For much of the 1980s, Topps was the only game in town for football card collectors. In 1989, two more options emerged; Pro Set and Score. Thanks to its focus on rookie cards, Score quickly emerged as a leader in the market. The set is still revered by people who collected in that era and the issues are still very popular. Here are some of the key cards from the 1989 Score.
Derrick Thomas #258
After starring at the University of Alabama, Derrick Thomas was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 4th pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. It didn’t take long for Thomas to become one of the best pass rushers in the league. In just his second year, the linebacker recorded 20 sacks and set the league record with 7 sacks in one game.
Thomas would continue his stardom over the next decade. He would go on to make 9 Pro Bowls during his career. Thomas was tragically killed in a car accident in 2000 at the age of 33. A PSA copy of his 1989 Score rookie card goes for around $175.
Thurman Thomas #211
Thurman Thomas was an upperclassman playing alongside Barry Sanders at Oklahoma State and was drafted a year earlier than Sanders in 1988. He has a decent rookie year, rushing for more than 800 yards. He exploded the following season, though, and rapidly became one of the best running backs in the league.
Thomas would go on to rip off 8 straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the dominant Buffalo Bills. While he never won a Super Bowl, Thurman had a fine career that saw him make the Pro Bowl 5 times and enter the Hall of Fame in 2006. Thomas’ 89 Score rookie card is highly collectible and sells for around $175 in a PSA 10.
Deion Sanders #246
When people talk about the greatest der of all time, Deion Sanders’s name is always thrown out. The lock-down corner was drafted 5th overall in 1989 after starring at Florida State. Over the course of his career, Sanders would make 8 Pro Bowls and win Super Bowls with both the 49ers and the Cowboys.
As a journalist and now as the head coach at the University of Colorado, Neon Deion has stayed prominent in the public eye which helps keep his cards selling briskly. PSA 10 copies of his Score rookie are readily available online and typically sell for between $600 and $700.
Troy Aikman #270
After many years of success, the Dallas Cowboys fell on hard times in the late 80s. So hard, in fact, that they earned the number one overall pick in the 1989 Draft. They used that pick to select Troy Aikman. The quarterback would go on to become a star for Dallas, making 6 straight Pro Bowls and winning 3 Super Bowls.
While Aikman’s career was cut short by several concussions, he has stayed in the public eye by working as one of the lead commentators for Fox’s football broadcast team. Elected into the Hall of Fame in 2006, the Score card is Aikman’s most popular rookie issue and a PSA 10 sells for close to $500.
Barry Sanders #257
Today, Barry Sanders is still remembered as possibly the most electric running back to ever play in the NFL. Sanders’s light shone very brightly, but not for long as he retired in 1998 after 10 consecutive Pro-Bowl seasons.
The Sanders rookie card, number 257 in the set, has remained the crown jewel of the 1989 Score set. In a PSA 10, the issue will sell for more than $1,000. More budget-conscious collectors can pick up a copy in a PSA 9 for around $120.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.