What are the best 1989 Topps Baseball cards to collect? They might have been released during the junk wax era, but there are still some valuable options if you’re looking at PSA 10 grades.
With a 792-card checklist, 1989 Topps Baseball is a large set. However, the majority of cards from the era were vastly overprinted, so the majority are worthless.
As well as 1989 Topps Baseball, we’ll take a look at 1989 Topps Traded Baseball, combining both (and 1989 Topps Traded Tiffany) to make the following list.
The Best 1989 Topps Baseball Cards
As there were so many cards printed at the time, we’ll be sticking with PSA 10 graded copies for the purposes of this list.
5. 1989 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. #250 (eBay)
Cal Ripken Jr. is featured on the first card to make an appearance, via an option found in 1989 Topps Baseball. ‘The Iron Man’ played 21 seasons in MLB for the Orioles, and still holds the record for consecutive appearances (2,632).
His 1989 Topps cards aren’t the rarest by any means if you’re looking at PSA 10 grades. There are over 170 at the current time of writing, so they’re cheap to pick up.
Check prices of 1989 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. #280 on eBay
4. 1989 Topps Traded Nolan Ryan #106T (eBay)
Nolan Ryan is one of the biggest names within the sport, as a World Series champion (1969) who also happens to be a GOAT pitcher.
The 1989 Topps Traded Baseball set shares a similar design to the flagship release, but it’s printed on a brighter card stock, which makes the images a lot cleaner. It features a simple profile shot of Ryan with glove in hand, and it can be picked up for next to nothing. There’s also a Tiffany version that we’ll discuss below.
Check prices of 1989 Topps Traded Nolan Ryan on eBay
3. 1989 Topps Traded Deion Sanders RC #110T (eBay)
Sticking with 1989 Topps Traded Baseball, the legendary Deion Sanders is the only player to feature in both a Super Bowl and a World Series. As such, his 1989 RC is a popular option, and worth far more than the cards seen above.
Then there’s the 1989 Topps Traded Tiffany version. Seen above, this special set is far rarer, and uses a glossy image of the player. As PSA notes;
“For each set of regular Tiffany cards ordered, Topps provided dealers with this special update set.”
Check prices of 1989 Topps Traded Deion Sanders RC on eBay
2. 1989 Topps Randy Johnson RC #647 (eBay)
Randy Johnson is another iconic player, with 4,875 strikeouts that place him second all time behind Nolan Ryan. Johnson’s base 1989 Topps RC is highly affordable, but the same can’t be said for the Tiffany version.
Once again, each of the 792 cards in the set were given the glossy treatment, it was only made available via hobby dealers, and there were only 15,000 sets produced in total. That’s low for the era.
Check prices of 1989 Topps Traded Randy Johnson RC on eBay
1. 1989 Topps Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr. RC #41T (eBay)
Ken Griffey Jr.’s RC is undoubtedly the key to the 1989 Topps Traded set, even if it was vastly overproduced as a product of the junk wax era.
It’s a simple card, featuring a profile shot of the player with a bat slung over his left shoulder.
Arguably the most aesthetically pleasing RC from Griffey’s collection, his name and team are found on a tag at the bottom.
Of course, anything other than a pristine copy isn’t worth much when looking at the base set. The true value lies with the Tiffany collection, with an example seen above.
Check prices of 1989 Topps Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr. RC on eBay
Why are 1989 Topps Baseball cards so cheap?
As is common for the era, supply greatly exceeds demand with 1989 Topps Baseball. Even pristine versions are easy to source online, so the only notable cards are PSA 10 copies of the glossy Tiffany options.
It’s great news if you want to collect a full set for next to nothing, but it’s not ideal if you’ve found a heap of 1989 cards in your garage.
The Best 1989 Topps Baseball Cards: Final Thoughts
1989 is a decent year for Topps baseball cards, and it’s easy to pick up complete sets, as well as the best rookie cards from the era. Tiffany cards do leave an option for high-end collectors, especially if you’re looking at PSA graded copies.
Do you agree with the list? Is there anyone important that we’ve managed to miss out?