Most Valuable 1990 Topps Baseball Cards
Usually, collectors will have a strong opinion one way or the other about 1990 Topps baseball cards:
Either they love them or they hate them…
And it has everything to do with the multi-colored design.
I’ve always liked the look of these cards, and as a kid, I loved ripping packs in search of rookies and star players.
In this guide, we take a look at the 20 most valuable 1990 Topps baseball cards.
Let’s jump right in…
Before we get started, I do want to make it clear that most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.
So, in order for the cards on this list to be worth much, they’ll either have to be the Tiffany version and/or be graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition.
That means the card needs to be basically flawless.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the top ten:
Ken Griffey Jr Minor League Card #1psa 10 Sold For $8600
One of Ken Griffey Jrs biggest sleeper cards is his 1988 Best minor league cards. Because there werent many produced, the market has not been flooded with these. So, many collectors dont even know they exist. But, the ones that do pay premium prices for the near-perfect examples.
There are two versions of this card. The one shown here is the Platinum version which has a gray border. The other version has blue borders and is more populated than the Platinum. Because Platinum has less available, they are naturally more valuable. So far, PSA has graded 265 of the Platinum, with only 17 making the PSA 10 grade.
Topps Eric Davis Rc #627
Eric Davis was the choice of many collectors hoarding cards in the age of the era of stash-and-sell. He stole 80 bases in 1986, and followed that up the next season with 50 steals. Of those 130 steals, he was caught just 17 times. From 1986-90, Davis averaged 30 home runs and 90 RBI, and finished with a .900-plus OPS in three of those seasons.
Don Mattingly Rookie Card #248psa 10 Sold For $3480
The 1984 Donruss baseball set features player portraits from the chest up. Which doesnt make them very exciting. They do, however, have an interesting bottom team and player call-out section not found in other sets.
Topps printed player team names embedded in a four-tier golden comb effect that adds a subtle flair to the cards. Allowing for one of the most valuable Don Mattingly rookie cards to stand out from the rest.
Surprisingly, over 7,000 Don Mattingly rookie cards have been submitted to PSA. Of those submitted, 271 have been declared PSA 10 gem mint condition. Making this rookie card, in gem mint condition, the eighteenth most valuable baseball card from the 80s.
Roger Clemens Rookie Card #181psa 10 Sold For $13877
Another valuable card from the 1985 Topps Tiffany set is the Roger Clemens rookie card #181. It is collectible from the get-go, with only 5,000 Tiffany sets printed in 85. Additionally, the second-year Tiffany sets cards resemble regular-issue variety but feature a high-gloss finish.
The 1985 Topps Tiffany is Roger Clemenss most valuable rookie card. It holds the #5 spot on this list by consistently reaching prices over $5,000 when found in PSA 10 conditions. PSA graded 1,600 of them, with 48 grading gem mint 10.
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Cal Ripken Jr Rookie Card #21psa 10 Sold For $1825
A 1982 Topps Orioles Future Stars base set card will make a great addition to any authentic Baltimore Orioles fan collection. Although Jeff Schneider and Bob Bonner didnt have much of a career in the Major Leagues, the player centered in the middle sure did. Cal Ripken Jr. played for the Orioles for the entire 21 years of his career.
Furthermore, he holds the record for most consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrigs streak of 2,130, which lasted for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable. In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and currently has the fifth-highest voting percentage .
With 29,032 cards in the PSA pop report, the 1982 Topps Ripken rookie card has one of the highest population reports of all 1980s baseball cards. This number is mind-blowing when you think about all the time, energy, and money that goes into the grading process for 1 card, let alone 29,032.
In addition to the enormous submission number, whats even more shocking is that only 517 have been given the prestigious PSA 10 grade. With such a small amount of these being found in gem mint condition, its no wonder they are one of the most valuable baseball cards of the 1980s.
Donruss Don Mattingly Rc #131
As the idea of the rookie card really started to catch on in a mainstream way, the 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly was at the forefront. His career may not have finished as strongly as it started, but Mattingly is still a Yankees icon. Likewise, this will forever be one of the most iconic baseball cards of the 1980s.
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Cal Ripken Jr Traded Rookie Card $1100
For many collectors, this is Ripkens true rookie card. The one listed above is a shared card that included the faces of two other players, Bob Bonner and Jeff Schneider.
Plus, this issue came out after Ripkens incredible Rookie of the Year season. So it hit the streets with the appeal that meant any kid who knew his baseball players at the time would be keeping a special place in a collection for this one.
In PSA 9 it is pegged at $150 and up to $1,100 in PSA 10.
Upper Deck Gary Sheffield #13 Cor Rc
Those ripping packs of 1989 Upper Deck looking for Ken Griffey Jr. cards did find this RC of a Brewers shortstop who, at the time, was most known for being Dwight Goodens nephew and for his gold front teeth. But 509 home runs and a National League batting title later, Sheffield stood on his own name. There is an error version with the SS in the upper-right corner upside down. But just stick with this corrected version.
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Wbtv Charlotte Oscal Ripken Jr Minor League Card #16psa 8 Sold For $4080
Before playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. played for the Charlotte Os. The local TV station printed some promotional baseball cards with players from the team and handed them out during one of Ripkens first games playing for the Os.
It is said that only 1,400 sets were printed, but many were thrown away or deemed worthless at the time. The value for a PSA 10 has yet to be determined because PSA has not found any of the 68 theyve seen worthy. This is one of Cal Ripkens most valuable baseball cards and of the most valuable from the 80s.
A Deep Dive Into The Wild World Of Sports Cards
As most know, the 80s werent the best time to be a baseball card collector, unless you were ahead of the game and buying up vintage at crazy low prices. For starters, the baseball card market was watered down by new arrivals, Donruss & Fleer. These two companies actually had to take Topps to court and spent nearly a decade batting to break up the baseball card monopoly. Unfortunately, their early efforts fell flat and didnt add much to the hobby. Then of course, card popularity went through the roof and the Junk Wax era began around 1987. It was just a rough time to be a collector.
Due to the money that manufacturers, retailers, and dealers were able to make, even rookie and early year cards of Hall of Famers and superstars tend to be worth less than what it costs to fill up your gas tank. It wasnt until grading became popular that cards from the 80s hit their revival and made early investors rich. To put it into perspective, think of perhaps the most famous card from the 80s, the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Today, you can buy a raw copy for around $40-$60. It really doesnt get much better than that unless you take your card, get it graded and it comes back with a high grade.
If you have a copy, Im buying
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Don Mattingly Donruss Rc #248
The first of two Donruss cards on this list, this one features a headshot of the 1985 American League MVP, Don Mattingly. Donnie Baseball is pictured wearing a Yankees cap, which is the team he would go on to spend his whole 13-year pro career at.
The card features his name, the word Yankees, and the d84 symbol at the bottom.
The 1984 Donruss set is a big favorite amongst fans and Mattinglys rookie card has always been highly sought after
PSA report that Mattinglys retirement without a World Series win saw demand for the card drop slightly but his relatively recent venture into coaching will undoubtedly boost the value once again.
In gem mint 10 condition the card is rare and therefore valued at around $2500 when it does crop up. A mint 9 copy would set you back around $300, whilst in a low grade or ungraded, they can be picked up for around $20 to $40.
Donruss Highlights Highlights In Whitebo Jackson Rookie Card #43psa 10 Sold For $360
1986 Donruss Highlights cards have two versions printed. The only difference between the two is the color of the word Highlights, located in the lower left-hand corner of the card. What is known as the Highlights in White version has white text, while the intended version has yellow letters, which have a much higher print run.
Due to the low print run of the letters in white variation, they are much more valuable than the copies with yellow text. This variation is not limited to the Bo Jackson rookie card, they can be found on other player cards like Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Roger Clemens, Darryl Strawberry, and many more.
The rarity of the Bo Jackson Highlights in White rookie card is quite impressive. So far, PSA has authenticated and graded only 11 copies. Which, is incredibly rare. Furthermore, there have only been 6 found in gem mint conditions. Making the example shown here 1 of only 6 in existence.
For the true Bo Jackson collector, this card is a must-have for your collection. It is, without a doubt, one of his more valuable baseball cards from the 1980s.
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Topps #757 Larry Walker Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75
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Larry Walker could flat out rake.
And he could field, too.
He was one of my favorite players to watch growing up as the guy could do it all.
I especially remember that monstrous 1997 season he had with 49 home runs, 143 runs scored, 130 RBI and a .363 batting average.
Remarkably, that stat line wasn’t good enough to take home the Triple Crown but he did win MVP honors that season.
Walker’s rookie card received quite a boost in price once he finally received the call to the Hall of Fame.
Pinnacle Derek Jeter Rc #457
Even non-baseball fans know who Derek Jeter is. That’s because he’s one of the most prolific, and best, baseball players in history. A 14-time All-Star, five-time World Series -champion, five-time Gold Glove winner, five-time Silver Slugger, and two-time AL Hank Aaron Award winner, Jeter helped re-define the game throughout the 1990s.
This card from 1993, when Derek was just 19 years old, is worth quite a bit of money, although probably not as much as you may expect. For example, this mint condition card is selling for $650 on eBay. It’s not that much, but then again, this isn’t a particularly rare card.
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The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
The Most Valuable Babe Ruth Card
- Latest auction price: $6,000,000
- Outstanding feature: It portrays a pre-rookie Babe Ruth as a minor league pitcher
- Certificates/grades: VG3
The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card features a pre-rookie Ruth during his days with the Boston Red Sox as a star left-handed pitcher. Its currently the most valuable card depicting Babe Ruth since it portrays the lesser-known beginning of a man who was later renowned as the heavy-bat-wielding slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees The Bambino.
A 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card was auctioned off at roughly $6 million in a private sale in June 2021. SGC rated it VG3, and its one of two cards in the top 10 valuable baseball cards list without a PSA or BGS grade.
Some news reports suggest the total number of surviving 1914 pre-rookie Babe Ruth cards is less than ten. This severe rarity heightens the demand for the card.
Roger Clemens Fleer Update Rc #u
This card features a fresh-faced Roger Clemens in his Boston Red Sox uniform holding his pitchers glove. The ultra-simplistic design is reminiscent of the time with the majority taken up by the picture of Clemens, with simple blue and white borders and writing.
The 1984 Fleer set is very desirable amongst collectors and is seen as one of the best sets of the 80s
It is hard to say how many were made with estimates being in a rather wild range of 4,000 to 100,000.
However, many there were, some issues with the original packaging means that finding them in mint 10 condition is increasingly rare. PSA says that just 6% of the 3,000 submitted to them have been in mint 10 conditions with a further 43% being graded 9.
When they are found on the market mint 10 copies are valued at around $1600 with mint 9 copies worth about $350. Ungraded copies crop up too and can be purchased for around $35.
Clemens has, rather inexplicably to some has not yet been elected to the Hall of Fame. If this eventually happens this card value could experience a boost.
The most popular rookie card of one of the greatest ever baseball players. This Topps card features Henderson in action in yellow and white Oakland Athletics uniform, with the bench blurred in the background.
The overall card design is good with some nice-looking graphics on the front and a printed autograph.
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Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Draft Bdpp89 Superfractor
The 2009 Bowman Draft BDPP89 Superfractor Mike Trout card sold for $3.9 million in August 2020. Still on the roster for the Los Angeles Angels, Trout is a nine-time All-Star, three-time American League Most Valuable Player, and eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Bowman only printed one copy of this iridescent gold Superfractor card, which made it incredibly valuable even before the active outfielder autographed it.
From historys most valuable cards to cult favorite collectibles, Dibbs turns physical baseball card collections into fractionalized assets so everyone can own a piece of the action. To learn more about the fractional collectible market and start trading on Dibbs,
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Topps #250 Jose Canseco
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35
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Although back problems hampered him during the 1990 season, Jose Canseco still managed to blast home runs at one of the highest rates of his career as he would belt 37 in just 481 at-bats.
For his efforts, Canseco earned a trip to his fourth All-Star game and picked up the second Silver Slugger of his career at that point.
Unfortunately, the back issues kicked in at the wrong time as he struggled with back spasms throughout the entire postseason.
Although Canseco batted just .182 with one RBI in the AL Championship versus the Red Sox, the Athletics collectively played well enough to sweep Boston.
Unfortunately for Oakland, Canseco was even worse in the World Series, batting 0.083 with one home run and two RBI.
This time, the team couldnt overcome the dip in production and fell quickly to the Reds, 4-0.
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The Most Valuable 80s Baseball Cards
People ask me what I do in the winter when theres no baseball, Roger The Rajah Hornsby Sr once said. Ill tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. Baseball card trading gave fans something to celebrate in the long empty winter, and in the 80s they saw an explosion in popularity.
Baseball trading cards today are graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator on a scale of one to 10, indicating how well theyve been preserved over the years. This grade can have a massive impact on the value of a baseball card along with various errors and quirks that you can find in the list below.