The 1987 baseball card set was one of the most highly produced sets in the history of the hobby, with cards from major manufacturers like Topps, Fleer, and Donruss all widely available. That massive production doesn’t mean there aren’t some real gems hiding within the set that can fetch significant money from collectors today. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top 1987 baseball cards that have valued over the years.

One of the most iconic and valuable 1987 rookie cards is that of Chicago Cubs slugger Andre Dawson, known as “The Hawk.” Dawson had a phenomenal age 36 season in 1987 where he was named National League MVP. His rookie card from that year’s Topps set is among the most sought after, with high-grade copies in mint condition easily clearing $100-200 in today’s market. Another monster rookie card is that of Hall of Famer Mark McGwire from 1987 Topps. Pre-steroid era McGwire was already showing his tremendous power potential as a rookie, launching 49 home runs. Pristine copies of his iconic rookie card with its photo of him swinging away can reach up to $1000-1500 today.


Two other highly valuable rookie cards from 1987 Topps are those of future 300-game winners Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Glavine went on to dominate for the Atlanta Braves, winning 305 games and two Cy Young Awards over his stellar career. Near-mint copies of his rookie are $150-300. Maddux, regarded as one of the greatest pitchers ever, honed his craft as a 23-year old for the Chicago Cubs in 1987 before joining Glavine in Atlanta’s rotation. Raw or graded gem mint rookie cards can fetch $500-1000.

Several star players had memorable seasons in ’87 that made their cards hot commodities. San Diego Padres slugger Tony Gwynn captured his first of 8 batting titles with a brilliant .370 average. High-grade copies of his ’87 Fleer Update card reached $200. Oakland A’s slugger Jose Canseco took the league by storm launching 42 homers to set a new rookie record. Near-mint copies of his 1987 Topps traded rookie card sell in the $75-150 range. Meanwhile, Cincinnati Reds star Eric Davis exploded onto the scene with 37 homers, 100 RBI and 50 steals while capturing the 1987 NL MVP award. Gem mint 10 copies of his iconic 1987 Topps traded card have sold for over $1000.


There are also many stars of the late 80s/early 90s whose rookie cards are found in 1987 sets and have substantial value. Hall of Famer Craig Biggio debuted as a back-up catcher for the Houston Astros in ’87 before he transitioned to second base. Near-mint grades of his Topps/Fleer rookies reach $150. Future 300-game winner Mike Mussina appeared in his first MLB game for the Baltimore Orioles in 1987 but only had a partial season card in that year’s set. Pristine copies are $100-200. The star-crossed Roberto Alomar had a fleeting rookie season debut with the San Diego Padres in 1987 before truly breaking out with the Toronto Blue Jays. Near-mint copies sell for around $80-150.

Less heralded but high quality ’87 rookie cards that command four figure values include Baltimore Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles ($2000-4000), Atlanta Braves outfielder David Justice ($1000-2000), and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tim Belcher ($1000-2000). There are also several short print and error cards hidden within the mammoth 1987 Topps and Fleer sets. For example, the “Teddy” Higuera error card from 1987 Topps, showing him in a Boston uniform instead of Milwaukee, has sold for $5000 in gem mint condition.


While production totals remain huge for most 1987 baseball cards, there are always exceptions that investors and collectors seek which drive certain card values significantly higher. The combination of rookie cards, star performers, and manufacturing anomalies all contribute to individuals within the 1987 sets deserving premium prices, especially in pristine preserved condition, after 35 years in collector hands. With patient searching, the right 1987 card could be worth far more than anyone would have guessed years ago when pulling it fresh from a pack as a kid.

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