30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Set Showcase #19: 1990-91 Fleer Rookie Sensations

Once upon a time... there was an insert set that actually commanded FULL Beckett value. This is the story of that set.

Back in the early 90's, I worked at a local card shop called National Pastime and remember when customers came in seeking 1990-91 Fleer basketball cello packs/boxes.

Now, some of you may be wondering... why would anyone want that junk. Well... it's simple actually. At the time, they contained the hottest basketball insert set in the hobby: the 1990-91 Fleer Rookie Sensations.

Set: 10 Cards

#1 David Robinson

#2 Sean Elliott & #3 Glen Rice

#4 J.R. Reid & #5 Stacey King

#6 Pooh Richardson & #7 Nick Anderson

#8 Tim Hardaway

#9 Vlade Divac & #10 Sherman Douglas

These beautiful, blue bordered inserts could only be found in cello packs. Back in the early 90's, customers paid up to $5 a pack in search for these singles.

FYI: Their color made them stand out among the white colored base set, so these packs could be easily searched.

Hall of Famers: 10% (1 Player)

David Robinson is the only one to be elected into Basketball's Hall of Fame. And looking at the rest of the checklist... it looks like it's going to stay that way.

Tim Hardaway had a very successful NBA career and is very popular among Bay Area collectors, but doesn't have HOF numbers. Elliott, Rice, and Divac each made the all-star team at some point in their careers and the remaining five players each played 8 years or more in the NBA. In other words, this set isn't loaded with superstars, but they all had decent careers.

Beckett Value: $15

Back in 1992, this set booked for $80. I don't remember selling sets for this price, but I remember the Robinson and Hardaway cards once commanded full book value at the shop. Today, Robinson still is considered the most valuable and lists at $8, while Hardaway is at $6.

eBay Value: Under $5

I was shocked this morning to see several "completed listings" for these sets at $5 or less. So, if you're looking for an affordable set that has a historic hobby background, then I encourage you to pick up one of these sets.

Okay... you know the routine. It's your turn...

What's the last card you sold or purchased for FULL Beckett value?

I recently sold one of my 1990 Score #697 Bo Jackson cards for $2 at the flea market. Beckett currently lists this card at $.50. What a joke.

Happy Sunday everyone. Sayonara!


  1. I sold a 2009 Score (1989 design), Percy Harvin for a few dollars on ebay when the card first came out. I was surprised.

    I remember those rookie sensations. The 1990-91 Fleer basketball set was the last set I completed buying only retail. I bought 22 dollars of those cello packs at G. C. Murphy back then to get a complete set but not one of the inserts. I remember seeing guys in suits at G.C. Murphy back then pack searching this stuff and 1990 Fleer Football. Those were the days

  2. I LOVE this set Fuji, I have the David Robinson and it's definitely a favorite. I have a friend trying to complete this set with all gem mint grades.

  3. That was one great insert set. I never was a big basketball collector, but those were worth picking up. Of all insert sets, Fleer-with the Rookie Sensations in all three sports-has to be up there with the best all time, imo.

  4. john - ebay is great place to get full book, because you might come across a person who doesn't collect, but wants it for a family member... or possibly someone who needs that one last card to finish off a set.

    as far as pack searching goes... i can't remember if it was these packs specifically. but the owner started putting packs (of certain products) in envelopes, so customers could search packs anymore.

    chris - lol... i was actually searching on ebay for a psa 10 copy of the hardaway (couldn't find one though)

    chop keeper - agree 100%

  5. as far as buying at full book, I pay full book fairly regularly on vintage 60s stuff