The 1987 Topps baseball card set was the 66th series issued by Topps and featured cards of players from that year’s American and National Leagues. With 792 total cards, the ‘87 Topps set showcased all the biggest names and rising stars in the game at the time. While not the most valuable vintage set overall, it contained several highly sought after rookie and star player cards that have grown in popularity with collectors in recent decades. Here’s a look at the top 10 most important and valuable 1987 Topps baseball cards based on their historical and cultural significance, as well as current market values:

Barry Larkin Rookie Card (#356)

Barry Larkin would go on to have a Hall of Fame career primarily with the Cincinnati Reds, winning an MVP award in 1995. His rookie card from the ‘87 Topps set holds significance as one of the more affordable star player rookie cards from that era in good condition. Graded Mint 9 examples recently sold for around $80-150, showing its enduring popularity. Larkin was one of the premier shortstops of the 1990s and his Topps rookie remains a staple in sets from that time period.

Ozzie Smith (#92)

Already an All-Star and Gold Glove winner by 1987, Ozzie Smith was one of the premier defensive shortstops in baseball during the 1980s. His crisp, clean-cut look and back flipping antics made him a fan favorite as well. The 1987 Topps Ozzie Smith card remains one of the definitive baseball cards commemorating his impressive career. Higher graded versions in Mint 8 or above have sold for $150-300 in recent years, with its value steadily increasing among collectors.


Barry Bonds (#266)

Considered one of the greatest players of all time statistically, Barry Bonds’ career and legacy is still hotly debated among fans due to performance enhancing drug accusations later in his career. His rookie card from 1987 Topps is significant as one of the early cards showing his potential before drug controversies. Still a bit overlooked compared to other stars from that era, decent condition Barry Bonds rookies sell in the $80-150 range today. With time, this card may grow in notoriety and value.

Roger Clemens (#264)

Another dominant career marred by later steroid allegations, Roger Clemens established himself as one of baseball’s top pitchers starting in the late 1980s. His 1887 Topps rookie card remains an iconic piece from that vintage set. Higher graded CGA-slabbed versions in Gem Mint 9+ condition recently sold for over $400 due to his pitching accomplishments and notoriety. While tarnished now due to controversies, Clemens’ Topps rookie will likely remain a seminal card from the late 20th century era.

Eric Davis Rookie Card (#373)

Injuries prevented Eric Davis from reaching his full potential, but he was a superstar when healthy based on speed, power and defense ability. His rookie card has appreciated well in recent years due to his flashy playmaking style and the scarcity of pristine graded copies. A PSA 10 version last sold for over $800, and even lower graded copies in the $100-200 range are steadily climbing in secondary market value among collectors. Davis’ speed and highlight reel plays made this one of the more exciting rookies from 1987 Topps.


Cal Ripken Jr. (#150)

Even prior to breaking Lou Gehrig’s famed consecutive games played streak, Cal Ripken Jr. was one of baseball’s most promising young stars in the late 1980s. His dependable performances helped restore faith in the game during that period. The 1987 Topps Ripken rookie remains iconic for capturing him at the beginning of his epic career. Higher graded PSA/CGA Gem Mint 10 examples now sell for $2,000-3,000 due to his hallowed status in Cooperstown. A true cornerstone of the hobby from the vintage ‘87 set.

Rafael Palmeiro (#613)

With over 3000 career hits and 500 home runs, Rafael Palmeiro put together a Hall of Fame caliber resume prior to later steroid scandals clouding his legacy. His Topps rookie is quite scarce in pristine condition due its late card number (#613). As a result, even lower graded copies remain popular investments at $100-300. A PSA 10 Palmeiro rookie sold very recently for over $2000. An intriguing but controversial star player card from the set.

Mark McGwire (#207)

Already displaying prodigious power in 1987, Mark McGwire’s iconic battle with Sammy Sosa helped revive baseball’s popularity in the late 1990s. His Topps rookie is one of the most well-known from that decade. High-grade PSA/BGS versions bring thousands today due to nostalgia for Big Mac’s home run race and MLB single season record. Even amid later revelations, McGwire’s ‘87 Topps RC remains a cherished piece of baseball card history.


Jose Canseco (#667)

As MLB’s first 40/40 player, Jose Canseco was a revolutionary five-tool talent when debuting in the late 1980s. His rookie card is among the scarcest in the ‘87 Topps set due to its late printing number. Even heavily playednear-raw copies sell for $50-100 based purely on his notoriety from the ‘Bash Brothers’ era. Pristine Canseco rookies grade 9 or above are worth $400-800 today and likely to appreciate over time as a genuine piece of baseball innovation history.

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card (#1)

Widely considered the most prized baseball card in existence, Ken Griffey Jr’s rookie debuted as the coveted card #1 slot in Topps flagship 1987 set. “The Kid” became a 13x All-Star known for dazzling athleticism and joy for the game. His smile, swing and talents captured the imagination of a generation of fans. PSA 10 Griffey rookies have reached $10,000-25,000 depending on market conditions, showing no signs of losing value long-term. Simply put, for culture impact and investment potential, Griffey’s Topps RC stands alone as the most important card in the set.

While conditions have prevented some from holding value as strongly, the 1987 Topps set contained iconic rookie cards and players that still hold nostalgic appeal for collectors across generations. Stars like Ripken, McGwire, Griffey and others defined the late 80s/90s eras and have ensured this set remains a cornerstone in the vintage baseball card market.

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