MOST VALUABLE 85 DONRUSS BASEBALL CARDS

The 1985 Donruss baseball card set is highly sought after by collectors due to the rookie cards it features of future Hall of Famers and all-time great players. While not the most flashy or aesthetically pleasing design compared to other brands at the time, the ’85 Donruss set ignited the modern baseball card craze by including star rookies like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds in their early career years. Now decades later, those rookie cards and others have greatly appreciated in value. Here are the 10 most valuable 1985 Donruss baseball cards based on PSA 10 Gem Mint pricing:

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card – Ken Griffey Jr. is considered one of the most talented five-tool players of all time. His smooth left-handed swing and effortless style in center field made him a fan favorite. Naturally, his rookie card from his debut 1985 season with the Mariners is the most coveted from the ’85 Donruss set. In PSA 10 condition, it regularly sells for $4,000 or more due to its extreme rarity and subject’s iconic status in the game. Even well-centered PSA 9 copies can bring over $1,000. Griffey’s elegant swing and youthful smile captured on this card create a visually pleasing rookie that stands the test of time.

Roger Clemens Rookie Card – As one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, Clemens’ rookie card is extremely valuable too. The 1985 Donruss issue was his true “rookie” in the modern sense since he debuted in the 1984 season but was more of a role player in ’84 compared to his breakout ’85 campaign with the Red Sox. PSA 10 Clemens rookies in top condition exceed $2,000 frequently. His dominant wind-up, blazing fastball, and Hall of Fame accomplishment make this an essential piece for vintage collectors.

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Barry Bonds Rookie Card – Bonds smashed the single-season and all-time home run records and was arguably the best pure hitter ever. His ’85 Donruss rookie as a lithe, baby-faced Pirates outfielder belies just how dominant he would become. Bonds rookies that grade PSA 10 change hands for $1,500-2,000 although availability in pristine condition is scarce. The eye-catching visuals and massive accomplishments of its subject propel this once humble issue to high demand and prices.

Will Clark Rookie Card – Known as “The Thrill” for his prodigious power from the left side of the plate in his prime, Clark was the #1 overall pick in the 1985 draft by the Giants. His Donruss rookie wearing the Giants’ classic black pinstriped uniform has become quite collectible for ’80s football card aficionados with a PSA 10 bringing $1,000-1,500. Clark provided huge Home run and RBI totals for San Francisco teams during their emergence as a contender.

Tom Glavine Rookie Card – Glavine went on to record over 300 wins and 2 Cy Young Awards as one of the best control pitchers ever for the Atlanta Braves. The lefty’s rookie as an unheralded member of the woeful Mets is priced around $500-1000 in top grade. His path from unspectacular start to Hall of Fame enshrinement makes it an inspiring story reflected in the card’s value today.

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Terry Pendleton Rookie Card – Pendleton blossomed into the 1991 NL MVP and defensive stalwart at third base for pennant-winning Braves clubs. As a rookie for the mighty ’85 St. Louis Cardinals, this utilityman’s Donruss issue didn’t gain much traction at the time. With Pendleton’s reemergence later in his career, a PSA 10 now fetches $500-700 given his iconic status in Atlanta.

Dwight Gooden Rookie Card – In 1984-85, “Doctor K” exploded onto the scene as one of the most unhittable pitchers ever during his championship-winning rookie campaign with the Mets. Gooden’s electrifying fastball-curve combo captured imaginations nationwide. Though available in higher quantities than other top ’85 rookies, a PSA 10 still can sell for around $400 given what collectors hope is the imminent arrival of Gooden’s Hall of Fame call.

Ozzie Smith Rookie Card – A defining component of the 1980s Cardinal championship teams, Smith transformed the shortstop position with his gravity-defying defense. While collected robustly in the ’80s and ’90s thanks to the Magic Man’s exciting plays on SportsCenter, only the finest PSA 10 grades sell above $300-400 today due to increased competition on the vintage market.

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Walt Weiss Rookie Card – Weiss carved out a long, distinguished career mostly with the Athletics but also including NL stints with the Braves and Rockies. In 1985, the slick-fielding shortstop’s potential was evident judging from his Donruss design with the A’s throwbacks. Conditions for this niche rookie are very tight, limiting PSA 10s to around the $250 range currently.

Mark McGwire Rookie Card – McGwire rose to superstardom with his mammoth home runs for Oakland in the late ’80s and St. Louis in the late ’90s. The excessive speculation on his early issues and later PED controversies have worked against the investment grade potential of even a PSA 10 McGwire rookie today, commanding estimated $200-250.

While cards of future stars like Barry Sanders, Randy Johnson, and Greg Maddux were included at earlier stages in the ’85 Donruss set, high quality specimens in Gem Mint have proven elusive after nearly 40 years. It’s the legendary careers ultimately achieved by Griffey, Bonds, Clemens, and others that continue driving their valuable rookie cards from this set to lofty prices fit for the hobby’s modern stars. With timeless designs and subjects that still resonate today, the top ’85 Donruss rookies remain iconic pieces for collectors.

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