The 1990 Donruss baseball card set was the 13th release in Donruss’ flagship baseball card series. While not the most coveted or valuable set from the Junk Wax Era of the late 1980s, there are still several standout rookie and star player cards from the 1990 Donruss set that can earn collectors a nice return on investment if in pristine condition.

The 1990 Donruss set marked the rise of stars like Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas who were just entering their primes. It also featured the rookie cards of future all-stars like Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi, and Tom Glavine. While the sheer numbers printed mean most common cards from the set hold little value, there are certain short prints and star player cards that collectors look to acquire. Let’s take a closer look at some of the cards from the 1990 Donruss baseball set that could be worth money for collectors today.

The headliner of the 1990 Donruss set value-wise is the Frank Thomas rookie card (#456). Coming off a monster rookie campaign in 1990 where he finished second in AL MVP voting, Frank Thomas established himself as one of the game’s best power hitters. His rookie card has really gained value in recent years as he nears Hall of Fame induction. PSA 10 Gem Mint copies of the Thomas rookie have sold for over $1,000. Even well-centered PSA 9 Excellent copies can fetch $200-500.


Another top rookie from the set is Jeff Kent (#512). Kent went on to have a 15-year MLB career hitting over 300 home runs primarily as a second baseman. He was recently elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. PSA 10 copies of Kent’s rookie card have sold for $500-700 while PSA 9’s go for $150-300 depending on demand.

Barry Bonds was already established in 1990 as he entered his athletic prime. His 1990 Donruss card (#410) showing as a Pittsburgh Pirate foreshadows what was to come in his Hall of Fame career. PSA 10 copies have broken the $1,000 mark while PSA 9’s sell between $300-500.

Greg Maddux won his first of four Cy Young Awards in 1992 but was still in the early stage of his Hall of Fame career in 1990. High grade copies of his Donruss card (#523) as a Chicago Cub can earn $150-300 for a PSA 9 and $500-800 for rare PSA 10 gems.

Other star rookie cards that can fetch $100-200 graded well include Jason Giambi (#495), Tom Glavine (#526), and Jeff Bagwell (#519), who all went on to successful MLB careers and Hall of Fame consideration.


Beyond the rookies, star cards of Hall of Famers like Nolan Ryan (#109), George Brett (#160), Cal Ripken Jr. (#232), and Wade Boggs (#333) are always in demand from collectors if they grade well. PSA 9 copies commonly sell in the $50-100 range while high-grade PSA 10 examples can surpass $200 each.

Complete team sets of the 1990 Donruss cards also hold value. In PSA 9-10 condition with all the tough pulls included, full team sets have sold for between $500-1,000 depending on the team popularity. Sets of marquee franchises like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers routinely earn towards the high end.

While the vast majority of common cards from the 1990 Donruss set hold little monetary value today, shrewd collectors can still earn a profit by targeting the key rookie cards, star players, and high-grade full sets. With stars like Bonds, Thomas, Maddux, Kent and Bagwell highlighted, the 1990 issue maintained relevance through the players featured. For investors willing to do research on condition and demand, selected cards from this Junk Wax Era release can still pay dividends decades later.


Here are some key points about the 1990 Donruss cards that can hold value:

Frank Thomas and Jeff Kent rookie cards in PSA 9-10 condition are consistently the top dollar earners, with Thomas approaching $1,000 for a PSA 10.

Hall of Famer star cards like Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux can earn $300-800 graded highly as they remain in demand.

Other notable rookie cards like Jason Giambi, Tom Glavine, Jeff Bagwell have found renewed interest in recent years.

Full team sets, especially of traditionally popular clubs, earn quite well in top grades with all cards included.

Star cards of all-time greats like Ryan, Brett, Ripken, Boggs demand steady prices graded PSA 9-10.

Beyond the key cards listed, condition is critical – lower grades have little value in this highly produced era.

For savvy collectors who focus on condition and the stars, selected cards from the 1990 Donruss set remain a viable investment option from the Junk Wax years. While supply remains plentiful, demand endures for this release highlighting future Hall of Famers starting their careers.

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