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War is one of the most basic and popular games that can be played with baseball cards. To play, each player flips over one card at a time from the top of their stacked pile of cards and places it face up. The player with the card featuring the player with the higher baseball stats (such as batting average, home runs, wins, etc) keeps both cards. This continues until one player has no cards remaining. Variations include calling out “war” before flipping, in which case both players flip three cards instead of one.

Another classic baseball card game is called Payoff. This is played with one deck of cards. Players take turns drawing cards from the deck one at a time. Numbers on the cards correspond to different batting stats – for example, aces are singles, twos are doubles, threes are triples, fours are home runs. Other cards indicate outs. Drawn cards are placed face up in a pile. The object is to get runners (cards) “home” before making three outs. Runs are scored when cards are reached/drawn that allow the previous runners to score. The player who scores the most runs from their drawn cards wins.

High five is a variation on the game 21. Players flip cards face up one at a time trying to get playing cards that total 21 or less using the baseball stats on the flipped cards. For example, a card with a player that hit .280 batting average could count as 2, a card with 12 home runs counts as 12, etc. If the running total goes over 21, the player is “out”. Play continues until one player stays “in” the longest. For an added element of chance, jokers or wildcards can be included that count as any stat of the player’s choosing.

Topps Baseball is a popular strategic board game played with Topps baseball cards. Players aim to build the best virtual baseball team by “drafting” cards representing real baseball players. The board represents different positions on a baseball diamond, and cards are played to those spaces. Higher stats are important, as is balancing offensive strengths and defensive strengths. An element of trading cards is included. The player who builds the team with the highest overall stats at the end of the game is the winner.

Pitch is a two-player game that focuses on simulated pitching and batting. One player has a stacked “pitching hand” of cards facedown while the other has cards as their “batting hand” displayed face up. Play involves one player drawing a card from their hand to “pitch” while the other tries to match or beat the stats on the card with their face-up “batter” cards. Successful matches score runs while failures result in outs. First player to score 21 runs or have the opponent strike out three times wins.

There are countless more variants that can be devised by players as well. Combining cards into hands and taking turns matching stats adds strategic elements to the largely chance-based games like War. Including specific card types like wildcards or “position” cards allows for more nuanced rulesets. Grouping cards by player attribute instead of team is another option. Through creative adaptations of basic rules and customized scoring systems, baseball cards continue to provide enjoyment for collectors across generations. Their portability and wide variety of real-life player and statistical information embedded on the cards fuel children and adults’s imagination for simulated on-field competition, strategy, and team-building play for decades after their original production and distribution.


There is certainly still an active market for baseball cards. While the heyday of baseball cards may have been in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the “junk wax era” when production and demand was at an all-time high, million of collectors around the world still enjoy collecting, trading, and buying baseball cards today.

The baseball card industry remains a multimillion-dollar business fueled by lifelong collectors and new fans entering the hobby every year. Whether it’s chasing your favorite team, player autographed rookies, or vintage cards from Babe Ruth’s era, there is demand for virtually every baseball card produced. Companies like Topps, Panini, Leaf, and others continue to churn out new card products yearly which feed the marketplace.

While the crazy price spikes of the late 1980s and 1990s have cooled off some for modern production, premium vintage cards and rare modern rookie cards still command big money at auction. Iconic cards like the 1909-1911 T206 Honus Wagner, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie, and the 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie are legend in the hobby and have broken million-dollar sales barriers. Even seemingly common cards can spike in value if the player has a Hall of Fame career that drives increased collector interest years after their production.

The sheer volume of baseball cards produced over the decades means even bulk common cards have found certain niche markets. Vintage team and league sets are popular for builders and the values have increased steadily. Complete team and year sets give collectors a sense of accomplishment and see steady trading and sales at shows, online, and on auction sites. Even commons can find buyers by the thousand count lots for builders.

Grading and encapsulating services like PSA, SGC, BGS and others have pumped new life into the modern card market. Collectors now routinely send in their prized rookies and vintage hits to have them authenticated and encased in a protective slab with a numerical grade. This third-party grading system has instilled trust in condition and allowed even lower end modern cards to be more liquid assets. Entire collections can gain huge multiplier effects in value once they are professionally graded.

The rise of internet commerce opened up a massive new sales channel for the baseball card industry. Websites like eBay and individual dealer sites as well as auction houses like Goldin Auctions have given buyers and sellers convenient access to a huge worldwide marketplace. Buyers can now much more easily find that elusive team or player they are chasing. Mass loads of commons can also efficiently change hands. Platforms like Comc streamline the process for dealers and collectors as well.

Sport card conventions remain a hugely popular way for collectors to buy, sell and trade in person. Major shows like National Sports Collectors Convention, Baseball Card & Collectible Show, and Blowout Cards Bring ‘Em Back weekend see tens of thousands of attendees annually. Local and regional shows also see attendance numbers in the thousands on a regular basis. The social aspect of meeting other collectors face to face adds to the hobby’s enjoyment.

While the printing boom decades took some shine off modern production, increased scarcity is lending value to more recent issues as the print runs drop to a fraction of their ’90s peaks. Popular young stars like Mike Trout, Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatís Jr. are developing cult followings already. Their earliest parallels and serial numbered inserts will likely gain appeal down the road as the players’ careers progress.

Nostalgia also fuels renewed interested in old favorites from collectors’ youth. The growing popularity of vintage designs being mimicked in today’s industry shows that spark is lasting. New technologies like blockchain authentication are even being applied to sports cards showing their enduring relevance as collectibles. Considerable grassroots effort in online card communities helps spread passion for the hobby as well.

While the speculative frenzy of the past has receded, there remains a strong and dedicated worldwide community passionate about baseball cards. From everyday collectors to serious investors, the market survives because of this loyal fandom. As long as baseball is played and new stars emerge, there will be demand to preserve and trade this integral piece of the sport’s history and memorabilia in cardboard form. The baseball card industry continues evolving to engage collectors both old and new.


The 1991 Topps baseball card set is considered one of the more valuable series from the late 1980s and early 1990s due to several highly sought after rookie cards and stars of the era featured in the set. Some of the top cards from the 1991 Topps set that could potentially hold significant value if in near mint/mint condition include:

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card (#1): Widely considered one of the most iconic rookie cards of all time, Griffey’s rookie card is the crown jewel of the 1991 Topps set. Even in just average condition, Griffey rookie cards easily fetch hundreds of dollars. A mint condition PSA 10 graded Griffey rookie has sold for over $50,000, making it one of the most valuable modern baseball cards on the market. This card is a must-have for any vintage baseball card collector.

Frank Thomas Rookie Card (#660): Though not as valuable or iconic as Griffey’s rookie, Frank Thomas still had a Hall of Fame caliber career and his rookie card remains quite sought after by collectors. Even well-worn copies sell for $50-100, while a PSA 10 can bring $2,000-3,000 due to its relative scarcity in pristine condition.

Cal Ripken Jr. (#677): Ripken had already won the Rookie of the Year and an MVP by 1991, but his cards from this era remain very popular. The #677 card in particular holds value as one of Ripken’s main iconic cards from his prime years. Condition variations can value this card between $10-200.

Dennis Martinez Perfect Game Card (#433): This card commemorates Martinez’s July 28, 1991 perfect game for the Montreal Expos, making it a very memorable and desirable card for collectors. Even in played condition it can fetch $25-50, though a gem mint copy could be worth hundreds.

David Cone (#311): Cone’s career year in 1991 saw him win 20 games and the Cy Young Award. His main Topps card highlighting those accomplishments is quite valuable, in the $15-50 range depending on condition.

Dwight Gooden (#206): Though past his 1985 Rookie of the Year season, Doc Gooden was still a top pitcher in 1991. Any card from his mid-80s peak holds value, with the #206 around $10-30 usually.

Roberto Alomar (#151): Alomar won a Gold Glove in 1991 and went on to a Hall of Fame career. His main card in the set has a value range of $5-15 typically.

Jeff Bagwell Rookie Card (#686): Not necessarily as acclaimed as other rookie cards, Bagwell’s was still the start of a great career. His rookie holds steady value of $10-30 depending on condition.

Chad Curtis Rookie Card (#398): Curtis had a long but unspectacular career, but his rookie remains in demand due to the popularity of rookie cards in general. Expect to pay $5-15.

Tom Glavine Rookie Card (#633): Like Bagwell’s, Glavine’s rookie isn’t super valuable but interest remains for a 300-game winner’s first card. Usually $5-15 based on condition.

In addition to single high-value cards, there are also several stars whose entire set of main cards could hold added value as a complete group. Players like Ruben Sierra, Jack McDowell, and Terry Pendleton had quality seasons in 1991 spread across their various Topps issue cards that year (#338, 696 and 557 respectively as examples).

With the rise of the internet and online sales forums, 1991 Topps cards have cemented their place as a gateway set into the early 1990s vintage cards that launched stars like Griffey, Thomas, and Bagwell. The combination of iconic rookie cards and career-year highlights make it a compelling set for collectors both casual and die-hard. With proper preservation, any of the above named singles or complete team/player sets could gain even more value over time. Condition, of course, is key – with mint 10 grades exponentially increasing worth. But for relatively affordable vintage cardboard, 1991 Topps remains an excellent investment 27 years later.

While there are certainly 1991 Topps cards worth much more than others, the entire set contains valuable pieces of baseball history. For collectors on a budget, focusing on affordable yet iconic singles like Martinez’s perfect game issue or the rookies of Bagwell and Glavine can satisfy nostalgia. But the true crown jewels remain the rookie hits of Griffey, Thomas, and Alomar/Bagwell – cards that may never lose their luster as vintage favorites.


Topps is one of the largest and most iconic manufacturers of trading cards in the world, especially known for their baseball cards. They have been producing baseball cards since 1951 and have issued thousands of distinct baseball cards over the decades. Coming up with an exact number for how many Topps baseball cards exist total is quite challenging, as record keeping was not always perfect, variations were frequently printed, and new sets are still being released each year. Here is a breakdown of the approximate numbers of Topps baseball cards by decade to give a sense of the immense scope and history of Topps baseball card production:

1950s: Topps began producing baseball cards in 1951 and issued sets each year through the late 1950s. Across these initial 8-9 years they printed around 5,000 distinct baseball cards when accounting for variations.

1960s: Topps remained the lone MLB license holder in the 1960s and printed larger sets each year to meet growing collector demand. Some noteworthy 1960s sets included the very popular 1962 and 1963 Topps issues. Estimates indicate around 8,000 unique Topps baseball cards were produced in the 1960s.

1970s: Competition began to arise in the 1970s from Fleer and others, but Topps retained its position as the biggest brand. Experimental sets like the oversized 1970 and tie-ins like the 1976 Bicentennial cards expanded output. The 1970s saw an estimated 11,000+ new Topps baseball cards hit the market.

1980s: Even more competitors entered the fold like Donruss starting in 1981, but Topps continued aggressive releasing of new set each spring. Notable 1980s issues included the high-gloss 1981 and 1985 Topps sets featuring young stars. The output in the 1980s totals around 14,000 unique Topps baseball cards.

1990s: Not only did card production remain high, variations and parallel inserts became more common in the optimisticcollector boom of the early 1990s. Innovations like the first Topps Finest set in 1991 kept the brand fresh. The decade’s estimated numbers come out to 17,000+ new Topps baseball cards.

2000s: Into the modern era, insert sets grew exponentially while the base sets tightened focus. Digital imaging expanded design potential. Landmark sets included the postwar themed 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter and biographies in 2007 Topps Tribute. The 2000s saw an increase to an estimated 20,000+ new Topps baseball card issues.

2010s: Between the flagship Topps Series 1 & 2 each spring and all the innovation like Topps Project 2020, the brand maintained its longevity into the teens. Short prints and 1-of-1 cards multiplied parallels. The decade added a major estimated 23,000+ Topps baseball cards to the collective whole.

2020s: Although the brand is now over 70 years old, Topps continues to design new sets each season like this year’s Topps Big League and League Leader sub-brands. The company was recently acquired but output is not slowing. At our current pace, the 2020s may see 25,000+ additional Topps baseball cards and counting added to the sum.

To summarize – when accounting for variations, inserts, parallels not usually included in published count but still distinct cards – a reasonable estimate would be that over the decades from 1951 through today Topps has printed well over 100,000 unique baseball cards. And with new product lines each year, that total keeps growing making Topps the undisputed king of the sport’s card collecting landscape.


War is a simple game that can be played with 2 or more players. Each player is dealt a face-down stack of baseball cards. Then, one card is revealed from each player’s stack at the same time. The player with the card featuring the higher overall player rating wins both cards and adds them to the bottom of their stack. If the cards reveal players with the same rating, it’s a war. Each player reveals 3 additional cards face down and the card with the highest rating on the 4th card wins all the cards. The game continues until one player has won all the cards.

Twenty-One is a variation of the classic card game Blackjack. Two to eight players can participate. All cards are dealt out evenly among the players. The goal is to get as close to 21 points as possible without going over. Players take turns flipping over cards from their hand and adding the points for that card to their running total. Number cards are worth their face value and face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10 points each. Aces can be 1 or 11 points. If a player goes over 21, they bust and are out of that hand. Play continues clockwise until all but one player have busted. That last player left wins the hand.

Beat the Dealer is a simple game where 3 to 8 players compete against a designated dealer. The dealer gives each player 5 cards face down. Using those 5 cards, the goal is to get as close to 21 points as possible without going over. Players can ask to be dealt additional cards (one at a time) to improve their hand total. Once all players are satisfied or have busted, cards are revealed and the player(s) closest to 21 without busting split the pot. The dealer also reveals their hand – if it is closer to 21 than any player, the dealer wins the pot.

Baseball is a fun game involving imaginary at-bats. Two players (or teams) face off. One card from each player’s stack is turned over to represent the starting lineups. Cards are then “pitched” one at a time with the batter attempting to get a hit. Number cards result in outs or runs scored based on face value (Ace = 1, 2, 3 etc). Face cards result in hits – Jack = Single, Queen = Double, King = Triple, Ace = Home Run. Jokers and wild cards can also represent pitching changes or substitutions. The team with the most runs after three “innings” wins. Variations involve tracking stats or using two cards as the batting order.

Knock Out is a high-intensity elimination game. Before starting, cards are shuffled and dealt equally among players. On a player’s turn, they flip over the top card of their stack. If it’s a number card, they subtract that value from their “life total” starting at 20. Face cards dealt are automatic knock outs subtracting 10 from life. The object is to knockout all other players by reducing their life total to zero first. If a card deals you an amount that would reduce your life below zero, you’re immediately knocked out of that round. Variations involve “hitting home runs” with certain cards to knock multiple players out at once. Last player remaining wins.

Longer games can also be played with more strategy involved. Dynasty League is one where players take turns drafting “teams” from a common card pool trying to build the best lineup, rotation, bullpen and bench over multiple “seasons”. There are trades, call-ups, injuries and retirements just like a real baseball franchise. Statistical milestones, team achievements and playoff/championship victories are tracked over the life of the “league”. This offers competitive gameplay that can last for dozens of games spanning “years”.

Through these games, baseball cards promote education, foster community and enable fun competition. While players primarily focus on accumulating favorite players or tracking stats, games introduce strategy, probability and sportsmanship. Friendly contests bring the cards to life in new and engaging ways. Whether diving deep into simulating a dynasty league or enjoying a few quick hands of War or Knockout during a break, playing games enhances the experience of building a collection and reliving moments from the diamond. So whether solo or in a group, cards offer affordable and lasting entertainment for fans of America’s pastime.


The 1989 Topps baseball card set is considered one of the most valuable issues from the late 1980s. While it does not have any true “superstars” on par with rookie cards of Mickey Mantle or Ken Griffey Jr., there are several cards that can fetch handsome prices for collectors and investors. One of the most notable is the Derek Jeter rookie card. As arguably the greatest shortstop of all time and a longtime Yankee, Jeter’s rookie card from the 1989 Topps set is extremely popular. In mint condition, it can sell for thousands of dollars. With him now being inducted into the Hall of Fame, interest and prices for his rookie are likely to remain strong for years to come.

Another pitcher who had a legendary career andwhose 1989 Topps rookie has held immense value is Greg Maddux. As one of the greatest control artists of all time and a dominant starter for two decades, Maddux rookie is cherished by collectors. High-grade versions can reach five figures. Not far behind is Ken Griffey Jr.’s rookie, perhaps the most iconic card of the modern era due to his immense popularity and talent. While not quite as coveted or expensive as early Griffey rookies, his 1989 issue still has value stretching into the thousands for top condition copies. Rounding out the ‘big three’ for this set is Barry Bonds. His rookie comes at a time before the home run records but controversy, making it a significant part of baseball history.

In addition to those headliners, there are several other singles and short prints that bring in substantial returns. For example, the Frank Thomas rookie card has historically commanded over $500 in top condition despite not being quite as heralded as the aforementioned names. The Mark McGwire rookie, from before the home run chase but after a solid debut season, also enters the four-digit range in gem mint. Among short prints, the Andy Benes SP records over $1,000 for its elusiveness. Perhaps surprisingly, cards of pitchers like Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden have lost none of their original luster despite ups and downs later in their careers.

Condition, of course, is paramount when evaluating investment potential and price tags for any of these valuable 1989 Topps singles. Even a quarter point downgrade in centering or corners can decimate a card’s worth. For collectors more concerned with admiration of the players than flipping assets, there remain significant cardboard from this set available at reasonable costs across all condition spectra. The nostalgic designs also remain a favorite of the era. Whether chasing Whiffs, Home Runs, or time capsules of baseball’s greats, 1989 Topps ensures there are enduring Targets for enthusiasts of the pastime and paper to pursue.

While it may lack true “10s” other than perhaps Jeter’s rookie, there is depth of valuable content within the 1989 Topps baseball card set. Stars, short prints, and even solid veterans can deliver returns stretching well into five figures for collectors and investors alike depending on exact name and grade. Its classic designs also give the issue staying power for casual fans and historians of the game for generations to come.


The 1990 Donruss baseball card set included several highly valuable and sought after rookie cards that are worth significant money today if in good condition. Some of the top rookie cards from the 1990 Donruss set that routinely fetch high prices from collectors include Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Gregg Maddux, and David Justice. Let’s take a closer look at each of these rookies and their potential value:

Ken Griffey Jr. ROOKIE (card #221) – Widely considered the most coveted and valuable rookie card from the 1990 Donruss set. Griffey was already one of the game’s brightest young stars in 1990 and went on to have a legendary Hall of Fame career. His rookie card from Donruss is the one that is most desired by collectors. In near mint to mint condition (graded 8-10 on the 10 point scale), Griffey’s 1990 Donruss rookie has sold for over $10,000. Well-centered copies in gem mint condition (graded 10) have reportedly sold for upwards of $30,000. Even heavily played copies (graded 3-4) can still fetch a few hundred dollars. Due to Griffey’s iconic status, this remains one of the most valuable modern baseball cards on the market.

Frank Thomas ROOKIE (card #308) – Like Griffey, Thomas also went on to have an outstanding career and be elected to the Hall of Fame. His 1990 Donruss rookie is highly desirable to collectors and has sold for thousands of dollars in top condition as well. Near mint to mint copies in the 8-10 grade range have sold for $3,000-$6,000 in recent years. Even in well-worn condition around a grade of 5, this rookie has still changed hands for $500-800. The asking price only increases substantially for pristine, flawless 10 grade examples.

Gregg Maddux ROOKIE (card #324) – As one of the best pitchers of his generation and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Maddux’s rookie card also holds tremendous value. It takes a little more work to find one in high grade. Most copies were poorly centered from the factory and grade no higher than a 7. Mint 9’s have still fetched over $1,000 on auction sites. The true gems are the rare 10 grade Maddux rookies – auctions for these pristine copies have closed as high as $4,000-5,000. Even well-played examples still sell in the $100-200 range due to his legendary career.

David Justice ROOKIE (card #378) – Justice became a two-time World Series Champion and established himself as a star outfielder in the 1990s. His 1990 Donruss rookie is highly sought after as well. Near mint 8’s sell around $400-700 depending on condition factors like centering. Solid mint 9 copies have realized over $1000 on the open market. While not quite reaching the heights of Griffey, Thomas, or Maddux – the Justice rookie is still quite valuable in top shape. Headed copies below a 7 can still sell for $50-100 based on strong name recognition alone.

Aside from the hottest rookie cards, there are several other fairly valuable 1990 Donruss cards collectors are always on the lookout for:

Nolan Ryan (card #49) – One of his final mainstream baseball cards sold for over $1000 in high grade. Considered one of the all-time greats.

Jose Canseco (card #72) – Helped usher in the power era of baseball in the late 80s/early 90s. Can fetch $500+ in mint condition.

Wade Boggs (card #101) – Future Hall of Famer still has name value. Well-centered high number copies sell for a few hundred.

Ozzie Smith (card #132) – Iconic defender whose cards hold steady value. Near mint gem copies change hands for $300-500.

Rickey Henderson (card #156) – Future Hall of Famer and all-time stolen base king. Solid 9’s realize $400-600.

While some condition issues like centering problems plagued the 1990 Donruss production overall, there are still many valuable collectibles to be found – especially the hot rookie and star player cards in pristine mint condition. For patient collectors willing to hunt the card shows and reputable online auction sites, discovering a true mint gem from the 1990 Donruss set could yield a considerable profit decades later thanks to baseball card investing.


The year 1990 produced several rookie cards and rookie seasons that have gone on to become very valuable in the decades since. Some of the most notable rookie cards from 1990 that have increased substantially in value include:

Ken Griffey Jr. (Upper Deck): Griffey’s legendary career and popularity has made his 1990 Upper Deck rookie one of the most iconic and valuable cards ever. Fresh off being the No. 1 pick in the 1987 draft, Griffey broke into the majors in 1990 with the Seattle Mariners and showed early signs of greatness. While its value has fluctuated over the years, Griffey’s rookie routinely fetches thousands of dollars now in top grades. In mint condition, a PSA 10 of this card has sold for over $25,000.

Frank Thomas (Fleer): Thomas announced his presence with a roar in 1991 when he won the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. But it started with his rookie season in 1990 where he showed excellent plate discipline and opposite field power. The Fleer rookie card has been a steady riser, with PSA 10s going for over $5,000 due to Thomas’ Hall of Fame career and status as one of the game’s greatest hitters.

Chipper Jones (Bowman): The No. 1 pick in the 1990 draft, Jones didn’t debut until 1991 but made a huge impact immediately. He became a perennial All-Star and would win the NL MVP in 1999 while playing his entire career for the Atlanta Braves. His ornate 1990 Bowman rookie with his boyish smile increased in demand. Top conditioned copies now sell for over $3,000.

Todd Helton (Score): While Helton didn’t have the star power of the first three players on this list, he did have an outstanding 17-year career largely with the Colorado Rockies. A career .316 hitter, Helton brought consistency at the plate. His 1990 Score rookie has achieved Icon status among Colorado fans and collectors. Near mint copies can go for $700-900 while a PSA 10 would eclipse $2,000.

Sammy Sosa (1990 Score): Sosa’s career took off later in the 1990s, but this was his true rookie card issued after a September cup of coffee in 1989. The Dominican outfielder showed early power promise. While not in the same class as others, Sosa’s iconic home run chase years increased demand for this rookie card. PSA 10s now sell in the $300-400 range.

Jeff Bagwell (Minor League): Bagwell was drafted by Boston in 1989 but didn’t debut until 1991 after being traded to the Houston Astros organization. Still, collectors at the time were curious about the highly-touted first baseman/third baseman coming up through the minors. His scarce 1990 Minor League Houston Astros Gulf Coast League issue has grown in demand from Astros collectors. A PSA 10 would be worth $1,500-2000.

Mike Piazza (Minor League – Dodgers): Like Bagwell, Piazza’s power-hitting future hadn’t materialized yet in the Dodgers system in 1990. But collectors were enthusiastic about the slugging catcher’s potential future and snatched up his minor league issues while they were inexpensive. Now they’ve proven very wise investments. A PSA 10 of his 1990 Dodgers Salinas Stockton Spurs RC fetches over $2,000.

Don Mattingly (1990 Topps Traded): By 1990, the “Donnie Baseball” hype had faded slightly as Mattingly hit a career-low .302 in 1989 while battling back injuries. Still beloved in New York, Mattingly was perhaps underestimated going into 1990. He bounced back with a Gold Glove and his 6th All-Star appearance. The Traded issue honors that and has grown popular with Yankees fans in recent times. Near mint copies sell for $150-200.

Juan Gonzalez (1990 Score/Fleer): “Juan Gone” became a two-time AL MVP but it started with his debut in 1989 with tremendous power promise. The aggressive young Dominican outfielder was quite popular even in his early years. His 1990 Score and Fleer rookies have increased in demand from Rangers fans and collectors. A PSA 10 Score RC now sells for $250 while a Fleer PSA 10 exceeds $500.

Besides star rookies, talented veterans and franchise players performing well in 1990 provided opportunities for affordable investments at the time which have paid dividends now. For example:

Nolan Ryan (1990 Topps/Traded): At age 43 in 1990, most thought the “Ryan Express” was finally slowing down after pitching for the Texas Rangers. But he turned in one of his finest seasons ever, making his 7th and final All-Star team while leading the league again in strikeouts. Cards from his milestone season command over $30-50 now.

Cal Ripken (1990 Topps/Stadium Club): In the prime of his epic consecutive games played streak, Ripken was one of baseball’s most popular players. His 1990 Topps update issue honors his back-to-back AL MVP awards. High grade versions sell for over $100 due to his enduring legacy.

Dave Winfield (1990 Topps): The durable, power-hitting veteran was still a productive all-around force for the California Angels in 1990. As a 12-time All-Star nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career, Winfield cards gained nostalgia value over time. His commons can be acquired for $10-15.

In summary, 1990 produced rookies like Griffey, Thomas, Jones, and Bagwell who went on to great careers – skyrocketing the value of their rookie cards decades later. Stars maintaining excellence like Ripken, Ryan, and Winfield created affordable investments at the time. While 1991 may be hailed as a greater rookie class, savvy collectors realized potential in 1990 and are being rewarded for it today in the vintage market. Of course, always carefully grade your cards to maximizeROI.


One of the most popular free apps for scanning baseball cards is the Collector app from TCDB (Trading Card Database). This app allows you to scan the barcode on the back of a baseball card and it will pull up details like the player, year, team, set and more. The information is pulled from their large online database. Once you scan a card, it is saved to your virtual collection in the app. You can then view your entire collection, search for new cards to add, get card values and other details. This app identifies over 700,000 different trading cards so the database is very extensive. It works fairly well at scanning most modern cards from the past few decades. One drawback is that older cards without barcodes cannot be scanned. The app is also ad-supported so you will see occasional advertisements.

Another good free option is the Beckett Marketplace app. Like the TCDB app, it allows you to scan card barcodes to automatically load details. It pulls information from Beckett’s own extensive price guide and database instead of TCDB. So you may find card details are included that aren’t in the other apps. Another benefit of this app is that you don’t need to rely solely on the barcode – you can also search by player name, set, year and other details to manually add older cards without barcodes to your collection. Once cards are in your binder, you can view prices and market trends over time too. Beckett is a reputable name in the trading card industry so you can feel confident in the quality and accuracy of the data. Drawbacks are that it may not catch every obscure card and you’ll still see ads within the free version.

A more basic free option is the Collector Live app. This app functions primarily as a digital binder to house your virtual baseball card collection. You can manually add each card you own by searching players and sets. It doesn’t have scanning capabilities but you can search and filter your collection according to various criteria. You can also look up estimated values of cards from their included price guide database. Where this app falls short compared to the others is that you have to input all card details yourself rather than scanning for automatic populating. Also, the price guide information may not be as complete. But as a free digital collection organizer, it gets the job done without scanning perks or ads if you’re willing to input cards manually.

Another option with scanning and good information quality is the Collectable app. This one operates similarly to TCDB and Beckett Marketplace by pulling details on scanned cards from their sizable database. You can view scanned card details, search for new additions and see estimated values. One unique feature is that you can also use your phone’s camera to take photos of cards without a barcode and attempt image recognition to populate details. So it offers more options than just barcode scanning. Drawbacks are the database may not be as extensive as the two industry leaders, and as a free app it has ads and some functionality is limited without an in-app upgrade.

For most accessible and comprehensive free scanning and information on baseball cards, the top two choices would be the TCDB Collector app and Beckett Marketplace app as they pull from industry-leading databases. The Collectable app is also good but has a smaller database. And Collector Live is fine as a basic free organizational tool if you don’t need scanning functionality. All get the job done for cataloging a card collection digitally without cost.


Topps holds the exclusive license from Major League Baseball to produce the official baseball card of MLB. This lucrative licensing deal ensures Topps will remain the premier producer of MLB trading cards for the foreseeable future. Part of this extended licensing agreement with MLB requires Topps to annually release a new flagship or “base” set featuring allactive MLB players. This base set has historically been the cornerstone of each year’s Topps card releases and the 2023 version will be no exception.

The 2023 Topps flagship baseball set is expected to include approximately 700 cards just like recent years. It will feature all 30 MLB teams with base cards of every player on each team’s 40-man roster at the time of production. There will also be additional insert sets highlighting top rookies, awards winners, star players and more within the base set. Parallels, autograph and memorabilia cards will provide collector chase appeal as well. Production on the 2023 cards begins in early 2023 with the official release to hobby stores, mass retailers and online sellers slated for late March through May 2023.

In addition to the base flagship set, Topps plans robust supplemental baseball card releases in 2023 across its various brands. The Allen & Ginter brand will once again bring its vintage-style designs and unique parallels featuring non-sports subjects. Topps Gallery will showcase prime action shots and career highlights of MLB’s biggest stars. Heritage is Topps’ premier lookback product showcasing classic throwback designs from the early years of Topps. Topps Tier One is the luxury brand focused on high-end parallels, memorabilia and autograph cards. Topps Chrome continues its refractor parallel tradition and Topps Series 2 will provide an midyear extended update release as usual.

International fans of Topps baseball cards will be pleased to see expanded offerings beyond U.S. borders as well. Topps strong presence in Latin America and Asia Pacific regions means distribution networks are in place for foreign language versions of flagship cards and inserts to reach collectors worldwide. Topps also partners with other trading card brands globally to share MLB content and player licenses which creates ancillary international product opportunities. Additionally, Topps continually explores multi-product marketing programs with MLB international offices and individual teams to broaden the reach of trading cards and further develop international fan engagement.

As a sports collectibles industry leader and holder of the MLB license, Topps successfully weathered pandemic business challenges over the past two years and continues investing in long term growth. Annual rookie classes, player movement between teams and evolving collector interests ensure trading card sets remain an engaging annual tradition for baseball fans everywhere. As long as Topps maintains its MLB partnership, releases new flagship sets each year and expands complementary product lines, it will remain the dominant force in the trading cards category for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is extremely likely and strongly expected that Topps will produce and release a new 2023 Topps Baseball flagship set next year following the same model that has sustained this baseball card juggernaut for over 60 years running.