1990 Leaf Baseball Cards – Top Picks

Below are our top 5 cards from the 1990 Leaf baseball set. As well as some extra memorabilia items from the year 1990 as a whole. 

The 1990 Leaf baseball card has proven to be a major area of interest to collectors, featuring high-quality cards with thicker cardstock and a glossy finish.

1990 leaf baseball card collage

As the sports card industry continues to gain momentum in the wider memorabilia market, vintage cards are reemerging as a preferred item for many collectors.

Whether older collectors looking back to their early childhood days of trading baseball cards with their friends, or individuals who simply appreciate sports history, older baseball cards are increasing in popularity and value across most outlets geared toward selling them.

5. Nolan Ryan “No Hit King” #265

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $60

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $20

Nolan Ryan No Hit King #265 Leaf 1990 Baseball cards

Nolan Ryan is one of the most popular players in baseball history. This makes many of his cards, even those featuring him later in his career, very desirable and valuable.

The #265 “No Hit King” card is a specialty card that commemorates Ryan’s 6th career no-hitter that he threw against the Oakland Athletics on June 11, 1990. Although cards commemorating a player’s career accomplishments had been produced for decades. Most famously the 1974 Topps set featuring the achievements of Hank Aaron. They began to be more prevalent around this time.

The front of the card pictures Ryan raising his hat to the crowd, presumably after his no-hitter, with the phrase “No Hit King” written near the top.

Nolan Ryan No Hit King #265 - rear of card

The back of the card contains an early career photo of Ryan with a biography highlighting many of his career accomplishments. 

4. Sammy Sosa Rookie Card #220

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $70

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $9

Sammy Sosa Rookie Card #220 - Leaf 1990 Baseball

Sammy Sosa was one of the most feared power hitters of the 1990s and early 2000s. Hitting 609 home runs for his career. Most famously, Sosa was involved in one of the most memorable home run chases in MLB history. Dueling with Mark McGwire over the 1998 season.

Unfortunately, Sosa’s affiliation with steroids has had major consequences on his baseball career. Preventing him from making the hall of fame and seriously devaluing his sports memorabilia, including baseball cards.

However, his rookie card still has some value. Collectors should be aware that the negativity associated with steroid users and the steroid era of the 90s has softened a little.

Ironically, the #220 rookie card featuring Sosa, a fearsome power hitter, shows him bunting.

Sammy Sosa Rookie Card #220 - rear of card

The back of the card contains a player biography. Noting that Sosa was the key player in a trade sending Harold Baines to the Rangers and Sosa to the White Sox. It also contains his career statistics from both the major and minor leagues. 

3. Larry Walker Rookie Card #325

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $130

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $12

Larry Walker Rookie Card #325 - Leaf baseball Cards

Although largely forgotten among most baseball fans. Larry Walker was one of the best offensive right fielders from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s.

Walker is one of the best players in the young history of the Colorado Rockies. While some downplay Walker’s accomplishments. Noting that Colorado’s high-altitude environment enhances offense. It is important to note that Walker was already a great offensive player before signing there as a free agent.

In 1994, the year before he went to Colorado, Walker hit .322 with a .394 OBP and .981 OPS. Along with a lead-leading 44 doubles.

His #325 rookie card features a picture of him starting to run down the first base line on the front.

Larry Walker Rookie Card #325 - rear of card

The rear contains all his major and minor league statistics up to that point. Along with a player biography that notes he was just the 5th Canadian to ever play for the Montreal Expos. 

2. Ken Griffey Jr. #245

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $140

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $17.50

Ken Griffey Jr. #245 - Leaf Baseball Cards

The #245 2nd year card of Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the most desirable cards from the entire 1990 Leaf set.

Griffey Jr. was the face of baseball in the 1990s. Becoming a marketing and cultural icon during his legendary career. Second only to Michael Jordan in the sports world during his playing days with the Seattle Mariners.

He ended his career with 630 home runs, 7th all-time in MLB history, and 1,836 RBIs, 17th most in MLB history, while also amassing 10 gold gloves playing center field. Griffey Jr. was named an all-star 13 times. He won the 1997 AL MVP, and finished in the top 5 of MVP voting 4 different times other than his MVP season.

The front of the #245 card pictures Griffey Jr. in the midst of an at-bat.

Ken Griffey Jr. #245 - rear of card

The back of the card lists his major and minor league stats. His player biography on the rear of the card details Griffey Jr.’s early success as a rookie and notes his #1 selection in the 1987 MLB draft. 

1. Frank Thomas Rookie Card #300

Approximate PSA 10 Value – $195

Approximate PSA 9 Value – $35

Frank Thomas Rookie Card #300 - Leaf baseball card

The most valuable in the 1990 Leaf Baseball cards set. The #300 Frank Thomas rookie card, is a great addition to any collection. One of the most feared power sluggers of the 1990s.

Thomas hit 521 home runs and drove in 1704 RBIs for his career, all while hitting .301. He won back-to-back MVP awards in 1993 and 1994 and finished in the top 5 of MVP voting 4 different times other than his MVP seasons.

Perhaps most impressively, despite possessing a massive muscular physique during the steroid era. Frank Thomas was as clean a player as they come. Proving that talent, hard work, and dedication are enough to generate tremendous success.

Frank Thomas Rookie Card #300 - rear of card

The #300 rookie card pictures Thomas in the aftermath of a swing on its front. The rear of the card lists his minor league stats and contains a biography that notes that Thomas progressed quickly through the minors. Playing just 2 seasons before making a major league roster. 

Bonus Memorabilia Items

1990 is also a stellar year for baseball memorabilia other than baseball cards. With many different top items featured on sportsmemorabilia.com.

Several different autographed baseballs are available. Including a ball signed by the 1990 Oakland Athletics, who appeared in the World Series that season.

signed 1990 All Star Game Baseball

A baseball signed by members of the 1990 NL All-Star Team, including Tony Gwynn, Barry Larkin, and Barry Bonds, retails for $1,189.99. While a baseball signed by members of the 1990 AL All-Star Team, including Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs, can be purchased for $1,013.99.

A baseball autographed by the 1990 Seattle Mariners. Which includes signatures by Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez, is available for $904.99. The crown jewel of autographed baseballs for 1990 is a game-used, autographed baseball from Randy Johnson’s no-hitter in 1990. This one is only in the price range of high-end collectors, available for $8,899.99.

1990 signed baseball bat

A bat signed by many young up-and-coming MLB players, most notably Ken Griffey Jr., can be purchased for $1,472.99. While a 1990 Louisville Game Slugger Bat, also signed by Griffey Jr., is available for $1,537.99.

Roger Clemens signed cap circa 1990

Finally, a Roger Clemens autographed, game-used baseball cap can be purchased for $2,663.99.

Bruno Breen

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