform? This one, however, features something a bit different. The card front has a canvas-like feel to them and the background mimics a sketch drawing.
Card backs are decent but what makes this one stand out, even more, is the extremely low serial number of only 278. Parallels include Gold serial-numbered to 181 and Premiere Date numbered to just 95.
The retail version differs in a few ways. First, canvas color is a bit lighter in color, you’ll have silver foil etching in card front unlike the gold foil etching in the hobby version and these are serial-numbered to 650. No parallels in this product.
This one hurts the eyes a bit. First off we used recycled photos. Also, plastered all over the front of the card are these random pixellated boxes. More of the same on the card back, its only saving grace is that they’re serial-numbered to 1000. No parallels are offered in this set.
Full action photo portraying Brady in his college uniform. The silver foil background gives it a cool refractor-ish look. The base card rookies are un-numbered but if that’s your thing no worries there are multiple parallels in this one.
The Infinity Green is serial-numbered to 75; Infinity Red serial-numbered to 35; Infinity Purple numbered to 15.
The Revolution set is made with the color scheme of the NFL team that drafted them and the team emblem is etched in gold foil. Card back seems to have plenty of room for player commentary but for whatever reason was left out.
They quickly redeem themselves by offering collectors a very low print run of only 300. There are no parallels for this one.
Great action photo but college uniforms really clash with the card borders. Card back is decent and gives us everything a good card back should. Overall for a basic paper product Score put out a great design.
Parallels include, Final Score – stamped on the right side of card front with enhanced gold foil #’d to 31. Score Card – stamped on the right side of card front with the gold foil of course #’d to 2000.
Only 160 cards complete the Showcase set. Quality card stock and design feature this rookie card serial-numbered to 2000. Looking into Brady’s eyes kinda creeps me out but other than that this is a must-have. Speaking of creeping out I’m wondering why he’s bald.
Parallels include Legacy in red foil serial-numbered to 20. Also, Rookie Showcase First mimics the base rookie but it’s horizontal and serial-numbered to 250.
This premium product, white boarded beauty is a must-have in any collection. Clean, crisp card design, and quality card stock gel nicely with only 1,250 copies available. No parallels exist for this product.
Upper Deck was soaring high as it dominated the industry by offering collectors beautiful card designs such as these. Quality card stock and serial-numbered to only 1350 copies.
One parallel in this one, SPX Spectrum offers collectors red foil highlights on card front instead of silver and autograph serial #’d 25.
This is a 190 card set, they are serial-numbered to 2000 and the overall card design lacks ingenuity. Card back has a fuzzy canvas look to it and the big gray/ 20n text box in the center has me scratching my head. BUT! It’s still an RC of a HOF’er. A holo-gold parallel exists and is serial-numbered to 20.
Staying true to name Tradition goes old school with a dual portrait rookie card. The card front says that Tom Brady is a “Rookie to Watch” man did they predict that one accurately.
Card back is pure cardboard which gives it that traditional feel but it lacks by only giving us a player commentary. No serial numbers nor parallels for this one.
These are serial-numbered to 1325 with no parallels. Not sure why they opted to use the same photo two times on the same side so I consider it a design foul. The card back is not much to brag about either. A rare Upper Deck miscue for sure.
Like Brady, this borderless high gloss beauty is a winner. Thicker card stock easily shows chipping especially along the backside edges. Speaking of the card back I like the full action photo you rarely see that on a card back but the font is extremely small and blurry to look at.
Parallels include Gold Medallions that are not serial-numbered but are die-cut. Platinum Medallion is serial-numbered to 25 and the Masterpiece parallel is a one of one.
A collector favorite this one has lots of eye appeal with that beautiful blue. But unfortunately, the same photo is re-used by Upper Deck seemingly over and over. Card back lacks photos but offers everything else. These are not serial numbered.
Parallels are, Exclusives Silver serial-numbered to 100 and Exclusives Gold serial-numbered to 25.
Rockstars typically come back on stage for an encore and that’s what this product offers collectors. Mimicking the Upper Deck release Encore returns front and center but this time with a dark green-gold foil front and a green-tinted background on the cards back.
They are not serial-numbered and there are no parallels.
This 150 card set has 25 rookies and is serial-numbered to 762. The card front has a green background and the action photo of Brady seems to be surrounded by silver foil. Card back is not really impressive and lacks player bio. Parallels include Proofs that are serial-numbered one of one.
Beautiful card design here by Upper Deck. Card back has a great design also. Although I have noticed that Upper Deck recycled this same photo on multiple brands this is a must-have in my collection. Although not serial numbered they’re promoted as short print. There are no parallels featured in this set.
This product mimics its parent Victory (see former). Differences are red-foil highlights. These are serial-numbered to 2000 and the back has an amazing red border that may make it challenging to find mint copies due to chipping.
Three parallels in this one but they lack a theme because they are basic by name: “Parallel” has a shimmer design front and brown borders in the back; “Parallel 100” you guessed it serial-numbered to 100. And ironically “Parallel 25” yes serial-numbered to 25.
Happy Collecting Collectors,
Learn. Collect. Enjoy.