The 1989 Donruss baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic releases from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The designs and photography from the 1989 Donruss cards remain some of the most recognizable from that era. As with any vintage baseball card set, there is variance in the values of the individual cards. Here are some of the most valuable and sought after 1989 Donruss rookie and star player cards:

Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card: Widely considered the crown jewel of the 1989 Donruss set, Griffey’s rookie card is by far the most valuable individual card from that year. In pristine Near Mint-Mint (NM-MT) condition, the Griffey Jr. rookie routinely fetches thousands of dollars. Recently, PSA-graded NM examples have sold for over $10,000. Even in heavily played condition, Griffey’s rookie commands three-figure prices due to the huge demand for this iconic card. The Griffey Jr. rookie was one of the earliest that really captured the attention of collectors and helped spark the baseball card boom of the early 1990s. Its monochromatic design also makes it very aesthetically pleasing to collectors.


Nolan Ryan Card #419: While not technically a “rookie” card since Ryan’s actual rookie year was way back in 1966, the 1989 Donruss Nolan Ryan card remains quite valuable for depicting one of the all-time pitching greats near the end of his historic career. PSA 10 examples have sold for over $2,000. Even heavily played copies usually sell for $100 or more. The Ryan card features a classic action shot of the fireballer in mid-windup that captures the intensity he brought during his 27 year MLB career.

Barry Bonds Card #125: Another hugely popular late-80s Donruss card, Barry Bond’s 1989 issue shows him in the early years of his overwhelming Hall of Fame career. PSA 10 Gem Mint copies have sold for well over $1,000. Heavily played versions still fetch $50+. The photography highlights Bonds’ athleticism in the field. Collectors appreciate having one of the premier sluggers from that era in high grade.

Greg Maddux Rookie Card #597: While not as widely known as some rookie cards, Greg Maddux’s first Donruss issue is highly sought after by collectors due to his legendary career. Maddux would go on to win 4 career Cy Young Awards and dominate for over two decades. PSA 10 editions have sold for $800-1000 depending on demand. Heavily played copies are still $50-100 due to his elite status. The rookie card captures the young, promising Maddux early in his career before he became one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history.


Rickey Henderson Rookie Card #382: Arguably the greatest leadoff hitter and base stealer ever, Rickey Henderson’s rookie card remains a highly valued piece from the 1989 Donruss set. PSA 10s regularly sell for $500-700. Heavily played examples can still fetch $50-100 based on his iconic playing career and huge base-stealing records. The photography shows Henderson demonstrating the blazing speed that made him a unique offensive weapon.

These are generally considered the five most valuable individual cards from the 1989 Donruss set when found in top pristine Gem Mint condition. There are several other notable star rookie and career defining cards that can carry substantial value as well depending on player, condition, and demand factors.


For example, Tom Glavine’s rookie card (Card #591) regularly sells for $150-300 in PSA 10 as he was a dominant 300-game winner. Kenny Lofton’s rookie (Card #608) can reach $200 PSA 10 due to his excellent career. Randy Johnson’s amazing transition year card (Card #601) when he switched from pitching to relief sells for $150-250 mint. Other chase cards include Mark McGwire (Card #119), Jose Canseco (Card #47), and Ozzie Smith (Card #267).

While condition and grading are major determinants, the 1989 Donruss set contains some of the most iconic and valuable rookie cards and star player issues from the late 1980s baseball card boom. Led by the Griffey Jr. rookie which is arguably the single most valuable mainstream baseball card, there are several elite pieces that continue to entice collectors and drive substantial prices when high quality examples change hands. The photography, designs, and ability to depict emerging legends make 1989 Donruss a truly memorable release that remains hugely popular with vintage card investors to this day.

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