The 1990s saw tons of Hall of Fame-caliber rookie cards pass through the hobby. Here are 10 must-have baseball rookie cards from the era that will last the test of time.
1955-56 Parkhurst Hockey is the sport’s only set of the year. Highlighting players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, Jacques Plante is the key rookie card.
One of the most attractive sets of the era, 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Hockey also has a loaded checklist. Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne are among the major rookie cards.
1966 Topps Batman Riddler Back is one of two sets from the year to include images from the Adam West film. The 38-card set is also notable for the riddles found on the card backs.
2002 Topps Traded and Rookies Baseball marks the second straight year the late-season set included both Topps and Topps Chrome cards. Jose Bautista is the key rookie card.
2012 Panini Americana Heroes & Legends revamps the brand’s format, opting for a greater emphasis on sports and history over celebrities. Boxes promise three total autographs, nine inserts and one parallel. Subjects include Olympic athletes, military heroes and astronauts.
One of the most important sets of all-time, 1986-87 Fleer Basketball is headlined by the Michael Jordan rookie card. Other rookies of all-time greats include Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.
1975-76 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has one of the company’s simpler designs. The relatively tame checklist includes rookie cards of Clark Gillies and Harold Snepsts.
The franchise’s third illustrated set of the year, 1966 Topps Batman B Series Blue Bat is, perhaps, the strangest as well. The 44-card set has two distinct back variations.
2002 Topps Baseball is highlighted by the Joe Mauer rookie card. The set also has 73 different Barry Bonds home run variations, honoring his single-season record.
2012 Press Pass Fanfare Racing has the company’s largest autograph checklist of the year. Combining racers from NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, every pack has either an autograph or race-used memorabilia card.
2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball has emerged as one of the year’s hottest sets. With Michael Jordan leading the way, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of all of his cards in the set. Whether you’re chasing or window shopping, this simple visual guide has you covered.
2011-12 In the Game Heroes & Prospects Update Hockey bookends ITG’s hockey season with a 50-card set featuring more youngsters from the CHL and AHL. The box set also comes with an autograph and game-used memorabilia card.
Ushering in the modern hockey card era, 1951-52 Parkhurst Hockey is one of the hobby’s all-time great sets. The first set in several years, the checklist is nearly all rookies, including Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard.
1977-78 O-Pee-Chee Hockey closely mirrors the same season’s Topps set. Although the design is somewhat uninspired, the checklist includes rookies of Mike Milbury and Paul Holmgren.
2003 Topps Traded & Rookies Baseball marked the third straight year the set combined both the Topps and Topps Chrome brands. The rookie-heavy checklist includes Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez and Brian McCann.
2012 Panini Momentum Football is another resurrected brand from the Texas-based card maker. Every pack comes with either an autograph or memorabilia card with a lot of focus aimed at the deep 2012 rookie crop.
1989 Upper Deck Baseball helped usher in a new era for baseball card collecting. Boasting high-quality photography and card stock, it truly was a game-changing release. The set includes the iconic Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.