The Very Best 1990 Topps Baseball Cards

During the early 1990s, Topps produced some amazing baseball cards.

Generally, baseball card collectors remember this time with fondness: huge print runs and memorable cards allowed collectors to buy cards of the best baseball players for dirt cheap.

Today, there’s a lot of nostalgia around for these cards, which means that the demand for them is growing.

The 1990 Topps baseball set offers a bunch of fantastic options, including cards of players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, and – watch this space – George Bush.

Wanna know how the hell George Bush was included? Read on to find out more.

Top 5 1990 Topps Baseball Cards

Let’s take a look at the top 5 90’ Topps baseball cards.

1. 1990 Topps Frank Thomas RC #414 (Error)

1990 Topps Frank Thomas RC #414

This Topps card comes high on the popularity list because of a famous blunder by Topps. Frank Thomas rookie card was one of the best cards from the set, but it was this card that grabs the most attention nowadays.

As you may notice, there is no name of the player on the front of the card, as there should be.

It was a mistake from Topps’ part that was quickly fixed, although they couldn’t help the fact that a small quantity of these cards was released nonetheless.

This means that a (un)lucky few collectors got their hands on this card with a rare error that was quickly fixed by Topps. All of a sudden, this small mistake ended up being more desirable because of the rarity.

And because of that, prices for this card with the error can be very high – for the best-graded cards, well into five figures.

2. 1990 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. #336

1990 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. #336

Ken Griffey Jr. is a Hall of Famer and one of the best center fielders in baseball. Even though this Topps card is not the rookie card of Griffey, it is still one of the earliest cards ever released of this player, and the first one to be issued in the main Topps set.

For this reason, this card is still very high on the popularity list among card collectors. In the best grades, this card can cost hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars.

Notice the bloody scar on his elbow, which was one of the main selling points of this card. Even though it is a slight error, again, from Topps’ part, this feature ended up increasing the value of the card.

Ken Griffey Jr. Topps 1990 card is one of the most popular cards from the set and you can’t go wrong if you decide to get it.

3. 1990 Topps Frank Thomas Name on Front RC #414

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Name on Front RC #414

Now, this is the true version of the Frank Thomas rookie card – without any errors. The card has the name on the front, compared to the flawed one without the name.

The base card of this type will not be as expensive as the flawed version, but nonetheless, it’s still very popular.

You will be able to get it quite easily, too. Expect to pay a bit more for the higher-end cards with better grades, but cards with slightly lower grades should be easy to get and not very expensive.

Frank Thomas was the #1 draft pick in 1990, so the hype and the popularity of this card were huge already back then. Thomas then went on to justify the hype, which made even more people interested in this rookie card.

4. 1990 Topps Mark McGwire #690

1990 Topps Mark McGwire #690

Mark McGwire is included in these top 5 cards almost every year in the late 1980s and early 1990s, mainly because of his stature in the game at the time.

The Athletics were, after all, the team to beat in 1990, with the likes of McGwire and Canseco leading the lines.

McGwire, in combination with Canseco, produced some of the most memorable moments for the Athletics fans, and for those who watched baseball back in the 1980s and the 1990s.

So this card will be a throwback to the years of the dominance of the duo, and it will also help you rediscover the nostalgia of the good old days of 1990s baseball.

5. 1990 Topps Sammy Sosa RC #692

1990 Topps Sammy Sosa RC #692

Sammy Sosa was one of the most impressive and sought-after rookie cards in the 1990s Topps baseball set.

Now, at the very beginning of his baseball career, Sosa made a slow start but then kept improving each year before eventually becoming one of the top players in the league.

The pinnacle of his career was 1998 when he was named the AL MVP. Unfortunately, some of his reputation and his fame became controversial because of his alleged PED use, so he eventually wasn’t included in the Hall of Fame.

Nonetheless, this is still one of the most impressive cards from the 1990 Topps set and it’s also one of the more valuable ones, although not nearly as much as the first two choices we’ve seen on this list.

Bonus: Topps USA #1 George Bush

Topps USA #1 George Bush

This is one of the top cards from the 1990 Topps set, even though it was released in the Topps USA subset.

The card was meant to honor George Bush’s time as a baseball player at Yale. At the time, Bush was the president of the United States of America, so this card garnered quite a lot of attention.

The problem is that there were only 100 copies or so printed of this card, which made it incredibly hard to get. If you really want it, you’re going to have to spend a five-figure sum to buy it.

But if you do decide to get it, you’re getting one of the most unique and interesting cards that someone can buy, so if you have the money, it’s definitely worth considering it.

You can see the entire 1990 Topps Baseball Checklist if you want more information on the set.


  • Vince

    I'm a big time sports nerd, with soccer being my first true love. I've been collecting sports cards since I was a little kid, and now... well, not much has changed, but I write about it... and I have facial hair.

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.