10 Most Valuable 1989 Donruss Baseball Cards

Complete Box of Unopened Packs of 1989 Donruss Baseball CardsDuring the late 1980s, there seemed to be no shortage of 1989 Donruss baseball cards around the hobby…

And that’s because there wasn’t.

These cards were some of the most heavily produced during an era of overproduction.

Today, you can find full boxes of these for $5 or so.

But, while most of them may be worthless these days, that doesn’t mean some cards from this set can’t still hold some value.

And in this guide, I will cover the 10 most valuable 1989 Donruss baseball cards that are still worth a decent amount.

Let’s jump right in…

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Ross Uitts

Ross Uitts - Owner

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Brief disclaimer: most of the cards on this list will generally not be worth anything...

The only way they can have much value is by either being the Tiffany version (Topps' premium factory set) and/or being graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition (PSA 10).

That means the card needs to be basically flawless.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's take a look at the top ten:

1989 Donruss #3 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $180

The hype surrounding Griffey in 1989 was incredible and everyone was after this and his other rookie cards of the day.

Today, demand remains high and the value of this card has steadily risen in recent years.

Prior to his induction into the Hall of Fame, I remember seeing these sell for around $40 or so in PSA 10 condition.

Nowadays, they consistently sell for $175 or more.

The purple and black borders can easily show wear and chipping preventing most from achieving the lofty PSA 10 standard.

1989 Donruss #3 Ken Griffey Jr. Rated Rookie Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #42 Randy Johnson Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25

As far as pitchers are concerned, they don't get much more dominant than Randy Johnson.

I used to love watching him pitch and pile up strikeout after strikeout.

His slider was one of the most devastating pitches the game will ever see and left many professional hitters looking helpless at the plate.

While not nearly as valuable as the Griffey Jr. rookie, Johnson's rookie still holds respectable value in top grade.

1989 Donruss #42 Randy Johnson Rated Rookie Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #635 Curt Schilling Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25

Had Schilling's career not gotten off to such a slow start, he'd likely be in the Hall of Fame.

And, you could probably still argue his case to be inducted since some of his stats are better than some pitchers who did make it into the Hall.

Regardless, Schilling left a legacy on the game for huge strikeout totals and postseason dominance.

When he paired up with Randy Johnson in Arizona and then Pedro Martinez in Boston, you were hard-pressed to find a better one-two punch.

His 1989 Donruss rookie card remains popular among collectors and still holds respectable value in PSA 10 condition.

1989 Donruss #635 Curt Schilling Rookie Card

1989 Donruss #74 Don Mattingly

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $15

Although he never quite put up Hall of Fame numbers, Don Mattingly was one of the most popular players of his era.

And his cards during the late '80s and early '90s were as hot as anyone's.

His 1989 Donruss card seems to have held up a bit better than his cards from some of the other sets of this time period for some reason.

 It's not hugely expensive, but it's still a great-looking card as it features a great action shot of him mid-swing in his Yankee pinstripes.

1989 Donruss #74 Don Mattingly Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #154 Nolan Ryan

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $15

The 1989 season would be Ryan's first with the Texas Rangers after a terrific run with the Houston Astros.

I've always loved the look and feel of this card as the coloration is great and the image of Ryan in the process of throwing a blazer is top-notch.

Ryan's career is about as legendary as it gets for a pitcher.

His popularity remains high among collectors leaving a decent amount of demand for his cards even in sets like these from the "junk era".

1989 Donruss #154 Nolan Ryan Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #642 John Smoltz Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $12

Smoltz was a key to those amazing Atlanta pitching staffs of the 1990's that helped them dominate that decade.

I was always impressed how Smoltz dominated as a starter through the early part of his career, became a dominant reliever for a few years, and then went back to being a starter again.

That's not easy to do.

Clearly the guy knew how to pitch and his success eventually landed him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

His rookie card is one of the keys to this set but unfortunately is only worth about $12 or so in high grade.

1989 Donruss #642 John Smoltz Rookie Card

1989 Donruss #561 Craig Biggio Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $12

Few players have been as versatile as Craig Biggio was.

Whether he was at second base, in the outfield, or behind home plate, Biggio was an incredible defender.

And on offense he racked up a ton of hits, stole many bases and scored a lot of runs.

He was just a great all-around ball player.

When he surpassed the 3,000 career hit mark that solidified his well-earned spot in the Hall of Fame.

His rookie card may not be expensive but it's still very much one of the keys to own in this set.

1989 Donruss #561 Craig Biggio Rookie Card

1989 Donruss #31 Gary Sheffield Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $12

Sheffield was a nine-time All-Star and an absolute force at the plate as he'd go on to belt 509 home runs over his career.

However, his connections with the BALCO PED scandal have tarnished his legacy like those of many other players of his era.

Even so, his 1989 Donruss rookie card remains a collector favorite but is only worth about $12 or so in high grade.

1989 Donruss #31 Gary Sheffield Rated Rookie Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #208 Bo Jackson

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $10

You could argue that this is the best-looking card on this list.

The color scheme of the borders matched with the sky blue Royals jersey that Jackson is wearing really makes the card pop.

One of the hottest players of the era, Jackson's cards still hold up well as many collectors who chased his cards as kids are still doing so as adults.

His 1989 Donruss issue won't set you back a ton of money and it's a great card to add to any Bo Jackson collection.

1989 Donruss #208 Bo Jackson Baseball Card

1989 Donruss #51 Cal Ripken Jr.

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $10

Cal Ripken Jr. was one of my favorite players to watch as a kid.

As the owner of the record for most consecutive games played, his dedication to the game was obvious.

And that's what I liked about him: he consistently brought his best day in and day out.

His rookie cards are some of the most expensive of the 1980s but his cards from other sets like this one won't set you back nearly as much.

1989 Donruss #51 Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball Card

1989 Donruss Baseball Cards In Review

I've always loved the 1989 Donruss set so writing this article was a great trip down memory lane.

Aside from the Griffey rookie, most of these cards can be had for a relatively low dollar figure.

But, like you saw, it will take them being professionally graded in gem mint condition to be worth much at all.

There were just too many of them printed during an era of over-saturation so their values have been severely impacted.

But, it's a great set, nonetheless.

Within the set were also several different subsets, including:

  • All-Stars
  • Checklists
  • Diamond Kings
  • MVPs
  • Rated Rookies

If you grew up collecting these as a kid like I did, they'll likely always hold a huge nostalgic factor to them, if nothing else.

Ross Uitts
 

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 30 years. He also loves to write about the hobby and has written for Beckett, Topps, SABR and of course, this website. Need help buying or selling cards or have a general question about the hobby? Contact him at [email protected]

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