The 1989 Topps baseball card set was released at the end of the 1988 baseball season and contained 792 total cards. While not quite as iconic or valuable as some other years, there are still some true gems hidden within the 1989 set that can fetch big money from collectors today. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable 1989 Topps baseball cards that could be worth grading and holding onto.
Ken Griffey Jr. – Griffey’s rookie card in the 1989 Topps set is arguably the most iconic and valuable card from the entire release. Jr. would go on to have a Hall of Fame career and his rookie is one of the most recognizable in the hobby. PSA 10 examples have sold for over $10,000, with raw copies in mint condition still worth $500-1000 depending on centering and corners. This is a true blue chip card that is only going up in value long term.
Barry Bonds – Like Griffey, Bonds’ rookie card from the 1989 Topps set is highly coveted. Bonds went on to shatter the all-time home run record and win a record 7 MVP awards. PSA 10 Bond rookies have sold for upwards of $5,000 with mint near-gem copies in the $300-500 range. This is a true modern game-used star with incredible long term potential.
Greg Maddux – Maddux is considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time and his rookie card from 1989 Topps is highly sought after. A PSA 10 recently sold for over $2,000 with raw near mint copies in the $150-250 range depending on centering. Maddux won 4 Cy Young awards and should only continue to climb in card value.
Frank Thomas – “The Big Hurt” was the 1990 AL MVP and his rookie card is still a popular and valuable part of the 1989 Topps set. A PSA 10 sold recently for around $1,500 with a raw near mint copy worth $100-150. Thomas’ dominance in the 90s makes this a strong long term investment card.
Roberto Alomar – Alomar won a gold glove every year from 1988-1997 and was a vital part of World Series winners in Toronto and Baltimore. His rookie card isn’t Griffey level but a PSA 10 recently sold for around $1,000 with a good raw copy in the $75 range. Defensive wizards with power don’t grow on trees.
Ken Caminiti – Caminiti’s rookie card isn’t as coveted as some of the bigger stars but he did win the 1996 NL MVP and his card holds relevance. A PSA 10 sold recently for around $800 with a near mint raw copy in the $50-75 range depending on centering. He remains an underrated star from the 90s.
Andy Van Slyke – Van Slyke was a 5-time Gold Glove winner in the outfield and had some big postseason moments too. His rookie is very affordable compared to the elite but a PSA 10 recently sold for around $600. Mint raw copies can be found for under $50 making this a solid longshot gradable card.
Tom Glavine – Glavine is one of the greatest left-handed pitchers ever and a surefire Hall of Famer. His rookie card isn’t in the same tier as Maddux or Benes but a PSA 10 has still sold for over $500 in recent years. Near mint raw copies are around $40-60 and he remains an undervalued part of the 1989 set.
Todd Benzinger – Benzinger never became the superstar his rookie card suggested but he did play over 10 years in the majors. The card has developed a cult following despite modest stats. PSA 10 examples have broken the $500 mark which is incredible for such an unknown player. Condition is critical here.
Dennis Martinez – Martinez won 245 games over his 22 year career which is very impressive for a pitcher from this era. He also threw a perfect game in 1991 for the Expos. A PSA 10 recently topped $450 with raw near mint copies around $30-40. He remains quite affordable compared to many other 1989 rookie pitchers.
While the biggest stars from 1989 like Griffey, Bonds, and Maddux understandably demand the highest prices, there are still great opportunities to profit in graded 10s and valuable raw copies of the above names and others not mentioned. The 1989 Topps baseball set is loaded with Hall of Famers and all-stars from the steroid era. With the right card in solid condition, there is long term upside potential worth exploring for savvy collectors and investors.