MOST VALUABLE 1990 O-PEE-CHEE PREMIER BASEBALL CARDS

The 1990 O-Pee-Chee Premier Baseball card set was the fourth annual issue of Premier cards released by O-Pee-Chee to compete with Topps’ flagship baseball release. While not as iconic or valuable as some earlier decades, the 1990 O-Pee-Chee set featured several highly coveted rookie cards that have increased exponentially in value over the past 30 years. Below we take an in-depth look at some of the most valuable rookie and chase cards from the 1990 O-Pee-Chee Premier Baseball set.

Perhaps the most well-known and sought-after rookie from the 1990 O-Pee-Chee set is Todd Van Poppel of the Oakland Athletics. Van Poppel drew huge hype as one of the hardest throwers in baseball coming out of high school and was selected 14th overall in the 1990 amateur draft by Oakland. He failed to live up to expectations in the majors, going 21-31 with a 5.58 ERA over 5 seasons. Still, as one of the top pitching prospects of his time, Van Poppel’s rookie card has enduring popularity among collectors. PSA 10 Gem Mint copies of Van Poppel’s 1990 OPC card currently sell for $800-1,000. Even well-centered PSA 9 Near Mint examples can reach $300-500 due to the card’s historical significance.

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Another impact rookie from 1990 O-Pee-Chee Premier is Derek Jeter’s first Baseball card. Jeter, of course, would go on to have a Hall of Fame career primarily with the New York Yankees, winning 5 World Series titles while establishing himself as one of the greatest shortstops in MLB history. In pristine PSA 10 condition, Jeter’s 1990 OPC rookie card is valued at $3,000-4,000 currently. PSA 9 copies still command $1,000-2,000 due to his fame and the card’s perfect centering and quality required for a 10 grade. While not quite as scarce or valuable as his more popular 1992 and 1993 rookie cards, Jeter’s OPC issue maintains high demand as his first ever card released.

In addition to star rookies, the 1990 O-Pee-Chee set featured several scarce and valuable base cards of established veterans. Perhaps the most iconic is the Ken Griffey Jr. card, sporting the clean-shaven look he sported in his early years before growing out his trademark mustache. This classic Griffey image is a highly iconic one from his early Mariners days. PSA 10 examples of Griffey’s 1990 OPC card have sold for as much as $6,000. Even in PSA 9 condition with minor flaws, the Griffey still fetches $2,000-$3,000 prices due to his legendary status and the scarcity of high grade versions of this particular card.

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Another sought-after veteran base card from 1990 OPC is the Roberto Alomar issue, depicting the slick-fielding second baseman during his time with the San Diego Padres prior to his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays. Alomar went on to have a Hall of Fame career primarily with Toronto and Baltimore, winning a pair of Gold Gloves and hitting over .300 eight times. His 1990 OPC Padres card has risen steadily in value, with PSA 10s valued $800-1,000. Even well-centered PSA 9 copies can bring in the $300-500 range. Like Griffey and Jeter, Alomar’s fame and the rarity of pristine versions of this particular base card fuel collector demand.

While not quite as iconic or valuable as the star rookies and vets, various short print and serially numbered parallel cards from 1990 OPC Premier have also increased substantially in value in recent years. Among the scarcest and most valuable parallel issues are the gold foil parallel cards, limited to only 50 copies each. The gold parallel of Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven has sold for over $1,000 in PSA 10 condition. Gold Ken Griffey Jr. and Roberto Alomar parallels in a PSA 10 holder are each valued around $500-800 due to their extreme scarcity.

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While perhaps not the most famous or valuable vintage set overall, the 1990 O-Pee-Chee Premier issue featured several star rookie cards that have stood the test of time extremely well in terms of collector demand. Headlined by Jeter and Van Poppel, these rookie pieces retain strong multiples of their original issue price even in top grades. Coupled with select scarce veteran base cards like Griffey and Alomar, along with limited parallel inserts, the 1990 OPC set offers several intriguing modern vintage collecting opportunities for fans of the era. With some examples now pushing 30 years old, finding high grade representatives of these desired cards can prove quite challenging and rewarding for dedicated collectors.

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