The 1988 score baseball card set featured some really desirable rookie cards that have increased significantly in value over the past few decades. While the set as a whole was produced in huge numbers, there are still several cards that can be worth a decent amount of money depending on the player, condition of the card, and other factors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top valuable cards collectors seek out from the 1988 score set.

One of the most well-known and valuable rookie cards from 1988 is the Ken Griffey Jr. card. Griffey was one of the most exciting young players to enter the majors in years and his rookie card is considered one of the classic modern era cards. In near mint to mint condition, the Griffey Jr. 1988 score rookie fetches prices well over $100 on the current market. High grade copies in pristine mint condition have even sold for over $1,000. The Griffey rookie is highly sought after by collectors and remains one of the most iconic cards from the late 80s.


Another star player who debuted in 1988 and had an excellent rookie card was Oakland Athletics pitcher Bob Welch. Welch won the American League Cy Young award as a rookie and his 1988 score card can be worth $50-$75 in top shape. For something a bit more rare and premium, there is also a Bob Welch rookie photo variation card that features a unique close-up action photo instead of the base design. This variation sells in the $150-$250 range in top condition. Welch established himself right away and his card captures a memorable rookie season.

Beyond rookies, there are also some trade copies and parallel inserts that add value and collector interest to certain 1988 score cards. For example, the Nolan Ryan card, which features one of the game’s all-time greats, can reach $15-$25 for the base version. There is also an extremely rare photo variation that exchanged the team logo at left for another action shot. This parallel is quite scarce and has sold for over $500 in pristine shape. High grade copies of the base Ryan are also desirable to player collectors.


The 1988 score set included several exciting young position players as well. Shortstop Barry Larkin had a breakout season and his rookie card typically sells for $15-$25 on the secondary market. In flawless mint condition, a Larkin rookie could reach $50-75. Similarly, catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., outfielder Lenny Dykstra, and third baseman Wally Joyner all debuted in ’88 and their rookie cards hold value anywhere from $8-15 each in top condition due to their career accomplishments after that inaugural season.

Pitchers like David Wells, Mark Langston, and Curt Schilling also had notable rookie seasons in 1988. All three hurlers went on to solid big league careers and their rookie cards can sell for $5-15 each depending on grade. Another mid-range valuable card is that of slugging outfielder and 1987 Rookie of the Year Ben McDonald. His second year card usually fetches $10-20 with his performance and hardware adding to the collector interest in his 1988 score issue.

Beyond the obvious star rookie cards, there are also a couple key short prints to be aware of that enhance the value of certain 1988 score regular base cards. Cards #150 (Todd Worrell) and #475 (Ed Correa) were produced in far lower print runs than the other cards that year. As a result, both the Worrell and Correa in pristine condition can sell for $40-$75 depending on demand from short print collectors. High grade Hall of Fame players like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, and Gary Carter command $5-15 each due to their playing accolades regardless of the era of their issue.


While produced massively, the 1988 score set still provides numerous valuable collecting and investing opportunities for baseball card collectors and investors. Rookies of future stars like Griffey, Welch, and others lead the way price-wise. There are also short prints, parallels, and accomplished veteran players that make certain common 1988 cards worth notable money – especially in top graded condition. For those interested in the late 80s market, this fun and memorable set deserves attention for its memorable rookie class and other scarce collectibles over 30 years later.

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