The 1989 Topps baseball card set is one of the most iconic releases in the modern era of the hobby. While not quite as legendary as some earlier decades, the ’89 Topps set still contained many young rising stars and future Hall of Famers who would go on to have stellar careers. As such, many of the rare and prestigious rookie cards and stars from this set have grown tremendously in value over the past 30+ years.

The 1989 top 25 covers some of the most desirable and expensive individual cards that collectors seek out from this 792 card base set. Launching right at the tail end of the 1980s boom period, ’89 Topps had plenty of hype and produced cards that still hold significance today. Let’s take a closer look at some of the headliners:

Nolan Ryan, #284 – One of the most accomplished pitchers ever, Ryan’s ’89 Topps update card can fetch $50-100 in top-graded gem mint condition. He was still an active flamethrower at age 42.

Ozzie Smith, #195 – Still early in his surefire Hall of Fame career, the Wizard of Oz delivers slick defense on this $75-150 card depending on centering and edges being sharp.


Jose Canseco, #250 – Canseco’s home run prowess helped ignite baseball’s power surge. His second year Topps card sells in the $100 range, more if it’s a true gem.

Ken Griffey Jr, #562 – Junior’s second year card shows his sweet swing already in form. High-grade rookies range $125-200 with room to appreciate.

Mark McGwire, #210 – Big Mac took the league by storm in his rookie campaign. His ’89 Topps RC is a frequently sought $150-250 piece.

Wade Boggs, #120 – Already an eight-time batting champ, Boggs delivers consistency. Near-mint examples command $175-250.

Dennis Eckersley, #270 – Eck established himself as the game’s premier closer. Mint condition RCs hit the $200-300 benchmark.

Robin Yount, #250 – One of the most respected players of the era. Yount’s slick updating sophomore card sells for $225-350.

Greg Maddux, #579 – Doc’s second year card shows why he’d become so dominant. Near-mint RCs reach the $250-400 range.

Cal Ripken Jr, #592 – Already an All-Star, Ripken Jr.’s ’89 hints at an epic career. Pristine rookie copies climb to $300-500.


Tony Gwynn, #430 – Mr. Padre could already spray hits everywhere. His near-flawless cards hit $325-575 in value.

Frank Thomas, #440 – The Big Hurt’s early dominance shines through. Super high-grade rookie cards escalate to $350-600.

Sandy Koufax, #420 – One of the rare Hall of Famer update cards. Koufax gems crack the $400-700 price point.

Kirby Puckett, #450 – Already an All-Star and batting champ. Puckett’s star rose rapidly and so did this RC to $450-800.

Tom Glavine, #660 – Glavine emerged as an ace and his rookie is prized at $500-850 for pristine copies.

Don Mattingly, #90 – Donnie Baseball delivered as always. Near-mint versions of his career-defining card reach $550-950.

Rickey Henderson, #580 – The base stealing king at the height of his game. Epic condition RC’s command $600-1,000.

Barry Bonds, #320 – Even before steroids, Bonds was must-see TV. Pristine rookie gems soar to $700-1,200.

Roger Clemens, #300 – The Rocket dominated from the get go. Near black label first year issues sell at $750-1,300 strong.

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Jose Canseco, #250 – The true RC reveals even more potential. Black label flawless editions bring $800-1,400.

John Smoltz, #500 – Smoltzie’s dominance began early. Near black label rookie gems raise the ceiling to $850-1,500.

Dwight Gooden, #650 – Doc emerged as the game’s most electrifying talent. True gem 1985 rookie editions hit $900-1,600.

Ken Griffey Jr, #562 – When centered perfectly, these rookies stun at $1,000-1,800 price points.

Kirby Puckett, #450 – Considered the true finest conditioned ’89 RC around. Near-flawless examples sell between $1,200-3,000

Barry Bonds, #320 – Pristine rookie presentations command immense sums. The rarest black label quality pieces have exceeded $2,000, and are primed to appreciate considerably further with time.

The 1989 Topps set launched many integral players who shaped the game for decades. While not in the same retail abundance as modern releases, valuable rookie and star cards from this set hold strong intrinsic worth. With rarer finds like black label Junior, Puckett or Bonds rookies, collector appreciation for ’89 Topps looks poised to keep climbing higher.

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