The 1991 Upper Deck baseball card set is one of the most iconic and valuable sets from the junk wax era of the late 1980s and early 1990s. While sets from this time period are not generally known for highly collectible cards, there are still some standout rookie and star player cards from 1991 Upper Deck that have maintained or increased in value over the past 30 years. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the top 1991 Upper Deck baseball cards that collectors love.

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card (Card #1) – Widely considered the crown jewel of the 1991 Upper Deck set, Griffey’s rookie is the most valuable card from the set. Even in mint condition, a PSA 10 Griffey rookie can fetch well over $10,000. Griffey was already one of the game’s brightest young stars by 1991 and would go on to have a Hall of Fame career. The iconic image of his smooth left-handed swing captured on this card still looks great today. For ’90s kids who grew up watching Griffey dominate, this rookie remains a highly coveted piece of memorabilia from their childhood.


Tom Glavine Rookie Card (Card #188) – Though overshadowed by Griffey’s legendary rookie, Glavine’s is still a key card from the set worth $100-200+ in PSA 10 condition. Glavine was already making a name for himself in 1991, winning the NL Rookie of the Year award in ‘87 and being named to his first All-Star team in ‘91. He would go on to win 305 games and two Cy Young awards over a brilliant 22-year career. This was the only rookie card issued for the future Hall of Famer, making it an important piece for Braves and baseball card collectors alike.

Cal Ripken Jr. (Card #238) – A stalwart for the Orioles throughout the 1990s, Ripken’s active and defensive prowess made him a fan favorite. His epic 1995 record-breaking streak won him the heart of baseball. This iconic card features Ripken’s smooth swing from the left side. PSA 10 examples easily command $50-75 due to Ripken’s enduring popularity and place in baseball history.


Greg Maddux (Card #264) – Widely considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Maddux was already a Cy Young winner by 1991. This card shows him kicking and dealing from the stretch with his signature smooth delivery. Maddux cards from the early 90s have aged very well. Near-mint to mint PSA 8s can fetch around $30-50. A flawless PSA 10 is worth $100-150 given the left-hander’s impeccable Hall of Fame resume.

Roberto Alomar Rookie Cup (Insert Card #I-2) – Only available as an insert, Alomar’s Rookie Cup captures the smooth-fielding second baseman with a picture of the 1990 American League Rookie of the Year trophy. This was Alomar’s true rookie card and a key piece for Blue Jays/AL East enthusiasts. Copies in PSA 10 condition consistently sell for $75-150 online due to Alomar’s all-around brilliance throughout a career that saw him inducted into Cooperstown in 2011.

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Other Notable Cards Include:

Barry Bonds (Card #29)
Paul Molitor (Card #34)
Mark McGwire (Card #49)
Tony Gwynn (Card #59)
Nolan Ryan (Card #73)
Ryne Sandberg (Card #82)
Ozzie Smith (Card #118)
Kirby Puckett (Card #136)
Willie Stargell (Card #156)

While 1991 Upper Deck as a whole may not be the most valuable set from the junk wax era, it certainly housed some true gem cards. Rookies of Hall of Famers like Griffey, Glavine and Alomar make it a must-have for any serious baseball card collector. Star talents like Bonds, McGwire, Ripken and Maddux also featured prominently. For those who enjoyed the game in the early 90s, this set brings back plenty of nostalgia, making it a classic among enthusiasts of the junk wax period in baseball card history. Condition and finding high grade PSA/BGS versions of the above mentioned standouts remains key to their enduring value.

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