The 1991 Fleer Ultra baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic and valuable issues from the junk wax era of the late 1980s and early 1990s. While sets from this time period tend to have little intrinsic value due to high print runs that saturated the market, there are still some highly coveted rookie and star player cards that have stood the test of time from Fleer Ultra ’91.

Released at the tail end of baseball’s golden age of cards in 1991, the Fleer Ultra set was the third and final major release of the year after Donruss and Topps. It contained 330 cards and featured a clean, photo-centric design that focused on individual player portraits. The set checklist included many of the game’s biggest stars and future Hall of Famers from both the American and National Leagues.

One of the most notable aspects of Fleer Ultra ’91 was that it featured the rookie cards of future superstars like Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Nomar Garciaparra. While print runs on these cards were enormous, demand has increased their value considerably in recent years as these players have cemented their legacies in Cooperstown. Several of the top rookies and stars from the set are analyzed in more detail below:

Chipper Jones Rookie Card (Card #1)

As the very first card in the set, Chipper Jones’ rookie is one of the most iconic from the entire junk wax era. Despite massive production, this card has increased exponentially in value since Jones’ retirement in 2012 as a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer. PSA 10 Gem Mint examples currently sell for thousands due to Jones’ status as perhaps the greatest third baseman in Braves franchise history. Even well-centered, high-grade copies still command three-figure prices.


Jim Thome Rookie Card (Card #91)

Like Jones, Thome put together a Hall of Fame career and his rookie card has followed a similar upward trajectory. A power-hitting first baseman/DH, Thome smashed 612 home runs over 22 seasons and remains one of the most respected players of his generation. PSA 10 Thome rookies have cracked the $1,000 mark in recent auction sales. More affordable PSA 8-9 versions can be acquired for $100-300 depending on the market.

Nomar Garciaparra Rookie Card (Card #199)

Garciaparra’s rookie took off during the peak of his stardom with the Red Sox in the late 90s/early 2000s when he won two batting titles. Injuries derailed what seemed to be a surefire Hall of Fame path, but Nomar is still regarded as one of the best shortstops of his era. High-grade copies command $400-600 while most raw or lower-grade versions sell in the $50-150 range.

Ken Griffey Jr. (Card #17)

Considered the greatest player of his generation, “The Kid” was already a two-time All-Star and Gold Glover by 1991. His Fleer Ultra card shows him in all his backwards-hat, smiley glory. PSA 10s have reached over $1,000 at auction. Even well-centered raw copies can fetch $50-100 due to Griffey’s legendary status.


Nolan Ryan (Card #47)

Arguably the greatest power pitcher ever, Ryan’s expressive on-card photo captures his intensity on the mound perfectly. As a member of the Rangers at this point, Ryan was still in his prime with four no-hitters already under his belt. High-grade examples sell for $150-300 while most raw copies go for $15-50.

Cal Ripken Jr. (Card #49)

By 1991, Ripken was well on his way to breaking Lou Gehrig’s famed “Iron Man” consecutive games played streak. His stoic on-card pose reflects his dedication and toughness. PSA 10s have sold for over $400. Most raw copies in good condition sell in the $30-100 range depending on centering/corners.

Rickey Henderson (Card #70)

Already a three-time stolen base champ by 1991 with the A’s, Henderson’s Fleer Ultra card is a testament to his blazing speed and base-running prowess. One of the most exciting players of his era, PSA 10s have reached $300-400. Raw copies in VG-EX condition sell for $15-50.

Ozzie Smith (Card #87)

Arguably the greatest defensive shortstop ever, “The Wizard’s” on-card backbend perfectly captures why he won 13 Gold Gloves. A member of the Padres at this point, high-grade PSA 10s have cracked $400. Most raw copies sell in the $20-75 range depending on centering/corners.


Kirby Puckett (Card #120)

Already a six-time All-Star and three-time batting champ by 1991 with the Twins, Puckett’s on-card stance shows his compact, powerful swing. Tragically impacted by glaucoma after his career, PSA 10s have reached $300-400. Raw copies sell for $15-50 based on condition.

Roger Clemens (Card #145)

Entering his age 29 season with the Red Sox in 1991, “The Rocket” was already a two-time Cy Young winner. His intense on-card glare foreshadowed his dominance throughout the 90s. PSA 10s have crossed $400. Most raw copies sell in the $15-75 range.

Barry Bonds (Card #158)

In his age 26 season with the Pirates, Bonds was just starting to emerge as one of the game’s best players. Little did anyone know he’d eventually break the all-time home run record. PSA 10s have reached $300-400. Raw copies sell for $15-50 based on centering/corners.

In addition to these star cards, there are also several other highly sought after rookie cards and short prints from the 1991 Fleer Ultra set that command premium prices. While print runs were enormous, strong player performances and nostalgia have kept key cards from this iconic issue relevant and valuable nearly 30 years later. For collectors, it remains one of the most recognizable and historically important releases from the tail end of the junk wax era.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *