The Sports Cards That Every ’90s Kid Had to Have

by Todd Neikirk

011223C-1-1024x536 The Sports Cards That Every '90s Kid Had to HaveThe 1990s were a golden age for card collecting. The hobby was never more popular with both kids and adults visiting their local store and card shows and poring over their Beckett issues. And now that many of those 90s kids have kids of their own, they are looking to pick up some of the most popular cards from the era. Below are some of the most popular ones.

1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. 

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Upper Deck came onto the scene with cards of much higher quality and featuring significantly better photos. Most importantly for the California-based company, their inaugural set included one of the most famous baseball cards of all time.

It was expected that the young centerfielder would be a star, and Upper Deck made him the #1 card in the company’s inaugural set. The Griffey card was soon the most sought-after card in the hobby, with collectors ripping open scores of the more expensive packs of Upper Deck. Today, collectors can easily find a PSA 9 issue of the rookie for around $200. A PSA 10 Griffey Jr. will go for between $1,500 and $2,000.

1989 Score Barry Sanders 

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Image via PWCC

The 1989 Score football set didn’t have the most exciting card designs. Most of the rookie cards in the collection were simple head shots. But what a rookie set it was. Players who had their first card in the set included Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Derrick Thomas, Rod Woodson, Thurman Thomas, Cris Carter and of course, Barry Sanders.

Sanders entered the NFL and immediately became the most exciting player in the league. His 89 Score rookie has been heavily sought after ever since. Interested collectors can still grab a PSA 9 copy of the card for around $125 while a PSA 10 will run closer to $1500.

1992-93 Topps Gold Shaquille O’Neal 

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Image via eBay

Every ten years or so, an impossible basketball prospect comes along. Shaquille O’Neal was the most heralded prospect since Kareem Abdul Jabbar. And card companies quickly pushed out their O’Neal rookie cards after he was drafted by the Orlando Magic.

There are many options for collectors looking to pick up an O’Neal rookie. There is the Upper Deck rookie that collectors had to send away for after finding a redemption card. There is also the Stadium Club Beam Team rookie which has caught fire so far. But my recommendation is the Topps Gold Shaquille O’Neal rookie. A PSA 9 copy of the card can be had for around $150, and a PSA 10 will run for slightly more than $1,000.

1990 Score Bo Jackson Black and White 

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Image via eBay

There were a lot of cool athletes in this time period. Basketball had Michael Jordan, and hockey had Wayne Gretzky. Baseball and football had the same coolest athlete and his name was Bo Jackson. At his peak, Jackson performed jaw-dropping feats in both sports, though his flame only burned for a short while.

In 1990, Score baseball decided to celebrate Jackson’s dual achievements by producing a card that pictures Jackson with a baseball bat and shoulder pads. While the card was once the toast of the industry, it is now quite affordable. Collectors could grab a PSA 9 for $50 or a PSA 10 for $250.

1990 Score Eric Lindros 

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Image via eBay

Eric Lindros was the 90s generational hockey prospect. While the massive center stood at 6-4 and weighed 240 pounds, he was faster and more skilled than much smaller players. Lindros has some huge seasons, winning the Hart Trophy in 1995, but his career was ultimately marred by a series of concussions.

Lindros’ rookie cards were hot throughout the 1990s and is today quite affordable. A PSA 9 goes for between $25 and $50, and a PSA 10 is around $100.

000080221A_Games-1-Footer The Sports Cards That Every '90s Kid Had to Have*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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