10 MOST VALUABLE 1989 BASEBALL CARDS

The 1989 baseball card set saw the emergence of young superstars like Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. into the major leagues. While not as lucrative as vintage sets from the 1950s onward, there were still some hugely valuable rookie and star cards produced in the Topps set that year. Here are the 10 most valuable 1989 baseball cards based on PSA 10 Gem Mint condition prices:

Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card – Griffey’s rookie is the undisputed king of the 1989 set. Even in a PSA 9 Near Mint condition, it routinely fetches well over $1000. But a PSA 10 Gem Mint Griffey rookie has been known to sell for astronomical sums. In March 2020, one identical copy sold for a staggering $35,840, setting a new record. Widely considered one of the most iconic and desirable rookie cards ever printed, the Griffey Jr. is beloved for its eye-catching photo and subject’s Hall of Fame career.

Barry Bonds rookie card – Like Griffey, Bonds emerged as a rookie sensation in 1989 and is one of the game’s all-time great hitters. His rookie comes in a close second place for value from the ’89 set. PSA 10 examples have sold for over $10,000, with the average price hovering around $5,000-$7,500 depending on demand. Bonds’ career home run record and numerous MVP awards cement this card as a must-have for collectors.

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Nolan Ryan 3000th strikeout card – This ultra-rare serial-numbered parallel card from Topps commemorates Ryan notching his 3000th career strikeout in 1990. Only 10,000 were printed and it’s instantly recognizable amongst fans and investors. High grades fetch astronomical prices, with one PSA 10 recently selling for a whopping $24,000 at auction. Arguably one of the most significant pitching records in MLB history magnifies this card’s appeal.

Ozzie Smith error card – An accidental printing error caused the photo on Smith’s primary card to be incorrectly replaced, making this variant hugely scarce and coveted. Estimates suggest only 200-300 exist in circulation. In Gem Mint condition, they’ve sold for upwards of $10,000. Any error card from a set as popular as 1989 Topps is trophied by collectors.

Nolan Ryan (#20) – Further cementing his status as one of the ’89 set’s most collectible players, a Nolan Ryan stars also cracks the top 5. Portraying the pitcher in action, it remains iconic of his dominance on the mound. PSA 10s have cracked $5000, though most range $2000-$4000 based on a card’s overall condition.

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Bo Jackson rookie card – While not quite in the same realm of fame as Griffey/Bonds, Jackson’s short but spectacular MLB/NFL career made him a huge name in the late 80s/early 90s. As such, his rookie carries decent value, with a PSA 10 selling for around $2000-$3000. It’s a key piece of memorabilia from Bo’s record-setting athletic prime.

Randy Johnson rookie card – The Big Unit would go on to dominate for decades after his rookie year of 1989. His card remains fairly coveted by collectors today. PSA 10s have sold for $1500-$2500 depending on bidding wars and overall hobby/vintage sports market fluctuations. A true star from the set.

Gregg Jefferies rookie card – Jefferies was a phenomenally hyped prospect who never fully lived up to expectations long-term. But his impressive rookie stats and tools generated excitement at the time. Higher graded PSA 10s have reached $1200, with most 9s and 10s residing in the $500-$1000 range now.

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Ruben Sierra rookie card – An underrated slugger of his era, Sierra put together solid career numbers. His rookie card retains respectable value given his reputation as a quality player, with PSA 10s selling around $800-$1500.

Tom Glavine rookie card – The 300-game winning pitcher rounded out a stellar Hall of Fame career that began as a lights-out starter for the Braves in 1989. Condition-dependent, PSA 10 Glavine rooks have sold for $700-$1200. His modern-era credentials keep him relevant.

The 1989 Topps set gave collectors a trove of future legends, from young Griffey and Bonds to veterans like Ryan and Smith. While no match for the true vintage greats, certain key rookie and star cards have appreciated nicely given 30+ years of demand growth. The Griffey in particular stands out as an icon that routinely obliterates price records. The 1989s offer affordable access to some hugely significant MLB talents during their earliest pro seasons.

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