Top Ten Baseball Cards Of The 1990's PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Don Drooker   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:05

The baseball card industry was in full blown over-production mode by the start of the 90's. There were at least 8-10 companies in the marketplace and collectors were reaching the point of frustration. How could you collect everything? And, if not, how did you choose the product to collect? In retrospect, it is easy to see why many people left the hobby...but to quote James Earl Jones, "Baseball is the constant" and many great players made their debuts in this decade. As with the 80's, each of these choices represents the rookie card of the player and included in the description is the current price of the collectible in Near Mint + condition.

#1) 1993 SP Derek Jeter (#279, $110) - There are at least half a dozen rookie cards of the Yankee Captain and you can still find some in the $15-$20 range. SP was an upscale product produced by the Upper Deck company and the rookies in the set had a "foil" coating that was easily damaged but looked great.

#2) 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera (#302, $50) - One of the few products in this era with a limited production run, Bowman had the first true rookie card of this pitching legend three years before he made his actual major league debut.

#3) 1999 Bowman Chrome Josh Hamilton (#431, $25) - If you're looking for a great human-interest story, this is your guy. A highly touted prospect that had so many personal issues that he was actually out of baseball for a number of years. His major league career didn't even begin until 2007 and in 2010, he was the MVP of the American League.

#4) 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez (#15, $60) - Once again, there are many rookie cards of "ARod" in the $15 range but this foil issue is in great demand. With that being said, his admission of steroid use a few years ago has negatively affected the value of his cards.

#5) 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas (#300, $10) - This was the first year of the modern Leaf brand and its high-quality photography, as well as somewhat limited production, had collectors clamoring for the rookie card of "The Big Hurt". Other rookies in the set included Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, David Justice & John Olerud.

 #6) 1992 Fleer Update Mike Piazza (#92, $20) - The rookie card of the greatest hitting Catcher in history, this was in a boxed set with a limited run...from regular issues, his '92 Bowman card ($10) is a good alternative.

 #7) 1992 Bowman Trevor Hoffman (#11, $10) - Imagine the only two Pitchers with 600+ Saves having their rookie cards in the same set. He is actually pictured in a Reds uniform but never appeared in a game for them before being taken by the Marlins in the November 1992 expansion draft.

#8) 1997 Bowman Chrome Roy Halladay (#212, $25) - Arguably, the most consistent Pitcher of the last decade, this is his rookie card but it took until 2002 for him to have a season with double-digit Wins.

#9) 1997 Fleer Ultra David Arias-Ortiz (#518, $15) - The Red Sox slugger known as "Big Papi" actually came up with the Twins and his name was David Arias...later changed to Ortiz. So, if you find a David Arias rookie card in a bin of penny cards, you've made a find.

#10) 1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones (#333, $100) - A limited production set made during the first Iraq war, it includes the rookie card of the great Braves switch-hitting 3B...a very tough card to find. His regular issue cards from '91 Bowman & Topps are about $5.

The decade also produced many other outstanding players on their first card including Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Jeff Kent, Vladimir Guerrero, Lance Berkman, C.C. Sabathia & Matt Holliday.

Thanks for reading...see you next time.


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