Larry Walker was one of the best pure hitters in the game throughout the 1990s, winning three National League batting titles, along with an MVP Award in 1997. Early Larry Walker cards for the long-time Expos and Rockies right fielder appeared during the "junk wax era," but the bulk of his cardboard came during the second half of the '90s. This top list looks at some of the very best Larry Walker baseball cards.
Walker first appeared on the radar of baseball card collectors while the British Columbia native was starring for the Montreal Expos in his home country. The upstart Expos were led by a group of young and exciting players anchored around Walker, who was a true five-star talent. At the end of the baseball strike in 1994, he took his talents to Denver, where he teamed up with the intimidating lineup to form the "Blake Street Bombers." Walker ended his time with the Rockies as the most consequential player in the history of the franchise.
Notable for many collectors, there are multiple Larry Walker rookie cards. While the cards from 1990 were produced in enormous quantities, they are still very popular in the collecting world. As Walker entered the prime of his career, card companies gave him a more prominent spot. He frequently appeared in high-end sets and also started to show up in inserts. However, there were challenges in collecting Larry Walker cards. Compared to most superstar players from the era, he rarely appeared in autograph products, and his relic cards were late to the game.
Even with his great career, there have not been many Larry Walker cards since he retired from baseball. Still, the popularity of his past cards has increased thanks to a Hall of Fame nod in his final year of eligibility. There are numerous collectors who have looped back to find his cards from some of the most popular sets from the 1990s and 2000s. The renewed interest in Larry Walker cards has helped him remain a relevant part of the hobby.
The following guide looks at a few of the key Larry Walker cards. This list highlights cards from his entire career, showcasing his very best rookie cards and autographs.
Top 10 Larry Walker Baseball Cards
Bolded sets go directly to detailed product profiles and checklists when available.
10. 1993 Donruss McDonald's Montreal Expos Larry Walker #7
During the 1993 season, the Expos teamed up with local McDonald's restaurants and Donruss to create a 33-card set featuring some of the best players in franchise history. The set was issued to commemorate the team's 25th anniversary, and a small logo is included in the bottom-left corner to mark the event. The design used for the cards was unique, not borrowing from any previous Donruss products, and the card backs are bilingual, displaying both French and English. There are cards of former Expos greats like Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, and Gary Carter, along with some of the star players on the Expos at the time. Single cards, like the Larry Walker, are not too tough to find even though these cards originated north of the border.
9. 2005 Prime Patches Larry Walker Jumbo Relic #PP-19 #/532
Considering his talent, card companies really took their time adding Walker to relic sets. Bat and jersey cards were growing in popularity simultaneous to the peak of his career, but most of the Larry Walker relic cards are from the early 2000s. Collectors seeking a relic of Larry Walker's time with the Expos have very few choices available as the vast majority of his bat and jersey relics are for the Rockies. However, the 2005 Prime Patches set offers collectors a unique variety of different jumbo and patch pieces. The release has multiple memorabilia cards for Walker, which include simple Cardinals or Rockies jumbo swatches of his jersey, large "prime" patch pieces, and some cards that mix patch pieces from his time with both clubs.
8. 1987 Donn Jennings Southern League All-Star Larry Walker #8
Although Larry Walker has several different minor league cards, his most popular edition is with the Expos Double-A team, the Jacksonville Expos. Walker and teammate Randy Johnson both appeared in the Southern League All-Star Game in 1987, which earned them space in the Donn Jennings Southern League All-Star set. Aside from owning a card shop in Alabama at the time, Jennings produced this All-Star set for several years in the 1980s.
7. 1998 Skybox EX-2001 Essential Credentials Larry Walker #79
1998 E-X2001 was one of the most popular card releases from the 1990s. The Skybox product was first introduced to collectors in 1997, but the sophomore edition stands apart due to the design of the cards, as well as the serial numbered parallels. The cards have an acetate section featuring the player's name, jersey number, and team name, while the printed side of the card displays a raised and textured picture of the player. Walker, like all the cards in the set, has an Essential Credentials Now and an Essential Credentials Future parallel with a combined total of 101 serial numbered cards. The two parallel sets have remained great chase cards for player collectors. The Now parallel corresponds to the card number, which means Walker has just 79 copies. His Essential Credentials Future parallel is even more limited with only 32 copies.
6. 1993 Topps Finest Refractor Larry Walker #97
Larry Walker made the National League All-Star team for the first time during the 1992 season. This honor earned him several different cards, including an appearance in the 1993 Topps Finest All-Star subset. The Refractor version of Walker's 1993 Finest card is arguably his best chase card from the early years of his career. The raw and graded versions of the Finest Refractors from 1993 are in high demand, and can be very expensive. However, compared to similar players from this timeframe, the Larry Walker Finest Refractor card is normally found for a reasonable price.
5. 1998 Topps Stadium Club Co-Signers Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga Autograph #CS-17
Topps placed some great dual autographs in their late-1990s Stadium Club Co-Signers insert. The dual signature cards featured two different players with some sort of connection. Initially, many collectors were drawn to this set for autographs of players like Derek Jeter and Tony Gwynn, but over time some of the secondary cards have gained in value and popularity. The Co-Signers card of Larry Walker and Andres Galarraga would definitely fit that description, and it proves that good things do come in pairs. This card has two great signatures, two great former Rockie and Expo players, and two of the best hitters from the 1990s.
However, the card can be very tough to track down. There are a few other Larry Walker autographs to check out if this card eludes you, but he has not been a huge signer in recent years.
4. 1997 Donruss Signature Series Larry Walker Autograph
There are only a handful of certified Larry Walker autographs for collectors to choose from, but the majority were released after he retired in 2005. The list of autograph cards from Walker's time as an active player is very short. His Donruss Signature Series card from 1997 is easily his best standalone option.
The Donruss Signature cards were designed with an empty white space at the bottom for the autograph. While the majority of these cards are signed in that space, Walker autographed all of his cards over his picture with his signature running vertically up the card. There are three versions of this card: the base red, the green Millennium Marks cards numbered out of 1,000, and the blue Century Marks out of 100.
3. 1990 Bowman Tiffany Larry Walker RC #117
The first few Bowman sets after Topps relaunched the brand in 1989 were very different from what collectors are used to seeing today. The rookie cards included in the product were coincidental, not intentional, with the main focus on veteran players. 1990 Bowman did manage to squeeze in rookie cards of Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker.
It is worth pointing out that there are two versions of this Larry Walker card. The regular base card has the usual Topps finish and card stock from this era. The common Bowman RC can still be had for a few dollars. On the other hand, the Tiffany version is more desirable and popular with collectors. With an estimated 3,000 printed sets, this is a minuscule number for the "junk wax era."
2. 1990 Topps Tiffany Larry Walker RC #757
Similar to the Bowman rookie, the first Topps card for Walker also has a common base and a Tiffany version. However, there are two big differences between the Bowman and Topps Tiffany rookies. First, the print run for Topps Tiffany is much larger at around 15,000 copies. That has helped keep the price a little lower for collectors who are just looking for a nice Larry Walker rookie card. The second difference between the two cards is the fact that the Topps card has been tougher to find at higher grades, likely due to the darker borders. If you are looking to save a few dollars, there is always the regular edition of his Topps rookie card, which is inexpensive as both a raw and graded card. There is also a very similar O-Pee-Chee version with the same Topps front.
1. 1990 Leaf Larry Walker RC #325
1990 Leaf is the most acclaimed baseball product from that season. These cards were made by Donruss to compete with Upper Deck, which revolutionized the sports card world the previous year. While the Leaf cards did come in foil wrappers like Upper Deck, they still did not have the glossy finish. In spite of this, Leaf won over many collectors with its design elements. The simple white borders with color photographs of the player on both sides essentially followed the same formula as Upper Deck. The 528-card set also featured rookie cards of Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker. For baseball card enthusiasts, the 1990 Leaf Larry Walker is the gold standard, and a must-have to complete any true collection of this all-time great.