Sports cards collectors will be familiar with the SP Authentic cards which are some of the most popular in the industry. The subset of cards has featured a variety of different sports from baseball to hockey. The set also includes some of the most expensive and sought-after cards that are crown jewels of elite collections.
No matter if you’re just getting into sports cards or if you’re a grizzled veteran, SP Authentic cards are a good addition to any collection. While the upfront cost for the cards that are listed in this article may be relatively high, there’s a good reason for that. These are quality items that are sure to keep value over time as well as continue to rise. Paying that high upfront cost is the barrier to entry to get your hands on one of these exclusive cards.
There are lots of different sports cards, SP Authentic or others, that make great investments. As a collector, it can be difficult to make the decision on which cards you will spend your hard-earned money to acquire.
The 5 Best SP Authentic Cards of All-Time
There are a ton of great SP Authentic cards on the market that make for great investment opportunities. No matter what sport you’re most interested in collecting, there is an SP Authentic card that would be a good candidate for your portfolio.
Here are the five best SP Authentic cards for investors. If you’re looking to add an SP Authentic card to your collection that has the chance to grow quickly in value, these are your best choices.
5. 2005 Sidney Crosby SP Authentic Future Watch RC /999 #181 (SHOP NOW)
First up on this list is this rookie card of Sidney Crosby. Crosby had plenty of expectations resting on his shoulders when he entered the league and has somehow lived up to them. While he did have some issues with concussions during the middle of his career, resulting in one of the biggest what-ifs in NHL history, Crosby has managed to build one of the most impressive hockey resumes of all time.
This card features a large portrait of Crosby in the middle of the card. It’s the first thing that catches your eye when you first look at the card and the next natural progression is the autograph on the bottom of the card. The autograph is a nice feature that collectors will enjoy and helps keep the floor price of the card high.
Last but not least, there is lots of text on the card. These graphics describe the subset of the card and also list Crosby’s team: the Pittsburgh Penguins. The print run of this card was limited to just under 1000 copies which ensures that the supply is known and will not change.
4. 2005 Alexander Ovechkin SP Authentic Future Watch RC /999 #190 (SHOP NOW)
Next up, we have the Alexander Ovechkin card from the same year as the Sidney Crosby card. Ovechkin and Crosby have been linked ever since they first entered the league together and helped shoot new life into the NHL. While for a long time it was consensus that Crosby was the better player while Ovechkin had a reputation as a selfish player who couldn’t help his team win, that has changed. Ovechkin has continued to score goals at an extremely high pace despite his age and won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2018.
The card has the same design as the Crosby one mentioned above with the large portrait in the middle of the card and the autograph below. There is the same text on the sides of the card that describes the subset “future watch” that the card belongs to as well as Ovechkin’s team.
This card has the same print run as the Crosby card with only 999 copies made. While 999 isn’t the smallest print run and still allows for a solid supply to float around the market, it does provide collectors with a greater sense of peace of mind.
3. 2015 Connor McDavid SP Authentic Future Watch RC /999 #226 (SHOP NOW)
Marking the midway point of our list, this Connor McDavid card is the third consecutive hockey card on this list. McDavid is the young face of the league that has been passed the torch from Ovechkin and Crosby as the best player and ambassador of the NHL. This card is from the same “Future Watch” collection that the Ovechkin and Crosby cards belong to but was released a decade later.
The visual design of this card is a little different than the other ones listed previously. Instead of a portrait of McDavid, this card features an image of the superstar mid-game while he wears the white Oilers jersey. There is still an autograph on this card that is below the graphic of McDavid. The bottom of the card features a graphic with all the information about the card and it’s got the Oilers color scheme that helps make it pop.
Once again, the population of this card is just 999 copies. This is the exact same as the Crosby and Ovechkin cards and ensures that owners of this card know exactly how many other editions of this card exist.
2. 2001 Tiger Woods SP Authentic Golf RC /900 #45 (SHOP NOW)
The first non-hockey card on this list, this 2000 Tiger Woods SP Authentic card is a super special card and one that would be a premier piece in any collection or investment portfolio. While the golf card market is not as robust as other sports, Tiger Woods is one athlete that transcends his sport and is well-known in popular culture. He’s an internationally recognized celebrity and has done more for his sport of choice than almost anyone else in his generation.
This card shows Woods with a club in his hand after he has just finished a swing, most likely a chip shot. There is an autograph on the card that takes up a significant portion of the middle part of the card. On the bottom of the card, there are a few graphics that provide information such as his name.
This card has a print run of 900 copies. This is slightly smaller than the three hockey cards that have been mentioned on this list and helps keep the card exclusive and the price stable. While engulfed in controversy, Woods’ career in golf will never be replicated in terms of his success and his branding. As the man who brought golf into the mainstream, owning a Woods card is owning a piece of history.
1. 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic RC /1250 #118 (SHOP NOW)
Finally in the top spot is this rookie card that features Tom Brady. Brady has established himself as the ultimate winner and is widely regarded as the greatest player to ever play the game of football. Brady had a magnificent start to his career as he was the key piece of the New England Patriots dynasty in the 2000s and 2010s, one of the greatest modern dynasties that we have ever seen across North American professional sports. After leaving the Patriots, Brady went south and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he won another Super Bowl.
Because of his huge stature in the sports world, Brady’s rookie cards are super popular with collectors and investors. This card is one of his most sought-after and thus makes for a great investment. It shows Brady in a red Patriots jersey with the ball in his hands as he scans the field. The card has an interesting design that gives off a computer-generated feel.
There is no autograph on this card but it doesn’t need one because of all the other features that make this card so special. It does have the highest print run of any of the cards on this list at 1250 but that is low enough to keep the value of this card high. Overall, this is one of the best investment options for collectors, not only in the SP Authentic ecosystem but across the entire sports card industry.
SP Authentic Card Investment Guide
For collectors that are looking to buy cards with the potential to offer a high return on investment, SP Authentic cards are a great option. The brand is recognized by serious collectors across the industry. The best SP Authentic cards have also shown an ability to keep their value, as well as grow in value, over time which should offer collectors some confidence in their investment.
The five cards listed in this article are the best investment options out of all the different SP Authentic cards. While there are other SP Authentic cards that might beat them in terms of return on investment in the near future, these cards have big upside potential while they also have strong floors. Investing is about seeking out upside while also covering your bases by making safe investments. All the five cards listed here picture reputable players which means their cards won’t experience crazy volatility in price.
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Feel confident investing in any of the cards listed here. Not only are they great investment options that are likely to rise in price over time, but they also are quality sports cards that can be featured in impressive collections. No matter if you’re buying one of these cards to hold in your personal collection or you’re strictly looking for a profit, buying one of these cards is a good idea.