Skip to main content

Serena Williams rookie cards set records for female athletes

Just like Tom Brady, Serena Williams is the GOAT of her professional sport. Now, just like Brady, her sports trading cards are setting records.

With such legendary modern athletes as Tom Brady, LeBron James and Mike Trout seeing their trading cards soar in value in recent years, it was only a matter of time before one of the greatest female athletes of all time experienced a similar spike.

It finally happened in PWCC’s Monthly Premier Auction Monday night as tennis legend Serena Williams saw two of her cards set records for the highest prices ever paid for a female sports card.

Williams, one of the greatest players of all time, has a career record similar to Brady’s seven Super Bowl titles and slew of MVPs. Her 23 Grand Slam victories are the most of any player in the Open Era and second all time. She has won Wimbledon and the French Open seven times each, and the U.S. Open six times. She was ranked No. 1 in the world eight times and has won the most major titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

A 1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids Series 4 Serena Williams Rookie Card, graded PSA 10, sold for $117,000, more than doubling the previous record for a women’s sports card of $44,280.

1999 SI For Kids Serena Williams rookie card.

1999 SI For Kids Serena Williams rookie card.

Williams’ first rookie card was released in the July 1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids issue along with eight other star athletes. The cards were inserted as a perforated sheet within the magazine, making them susceptible to a slew of condition issues. Only eight have been graded PSA 10.

Also See: Michael Jordan shoes from 1984 Olympics up for bid 

A 2003 Netpro Elite Glossy Tennis Serena Williams Rookie card, also graded PSA 10, also broke the previous record, selling for $96,000. The card is one of only 100 known to exist.

2003 Netpro Elite Serena Williams rookie card.

2003 Netpro Elite Serena Williams rookie card.

NetPro released its 20-card Elite Tennis set in 2003 with Williams’ rookie card as the #2 card in the set. The factory set was short-printed to 2,000 sets, with each including an ultra-rare ‘Glossy’ variation which was printed to only one hundred. The card sold is one of the 100 variations of Serena’s #2 rookie card, and one of only 26 graded PSA 10.

"We're extremely excited to see both the $117,000 and $96,000 sales for Serena Williams' cards as it reaffirms what many of us already knew: that she is the greatest of all time," said Chris Callahan, Director of Marketing at PWCC.” The sales also highlight the rapid growth in women's sports cards over the past year. Through 2021, we saw a few records set for women's cards, but the $117,000 sale is definitely a major step up as it more than doubles the previous record.

“This also reinforces a larger story that assets beyond baseball, basketball and football are seeing strong growth in the collectible space, and it's a reason to be very excited about the state of the market."

NEW RELEASES: The best new Topps, Panini releases of early 2022