BGS 9 Tom Brady Contenders Championship Ticket Auto Poised to Set Football Card Record

Weekend bidding has made the 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket autographed rookie up for bid at Lelands the highest priced football card of all-time—and there’s still a few more days left in the auction.

The BGS 9 example of Brady’s top rookie card—one of 100 that carry his autograph—stood at $1,895,217 as of Monday afternoon.  With the 20 percent buyer’s premium factored in, the winning bidder would pay over $2.27 million even if no other bids are entered.  That would top the price paid for another example of the same card, graded BGS 8.5, that Lelands sold earlier this year. 

The card is one of seven  Brady Championship Tickets graded 9 by BGS, with none higher.

The card’s subgrades include a 9.5 for centering, a 9 for edges and surface and 8.5 for corners. The signature is graded a perfect 10.

PSA and Beckett have now graded 91 of the 100 Championship Ticket Brady rookie autograph cards in all, so the odds of another card eventually grading higher would appear to be fairly slim.  With the borderless design and less care that was likely afforded to some of the existing cards 20 years ago, high grade examples will always be scarce. Two other BGS 8.5 Brady Championship Ticket autos sold for over $1.7 million and nearly $1.6 million at auction over the last five weeks.

As recently as 2019, one of the seven BGS 9 Brady cards sold for $400,100 but interest in Brady’s best rookie cards has skyrocketed in the last several months as he adds to his Hall of Fame career just as the market for high-end cards has exploded.  

An improbable and unprecedented seventh Super Bowl title in the first season with his new teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—and the possibility of at least another championship—has collectors and investors snapping up Brady’s earliest cards.

The Contenders line was among the first to show Brady in his full New England Patriots uniform as many of the earliest issues that season picture him in his college jersey or in a red practice jersey. 

The back of the card hails Brady as a “take charge leader with the Wolverines, compiling a 20-5 record over the past two seasons as a starter.”

The unnumbered “Rookie Ticket” version of the same card saw a top price of $555,988 for a PSA 10 sold on eBay earlier this year.  Two BGS 9 examples have recently sold at auction for $145,200 and $78,000—all prices that are represent dramatic increases from recorded sales prior to 2021.

In addition to the Championship Ticket rookie, Lelands is also selling  the ball Brady threw for his first NFL touchdown pass. Bidding was at $163,714 as of Monday.

The auction will continue through Thursday at

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for over 35 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]

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