1991 SCORE RISING STARS BASEBALL CARDS VALUE

The 1991 Score Rising Stars baseball card set featured some of the top rookie and prospect players from that season. While it may not hold the same nostalgia or popularity of some other early 1990s card releases, there are certainly some valuable gems to be found from the set now over 30 years later. Let’s take a closer look at the most valuable and notable cards from this 112-card baseball card checklist.

One of the biggest risers in value from the 1991 Score Rising Stars set in recent years has been Frank Thomas’ rookie card. As one of the premier power hitters of the 1990s, “The Big Hurt” went on to have a Hall of Fame worthy career that spanned almost two decades in the major leagues. His rookie card from this set in near mint condition can now fetch over $500. In pristine mint condition, a PSA 10 graded Frank Thomas rookie has sold for well over $1000. With Thomas cemented in Cooperstown, his rookie card remains one of the true gems from Score Rising Stars.

Another card that has greatly appreciated over the decades is Juan Gonzalez’ rookie. The two-time AL MVP went on to slam 434 career home runs and was one of the most feared sluggers of the 1990s and early 2000s. His rookie in a PSA 9 grade is valued around $150-200, while a PSA 10 can range from $500-1000 depending on the auction. Considering Gonzalez was not a first round draft pick and took time to develop, his early cards are more scarce than some of his peers. This makes his rookie a very desirable pickup for Rangers or Gonzalez collectors.

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While Moises Alou never achieved the superstar status of Thomas or Gonzalez, his 1991 Score Rising Stars rookie card has become quite valuable in its own right. The son of former major leaguer Felipe Alou hit a respectable .303 with 207 home runs and 916 RBI over his 17-year MLB career spent with several teams. High grade examples of his rookie in a PSA 9 or 10 grade can sell for $150-$250, making it one of the more valuable commons from the checklist.

Two other commons that often grade out nicely and continue to increase in price include Eric Davis’ rookie and Knuckleballer Tom Candiotti’s card. “Rowdy” Eric Davis was well on his way to a fine career before injuries derailed him, and shows up nostalgically on 1990s Reds teams cards. Candiotti, meanwhile lasted over a decade in the bigs using his signature floating knuckleball to befuddle hitters. Both players’ rookie cards in a PSA/BGS 9 or 10 can sell in the $75-150 range.

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While the majority of rising stars featured were relative newcomers or prospects, there are a few established veterans sprinkled into the checklist as well. Kirby Puckett’s card, showing him in his 1991 All-Star form following 6 consecutive Gold Gloves and 2 prior AL batting titles, has risen steadily to the $40-60 range in top grades. Dennis Eckersley’s card pictures him as a dominant middle reliever/closer for Oakland prior to being dealt to the Red Sox. His star power and on-card achievements make it another $40-75 PSA 9/10 card.

When it comes to prospects who never fully panned out, cards like Ben McDonald’s, William Van Landingham’s, and Adam Hyzdu’s can usually be found for $10-30 in top condition. All 3 were thought to be future rotation anchors, with McDonald experiencing some success before injuries hampered him. Van Landingham and Hyzdu never fulfilled their potential. Their cards retain value due to 1991 hype but are less desirable long term holds.

In the bargain bin range, keep an eye out for prospects like Terry Mulholland’s (went on to carve out a long career as a useful swingman/starter), Luis Segui’s (productive role player), and Jeff Juden’s (brief cup of coffee in the majors) cards. All three can often be acquired in PSA/BGS 9-10 condition in the $10-25 range. For base rookie collectors, these represent affordable vintage options.

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As with any early 1990s baseball release, it’s also worth noting the sheer rarity and thus value of finding any card in true pristine mint (PSA/BGS 10) condition from this 29 year old product. Even commons like a Brett Butler or Dave Martinez rookie couldfetch $50+ in absolute flawless grade due to their scarcity. This is a good set for experienced graders to consider cracking and submitting for modern encapsulation if high end 10s exist.

While the 1991 Score Rising Stars set lacks true superstar rookie hall of famers, there are still several notable and valuable cards to be found within the checklist decades later. Keep an eye out especially for the Frank Thomas, Juan Gonzalez, and Moises Alou rookies if chasing big vintage multi-hundred dollar hits. But budget-minded collectors can also build up a nice, affordable core of the set chasing commons and prospects in pristine PSA/BGS 9-10 condition. With legends, all-stars, and “one-that-got-away” talent dispersed throughout, this remains an underrated early 1990s release worth mining for baseball card investors and collectors today.

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