1989 was a monumental year in baseball card history as it was the final year of production for Fleer and Topps’ iconic designs that had been mainstays in the hobby for decades. With new companies entering the market in the early 90s, collectors knew 1989 would likely be the last year of the classic Fleer and Topps sets they had grown up with. As a result, 1989 cards are highly sought after by collectors today and command solid values. Let’s take a look at some of the top baseball cards from 1989 that are worth money for collectors.

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card (Topps) – Widely considered one of the most iconic and valuable rookie cards ever printed, Griffey’s rookie card from the 1989 Topps set is highly sought after by collectors. In near-mint to mint condition, examples regularly sell for $300-500. Pristine mint copies in a PSA 10 or BGS 9.5+ grade have sold for over $10,000, with one even achieving $22,000 at auction. Griffey was already showing signs of greatness as a rookie and would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, making his rookie one of the most desirable in the hobby.


Barry Bonds Rookie Card (Topps) – While not as valuable as Griffey’s, Barry Bonds’ rookie card from the same 1989 Topps set still holds great value given his all-time great career and status as one of the home run kings. Near-mint to mint copies typically sell in the $50-150 range. High-grade PSA 10 examples have sold for over $1,000, showing Bonds’ card retains popularity despite his controversial legacy in the steroid era.

Greg Maddux Rookie Card (Topps) – Maddux is considered one of the best pitchers of all-time and his rookie card reflects his Hall of Fame caliber career. His 1989 Topps rookie in near-mint to mint condition sells for $30-75. Copies that grade PSA 10 can reach over $500 due to his dominant career and status as a fan favorite.

Roberto Alomar Rookie Card (Topps) – Alomar enjoyed a long, successful career that landed him in Cooperstown and his rookie card is a desirable piece for collectors as a result. Near-mint to mint copies sell in the $15-50 range. Higher grades like PSA 10 can reach $200+ given Alomar’s popularity and place among the game’s all-time great second basemen.


Frank Thomas Rookie Card (Topps) – “The Big Hurt” had a monster career that saw him win two MVP awards. His rookie card from the flagship 1989 Topps set sells for $10-30 in near-mint to mint condition. Pristine PSA 10 examples have reached over $200 due to Thomas’ dominance at the plate throughout the 1990s.

Dennis Martinez Perfect Game Card (Fleer) – On July 28, 1991, Dennis Martinez threw the first ever perfect game in Expos/Nationals franchise history. Fleer captured the historic moment with a special card in their 1989 set just two years prior. In high grade, these cards sell for $75-150 due to their rarity and significance in baseball history.

Ken Griffey Jr. Traded Issue Card (Topps) – After a midseason trade in 1989, Griffey’s rookie card was re-issued by Topps with his new Seattle Mariners photo and uniform. High grade copies in PSA 10 sell for $75-150 due to their scarcity and status as an early Griffey collectible outside his true rookie issue.


Nolan Ryan Express Poster Card (Fleer) – Fleer paid tribute to Nolan Ryan’s express train-like fastball with this fun oversized poster card in their 1989 set. In high grades, it sells for $50-100 due its unique design and subject matter focusing on the legendary flamethrower Ryan.

Rickey Henderson Milestones Cards (Topps/Fleer) – Both Topps and Fleer issued special “milestone” cards in 1989 to commemorate Rickey breaking Lou Brock’s stolen base record. High grade examples sell for $40-75 due to Henderson’s iconic status and the cards memorializing one of his many career achievements.

This covers some of the most valuable and desirable baseball cards collectors can find from the 1989 season. Factors like a player’s career performance, Hall of Fame induction, and the scarcity or unique design of specific cards all contribute to the values discussed here. With the 30th anniversary of 1989 fast approaching, these cards are only expected to gain more appreciation among investors and nostalgic fans of 1980s and 90s baseball card culture.

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