By 1990, Fleer and other baseball card companies began producing millions of cards to keep up with demand. Consumers were purchasing baseball cards in record quantities until the sports cards market collapsed in the early 1990s.
Due to the overproduction of baseball cards, many mint condition 1990 Fleer baseball cards sell for just a few dollars. While cards from just a few years earlier can fetch hundreds of dollars, it is difficult to find a Fleer 1990 card with the same value. Yet, some cards stand out due to errors and other factors, which help boost the value.
Use the following guide to explore the most valuable Fleer baseball cards from 1990.
Are Fleer 1990 Baseball Cards Valuable?
The large-scale production of baseball cards in 1990 means that the market is flooded with cards from this period. However, you can still find valuable cards.
Fleer was one of the biggest sports card companies in the 1980s and 1990s. The company started in 1885 as a gum and candy company and remained family-owned and operated until 1989.
Fleer briefly entered the baseball card business in 1923 but did not make baseball cards on a mass scale until 1981. Before 1981, Topps held a monopoly on the baseball card industry.
After breaking the monopoly, Fleer and Donruss began printing baseball cards. For the next decade, the company saw demand for baseball cards skyrocket. In 1990, Fleer and other trading card companies produced more cards than ever.
Which 1990 Fleer Cards Are Most Valuable?
Due to the availability of baseball cards from 1990 and the crash of the sports cards market in the 1990s, most of the standard cards are worth just a few dollars. However, the following types of cards are likely to hold more value:
- Error cards
- Rookie cards
- Signed cards
Error cards are often more valuable when the manufacturer corrects the error. After the initial production run, someone may detect the error and pull the card from the line. The issue is then corrected before production resumes. The initial production run containing the error becomes scarce, driving up its value.
Rookie cards were typically harder to find compared to cards issued later in a player’s career, which makes them more valuable. There is also more demand for rookie cards due to the perceived value. Rookie cards for Juan Gonzalez, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa may sell for more than other standard cards from the same year.
An autograph can instantly increase the value of any card. Many of the most valuable 1990 Fleer baseball cards on eBay are standard cards with autographs. These cards often sell for $50 to $75, depending on the popularity of the player.
5 Most Valuable 1990 Fleer Baseball Cards
The average price of a mint condition 1990 Fleer baseball card is less than $10. However, the following five cards typically fetch a much higher price:
- 1990 Fleer #74 Jose Uribe
- 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars #6 Ken Griffey, Jr.
- 1990 Fleer #548 Sammy Sosa
- 1990 Fleer League Leaders #31 Nolan Ryan
- 1990 Fleer #454 Deion Sanders
These cards range in value from $75 to $20,000. Yet, the card must be in top condition to receive the full asking price.
Most of these cards are part of the standard set released in 1990. According to the Fleer 1990 checklist, the set included 660 cards. Cards from the League Leaders and Soaring Stars sets are also occasionally valuable.
1990 Fleer #74 Jose Uribe Error Card
The Fleer #74 Jose Uribe baseball card became the most valuable card from the 1990 Fleer set just a few years ago. In February 2018, a Twitter user shared a screenshot of an eBay listing.
The eBay listing for the Fleer 1990 Jose Uribe card had an asking price of $758,000. Before long, the asking price for other listings of the same card dramatically increased.
The card contains an error, which helps increase the value of baseball cards. The back of the card incorrectly lists Jose Uribe’s date of birth as January 21st, 1960, instead of 1959. However, the error alone is not enough to justify the high asking price.
No one knows why an eBay seller initially listed the card at $758,000. The highest price for the card is currently $20,000. Many “GEM-MT” and “MINT 9” condition 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe cards sell for $7,500 to $10,000. However, the card is valued at about $500 on most card pricing sites so shop around before committing.
1990 Fleer Soaring Stars #6 Ken Griffey, Jr.
The Soaring Stars #6 Ken Griffey, Jr. card is one of the few 1990 baseball cards valued at more than a few hundred dollars. One “gem mint” listing on eBay has an asking price of $9,500. However, the 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars #6 card in near-mint condition may sell for closer to $50.
The card features Griffey, Jr. against a green background with a rainbow effect. The green background makes any flaws or cornering issues easier to detect, which is why finding a mint condition copy of this card is difficult.
1990 Fleer #548 Sammy Sosa Rookie Card
Sammy Sosa’s rookie card from 1990 is worth between $50 and $200 in mint condition. The card features Sosa in a White Sox uniform two years before joining the Cubs.
Sosa went on to score 609 home runs. However, he was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a 2009 New York Times report. The accusations affected Sosa’s legacy, but some of his cards remain valuable.
The 1990 Fleer Sammy Sosa card is even more valuable when autographed. Several mint condition autographed copies of this card have sold for $250 to $350.
1990 Fleer League Leaders #31 Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan had a successful MLB career that spanned 27 years. By 1990, Ryan was just three years away from retirement. In 1998, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Due to his popularity as one of the best pitchers of all time, Nolan Ryan’s cards typically hold at least some value.
The 1990 Fleer League Leaders Ryan card sells for between $60 and $150. The back of the card could not fit the stats for Ryan’s entire career but covers the 1973 to 1989 seasons.
The 1990 Fleer #31 Nolan Ryan card from the standard set for the season is also one of the more valuable cards from that year. A mint condition #31 card is worth $40 to $50.
1990 Fleer #454 Deion Sanders Baseball Card
Deion Sanders played 14 seasons with the NFL and nine seasons in the MLB, which means that there are many Sanders cards in existence. However, the 1990 Fleer #454 Sanders card is relatively valuable.
A mint condition #454 1990 Fleer card may sell for $40 to $85. Unfortunately, any wear significantly drops the value of the card. A PSA 9 #454 card was recently sold on eBay for $15.
Semi-Valuable 1990 Fleer Baseball Cards
Along with the five cards listed above, other 1990 Fleer cards may be worth something. Cards not listed above that feature any of the following players may sell for $10 to $20, depending on the condition of the card:
- Ken Griffey, Jr.
- Nolan Ryan
- Randy Johnson
- Bo Jackson
- Rickey Henderson
- Larry Walker
- Juan Gonzalez
The most valuable 1990 Fleer baseball cards are sold in mint or near-mint conditions. A card with creases or damage to the card surface may not be worth much of anything.
Most card collectors rely on the grades assigned by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). The PSA assigns a grade of 1 (Poor) to 10 (Gem Mint).
A Gem Mint 10 card needs to feature no staining or wear and tear. It needs four sharp corners and the original gloss of the card. A card with a very minor wax stain on the back may receive a Mint 9 grade.
1990 Fleer cards with a PSA grade of 8 or lower are unlikely to sell for more than a dollar. These cards may feature slight fraying on one or two corners, a small printing imperfection, or slightly off-white backgrounds.
After the PSA grades a card, it is encapsulated in a plastic sleeve and labeled. Breaking the seal may require the card to be re-graded by the PSA.
Instead of the PSA, some collectors may use one of the following third-party card grading companies:
- Beckett Grading Services (BGS)
- Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG) – For cards made before 1981
- Sportscard Guaranty Company (SGC)
These companies charge a minimum of $10 to $20 to grade a card. As most of the Fleer cards from 1990 are worth less than the cost of grading, cards with less value are unlikely to be graded.
Most Fleer baseball cards from 1990 are worth less than $10. While most of the cards from 1990 are not major collector’s items, a few cards stand out as valuable investments. Cards featuring Ken Griffey, Jr., Nolan Ryan, Sammy Sosa, and Deion Sanders may sell for $75 to $250.
The 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe is one of the most valuable cards of the era. While many listings include an asking price of $10,000 or more, most card pricing groups price it at about $500.
Along with the cards discussed, any cards featuring autographs are likely to sell for more.
In the end, the value of the card depends heavily on its condition. Remember to protect your cards using sleeves or holders to preserve their value.