1991 SCORE RISING STAR BASEBALL CARDS VALUE

The 1991 Score Rising Stars Baseball card set featured prospects in minor league baseball who were expected to become future stars in Major League Baseball. While most of the cards in the set do not carry high values today, a select few stars from the set have seen their cards increase significantly in price over the years. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the top rising stars featured in the 1991 Score set and explore the current value of their rookie cards.

One of the most valuable and sought after cards from the 1991 Score Rising Stars set is the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Griffey was already regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball when his rookie card was released in 1991. He would go on to have a legendary Hall of Fame career spanning 22 seasons with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds. Griffey possessed elite power and defense with spectacular athleticism in center field. His smooth lefty swing and effortless play in the field made him a fan favorite for decades. Due to his superstar career and popularity, his 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie card now commands huge prices. In PSA 10 Gem Mint condition, the Griffey rookie has sold for over $10,000 and the price continues rising each year. Even well-centered PSA 8 Very Fine copies can sell for $500-1000 showing the strong demand for this iconic rookie card.

Another star player whose 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie card holds great value is Frank Thomas, known by his nickname “The Big Hurt”. Drafted seventh overall by the Chicago White Sox in 1989, Thomas broke into the majors in 1990 and immediately started mashing baseballs at an elite level. He would go on to have one of the finest right-handed hitting careers of all time, winning back-to-back American League MVP awards in 1993-1994. Thomas possessed prodigious raw power with a .301 career batting average showing his well-rounded all-around offensive game. Like Griffey, Thomas’ popularity grew tremendously during his hall of fame career with the White Sox. His rookie card from the 1991 Score set is now one of the most desired 1990s issue cards available. High grade PSA 10 examples can sell for over $2000 with PSA 8 copies stilldemanding $200-300 at auction.

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Another star of the 1991 rookie class featured in Score was Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine. The left-handed hurler was drafted second overall by the Braves in 1984 and made his MLB debut in 1987. Glavine would go on to have an incredible 305 career win career mostly with the Braves spanning 22 seasons. He won two Cy Young awards and was a stalwart on Atlanta’s pitching staff during their dominant run in the 1990s that resulted in a World Series title. Glavine’s pinpoint control and ability to pitch deep into games made him a premier starter for over two decades. Considering his Hall of Fame career and status as a Braves icon, his 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie card holds good value. PSA 10 examples can sell for around $400-500 with PSA 8 copies still fetching $50-75 in today’s market.

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While the above three prospects all had hall of fame careers, not every player featured panned out. One flashy player whose 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie does not hold much value today is Ben McDonald. The first overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 1989, McDonald was a hard throwing righty with impressive stuff on the mound. His rookie card in the 1991 Score set depicted him as perhaps the top pitching prospect in baseball. Unfortunately, injuries derailed McDonald’s career after just a few average MLB seasons with the Orioles in the early 1990s. Without achieving superstar status or sustained success, his rookie card does not demand much today. Even PSA 10 examples typically sell in the $15-30 range showing there is little collector demand or significance without a notable career to back up the prospect hype on the cardboard.

Another great career does not always translate to card value either. Edgar Martinez had a stellar 18 year career mostly as the Seattle Mariners designated hitter from 1987 to 2004. He hit .312 lifetime and was regarded as one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation yet was not elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame until his 10th year on the ballot. Martinez’s steady offensive production and legendary status in Seattle somehow did not spark huge collecting demand for his 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie card. PSA 10 copies can often be acquired for under $50 despite his amazing MLB resume. Player popularity, post playing career publicity, and Hall of Fame enshrinement seem to drive more demand than statistics alone in the collectibles market.

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While Griffey, Thomas, and Glavine keys hold the strongest values from the 1991 Score Rising Stars set today, there are a few other lesser keys that can still yield a modest return for savvy collectors. Derek Jeter’s rookie is one to watch, as “The Captain” continues to achieve new levels of stardom in retirement. Even though Jeter did not make his MLB debut until 1996, savvy collectors snapped up his ’91 Score RC knowing his future fame. PSA 10s now sell over $1000 with PSA 8s over $200. Players like Matt Williams, Moises Alou, and David Justice all had solid MLB tenures and still command $50-100 for high grade examples showing sustained long-term demand for their cards persists.

While most 1991 Score Rising Stars cards hold little value, the Baseball Hall of Famers, perennial all-stars, and franchise icons featured like Griffey, Thomas, and Glavine command the highest prices. Strong performances over sustained careers, accomplishments like MVPs and Cy Youngs, and continued popularity seem to drive collector demand and appreciation for these stars decades after they were printed as prospects. For savvy collectors, the 1991 Score set still offers opportunities to acquire affordable rookie cards of proven MLB talents who went on to great things like Jeter, Williams, and Alou among others. But as with any vintage trading card investment, thorough research is required to avoid prospects whose hype did not match on-field results.

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