1990 is the first year autographs were inserted into sports card packs. The 1990 Upperdeck High Series had Reggie Jackson Heroes of Baseball autograph cards randomly inserted into packs of sports cards. There were only 2,500 baseball cards that were autographed.
This is the first year that the “Heroes of Baseball” insert was included in packs. This is right in the middle of the junk wax era where millions of cards were made. To find 1 of the 2,500 inserted autographs in these boxes is rare.
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1990 Upper Deck had a massive checklist with over 800 cards for the complete set. This was split up into low and high series. The Low Series had the first 700 cards. The high series had cards 701 thru 800. Series 2 was similar to the traded Topps series. There were many rookie cards included in the Series 2 release. Series 2 is where the Reggie Jackson autographed Heroes of Baseball were inserted into packs.
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Who are the Top Rookies in 1990 Upperdeck Baseball Cards?
The top rookie cards in 1990 Upperdeck baseball card set is Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, and David Justice.
Larry Walker was elected to the Hall of Fame for the 2020 year. His baseball card prices went up in value. Sammy Sosa hit over 60 home runs 3 times and was on his way to the Hall of Fame until steroid rumors sidelined that. Juan Gonzales and David Justice were great baseball players who still have a following today.
One of the glaring rookie omissions from 1990 Upper Deck was Frank Thomas. Frank Thomas was in Topps, Score, Bowman, Fleer Update, and Leaf’s first release. Upper Deck and Donruss decided to not have him in the set.
The other cards to collect in this set is the 2nd year Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey No Copyright, Barry Bonds, Nolan Ryan, and Nolan Ryan #734 with no stripe.
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Should I buy Raw or Graded 1990 Upper Deck Baseball Cards?
I would buy graded PSA 10 1990 Upper Deck baseball cards. Millions of cards were made of this set but printing errors and thin card stock make higher grade cards not as high as today’s standards. 1990 Upper Deck PSA 10 will continually go up in value due to the low population of the cards compared to other years.
Since this set was produced during the junk wax era there were millions of cards that were manufactured. However, printing errors and the thin card stock made these cards susceptible to damage. Outside of the Ken Griffey Jr. No Copyright Error Card, you are spending less than $100 for any of the rookie or main cards to collect in this set.
The low population of PSA 10 baseball cards in this set will make the prices for these cards to continue to rise. For example, 1990 Upper Deck Larry Walker has a PSA 10 population of 449, compare that to the 2018 Topps Update of Ronald Acuna Jr. there are over 16,000! When comparing prices between the two cards Larry Walker is around $50 and Ronald Acuna Jr. is worth $190. While Ronald Acuna Jr. is having an amazing start to his career, Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer and his 1990 Upper Deck seems like a great value.