The 1998 Topps Baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic and valuable sets from the 1990s. Issued at the height of the sports card boom, the 1998 Topps set showcased major stars from the late 90s like Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire. With 762 total cards in the base set plus additional inserts, the 1998 Topps cards still hold significance for collectors today due to the star power and memorable moments captured within the set. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top cards and their estimated values from the 1998 Topps collection.

One of the most sought after rookie cards from the 1998 Topps set is Florida Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez. As a rookie in 1998, Livan went 9-3 with a 2.57 ERA and helped lead the Marlins to a World Series championship. His impressive rookie campaign makes his 1998 Topps rookie card highly valuable today among collectors. In near mint to mint condition, Livan Hernandez’s rookie fetches an estimated $80-150. Another prized rookie is pitcher Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs. In 1998, Kerry burst onto the scene with a 20 strikeout game proving to be one of the greatest rookie pitching performances of all time. His iconic rookie card from Topps in mint condition can sell for $150-300 depending on demand.


When it comes to superstar veterans, few hold value like Ken Griffey Jr’s cards from the late 90s. Often considered the best five-tool player of his generation, Griffey’s prime was in full effect in 1998. His base card from the 1998 Topps set consistently sells for $15-30 even in worn condition. But mint and near-mint Griffey rookie cards can sell for astronomical prices in the thousands. The true crown jewel of the 1998 Topps set though remains card number #630, the elusive Mark McGwire record-breaking home run chase card where he is pictured after hitting his 62nd home run to break Roger Maris’ single season record. In pristine gem mint condition, rare PSA 10 graded examples of McGwire’s #630 card have been known to sell at auction for over $25,000 making it one of the most valuable modern sports cards ever printed.


Two other superstars that had huge seasons in 1998 were Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds. Sosa would end up tying McGwire with 70 home runs that year. His base card remains quite valuable averaging $10-20 for a near mint copy. However, Bonds was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons in 1996 and 1997 entering 1998. He posted another amazing .303 average with 37 home runs and 122 RBIs proving why he was the best player in baseball. Higher grade versions of his slick 1998 Topps base card in PSA 8-10 condition can sell for $75-150.

Rookies and veterans weren’t the only valuable cards from the 1998 Topps release. Insert sets like Topps Finest Football and Topps Chrome also featured major stars and parallels that increased rarity. For example, the ultra-short printed Topps Chrome Refractors featuring Hall of Famers like Greg Maddux and Ken Griffey Jr number around 10 copies or less and can sell for thousands. The inserted autographed cards featuring stars like Cal Ripken Jr., Chipper Jones, and Derek Jeter in top grades hold 4 figure values as well. Rare stadium ticket and All-Star inserts picturing players at those prestigious events have been known to fetch over $500 in top condition.


While the overproduction and loss of value for most 1990s sports cards make high grade versions of 1998 Topps challenging to fully assess, the star power and historical context surrounding cards of McGwire’s #630, Griffey Jr, Bonds and Sosa will always retain significant collector interest and demand. With the rise of online auctions, vintage 1990s cards are enjoying a resurgence. The 1998 Topps set presents collecting and potential investment opportunities for both vintage enthusiasts as well as modern investors. With the combination of rookie sensations, superstar veterans, and record-breaking moments captured, 1998 Topps cards especially those high quality examples will likely maintain their place as some of the most iconic and financially valuable modern baseball cards for years to come.

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