MOST VALUABLE 1999 DONRUSS BASEBALL CARDS

The 1999 Donruss baseball card set launched during a time when interest in collecting sports cards was beginning to wane after reaching its peak in the early 1990s. Some of the cards from that 1999 Donruss set have gone on to become quite valuable today due to featuring prominent players who would go on to have Hall of Fame careers. While the overall print run for 1999 Donruss cards was high which keeps most individual cards from that year relatively affordable, here are some of the most valuable rookie and star player cards collectors seek out from the 1999 Donruss baseball set today.

Perhaps the most coveted card from the 1999 Donruss set is the Chipper Jones rookie card. As the longtime star third baseman of the Atlanta Braves who was recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Chipper Jones captivated baseball fans for years with his consistent excellence at the plate and in the field. His rookie card from the 1999 Donruss set, which features a clean design with Jones in a Braves uniform on the front and career statistics on the back, has appreciated greatly over the past two decades. In near mint condition, Chipper Jones’ rookie currently fetches prices upwards of $150. For mint condition or higher grades, this iconic rookie can sell for over $300.

Another tremendously valuable card from the 1999 Donruss baseball set is Ken Griffey Jr.’s baseball card from that year. While Griffey burst onto the scene in 1989 with one of the most iconic rookie cards in sports card history for Upper Deck, his late 90s cards with the Seattle Mariners continued to captivate collectors as he was still producing at an elite level. The 1999 Donruss Griffey card, which has him photoshopped into a Mariners uniform on a blue and white colored background, has increased exponentially in value since the set was released. Graded mint condition examples can sell for around $100-150, with pristine mint+ or gem mint copies sometimes reaching the $250-400 range due to Griffey’s all-time great career and status as a fan favorite.

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Continuing with star outfielders from the late 90s, the 1999 Donruss card of Barry Bonds is another highly sought after piece from the set with tremendous long term appreciate potential. While Bonds was already a perennial MVP caliber player by 1999 with the San Francisco Giants, collectors knew he was still building toward breaking the all-time home run record, which added excitement and speculation around his cards from this period. Bonds’ cleanly designed 1999 Donruss card, with his familiar stance and concentration on the front, has increased steadily in secondary market value in recent years. Near mint copies can commonly sell for $75-100, with absolute gem mint 10 graded cards sometimes achieving auction prices over $250. As Bonds’ home run records become more historic, his late 90s rookie cards stand to keep appreciating for dedicated collectors.

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In addition to featuring three future Hall of Fame position players, the 1999 Donruss baseball set also included rookie cards of pitchers who would go on to have excellent careers. One of the standout rookie pitchers from that year was Livan Hernandez, who had a breakout season for the 1997 Florida Marlins World Series championship team. Hernandez’ iconic rookie card from 1999 Donruss boasts a colorful action photo of him mid-windup in a Marlins uniform. Even in lower near mint grades, this in-demand rookie can fetch $50-75. Higher graded mint 9 or mint 10 Livan Hernandez rookies have been known to sell in the $150-300 range based on his memorable postseason success early in his career.

Rounding out the most valuable rookie cards from the 1999 Donruss set is Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez. While Martinez was already establishing himself as one of the game’s most dominant starting pitchers by 1999 with two Cy Young awards to his name, collectors still coveted his rookie issue from the late 90s. The 1999 Donruss Pedro Martinez rookie features a closeup action shot of his intimidating windup for the Montreal Expos. Even well-circulated near mint copies can sell for $50 or more based on nostalgia of Martinez’s peak years in Boston. Pristine mint 9 or gem mint 10 graded versions have been known to exceed $200-300 at auction given Pedro’s first ballot Hall of Fame induction.

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In addition to these top rookie cards, the 1999 Donruss baseball set also included high quality short prints and parallel inserts that have greatly increased in secondary market value in recent years. One example is the incredibly rare Chipper Jones black border short print parallel card, which was limited to only 10 copies produced. After initially trading hands for under $100 in the early 2000s, this ultra-short printed parallel is now being bought and sold for $1,000 or more when it becomes available on the major trading card auction sites. Other valuable parallel inserts from 1999 Donruss include the John Olerud purple refractor (over $75 NM), the Nomar Garciaparra gray refractor ($100+ NM), and the Alex Rodriguez gold refraction parallel, which consistently sells for $200 or more in topCondition.

While most common base cards from the 1999 Donruss baseball set hold nominal long term value, select rookie cards and parallel inserts featuring all-time great players like Chipper Jones, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Livan Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, and Alex Rodriguez have proven to be Prescient long term investments. Two decades after their initial release, grades copies of these memorable rookies can net their owners a pretty profit when bought years ago and sold in today’s robust vintage sports card market. For dedicated collectors, hunting down these valuable 1989 Donruss rookie gems remains an enticing chase decades later.

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