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The 90's: Underprinted Sports Cards in a Decade of Excess

The 90’s: Underprinted Sports Cards in a Decade of Excess

One of the biggest hobby stories of 2009 was the comeback of the 90's collector. Coming back into collecting for this group (mid 20's-early 30's) meant coming to grips with the reality that your collection is probably worth nothing. The reason for this is simple, they printed too many cards! I was sorting through a box of cards the other day and found a Classic Shaq rookie that boasted "1 out 85,000" on the card! When producing 85,000 of a card is worth noting, how many 1990 Donruss did they make! I have been trying to rid my home of these ugly red bordered nuisances for 20 years now. I will tell you right now, it's not possible. The other day, I found a few in my sock drawer! I just hope this isn't a burden my kids (that I haven't had yet) will have to carry.

But, there is hope. There may be some extremely valuable cards hidden within your 90's junk box. In my youth, I distinctly remember a card that never made sense. It was a 1991 Topps Chipper Jones RC that had a strange palm tree on it. I never did figure out what it was. When I stopped collecting in the late 90's, the card was thrown into a box with over 20,000 cards (20% of which was 1990 Donruss).

Fast forward to the year 2008. I decided to do something that would be very painful, but nevertheless needed to be done - I picked up a Beckett Baseball Price Guide and flipped to the Early 90's section. To my surprise I noticed a $200 1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones Rookie Card. I raced to my 90's junk box and searched for hours to no avail.  I may never find it or it might turn up in my sock drawer tomorrow. Either way, it made dealing with 90's a little easier and little more valuable. Maybe you will have better luck finding your version of the Chipper Jones Desert Shield.

Here's a list of some needles that may be in your 90's haystack:

  • 1996 Sport Illustrated For Kids Tiger Woods II #536 ($250)
  • Anything Topps Tiffany!
  • 1991 Topps Desert Shield #333 Chipper Jones RC ($200)
  • 1993 Stadium Club Murphy Derek Jeter RC ($60)
  • 1991 Wild Card Brett Favre #119 5 Stripe ($40), 10 Stripe ($80), 20 Stripe ($120), 50 Stripe ($250), 100 Stripe ($350), 1000 Stripe ($1,800)
  • 1991 Stadium Club Super Bowl XXVI #94 Brett Favre UER ($600)
  • 2000 Football (I found 2 Tom Brady rookie cards among the cards in my collection.)

These are just a start. I encourage anyone who reads this to add a few that come to mind using the comment form below.

The 90's: Underprinted Sports Cards in a Decade of Excess 1Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission
Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

User Comments


It’s always fun just to go thru your cards; I collected too much in the 90’s as well. I have found that making “lots” of certain players helps with the resale. Even if you can’t get more than a dime per card, sometimes that adds up.


A few I thougth of…
1990, & 1991 O-Pee-Chee Baseball (NOT the “premiere”), 1992 to a lesser extent.
1993 Topps Rockies or Marlins Issued Baseball (specially labelled like Desert Storm).

I can’t believe no one has commented on this article, I loved it. Anyone who collected during the boom years has gone from excited when they were issued to annoyed when the bubble burst and now nostalgic. The cards may not be worth much, but that is also a good thing if you just want to own the cards you couldn’t afford as a kid.

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