1991 Pro Set Yo! MTV Raps #88
1991 Topps Beverly Hills 90210 Stickers #7
The year was 1990. MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and New Kids on the Block were all over MTV. Ghost was the highest grossing film of the summer. Beverly Hills, 90210 was born. So were Jose Altuve and Gerrit Cole. President George H. W. Bush was running the country. And baseball card collecting was as popular as ever.
I spent that summer going to concerts, playing pick up games at the park, and working at the local card shop. Life was good.
Bo Jackson was on the cover of Beckett when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma:
Beckett #63 (June 1990)
Pete Rose and Sportflics were supposedly the coldest things in the hobby.
1986 Sportflics #50
Rose had been banned from baseball the previous summer and it definitely impacted the sales of his collectibles. As for Sportflics, I'm guessing that newer companies like Upper Deck and Score , as well as the original Big Three companies drew most of the attention of collectors by the time the 90's rolled around.
Thirty years later, I enjoy both again. Not sure the majority of the hobby feels the same way.
One of the hottest cards at the time was this card of Bo:
1990 Score #697
In that issue of Beckett, the high book value of this card had risen to double digits:
Believe it or not... that's actually a pretty accurate price range for sales of this single the past week. Who knew that Beckett's values were so accurate?
What about other sets? Here's a look at a pair of my all-time favorite Topps sets:
While flipping through the price guide, one of the best bargains was the 1982 Topps Traded set:
1982 Topps Traded #98T
Not sure why, but I thought that this set's value had already exploded by 1990... but the Ripken was still very affordable at the time.
Right now the 1985 Topps Mark McGwire Olympic card is very popular. Let's see where it was at thirty years ago:
1985 Topps #401
According to completed listings on eBay, this card currently sells in the $12 to $25 range for raw copies... so kudos to Beckett for being so accurate again thirty years after the fact.
Since Bo and Will were so hot back in 1990, let's look at their two most popular rookie cards:
1987 Fleer #269
1987 Fleer #369
And here are their values in Beckett 30 years ago:
It looks like neither of these have held their values over the past three decades. Bo's 1987 Fleer rookie card sells in the $3 to $10 range, while Clark sells in the $1 to $5 range. That's still pretty good, since I've seen both of these cards sitting in dollar bins on numerous occasions over the past ten years.
Speaking of cards that haven't quite held their values... back in 1990, the 1988 Score Traded set was heating up and the Mark Grace rookie card was on fire:
1988 Score Traded #80T
These days you can find the Grace on COMC for a few bucks. I picked up my PSA 10 copy for $14.39 on 4 Sharp Corners back in 2017. I always liked Grace... and this is one great looking rookie card of him.
I'll wrap up the price guide portion of this post with one of the most iconic cards of the era:
1989 Upper Deck #1
Upper Deck made a huge splash in our hobby just eight months before this issue hit the news stands and card shops. Like the Ripken, I thought this card was selling for much more than $13.50 back in the day.
In addition to the price guide, there were plenty of articles too. However by this point, I was getting tired of scanning. But here's a quick peek inside of this issue:
Alex Fernandez was the highest collegiate player taken in the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft. He was taken with the 4th pick by the Chicago White Sox and had a pretty solid career. However the most successful guy on this list is Mike Mussina.
1992 Leaf Gold Rookies #BC12
He was chosen by the Baltimore Orioles with the 20th pick in the draft. As of right now... him and Chipper Jones are the only two players from this draft class to get the call from Cooperstown.
The blogosphere is filled with Los Angeles Dodgers fans, so I scanned this for all of you:
And I'll close things out with an article on Tony Fernandez, who sadly passed away back in February of this year:
Well that's it for today. Congratulations to the graduating Classes of 2020! This sure has been an interesting year for all of you and the rest of the world. It'll be interesting to see what you remember thirty years from now... and whether or not card collecting will still be as popular as it is today and back in 1990.
Okay, it's time for you guys to chime in...
What are your favorite memories from 1990? Were you collecting? Did you pull the famous black and white Bo out of a pack of Score? Did you go watch Ghost at the local drive-ins like I did? Were you listening to MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice on your Sony Discman?
Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments. Happy Tuesday and sayonara!