10 Most Valuable 1991 Score Baseball Cards
To understand the baseball card boom of the late 80s and early 90s, one needs only look at the 1991 Score baseball card set.
There were 11 different subsets within the massive 893-card checklist.
Ken Griffey Jr. appeared on 8 different cards in the set.
Score and the other card manufacturers were in a dogfight throwing anything and everything at the market to come out on top.
However, despite its quirkiness, I think this was one of the better sets of the era in terms of design and the eye appeal of many cards in the set has held up well over time.
It’s true, many cards in this set aren’t worth anything, but some still do stick out in terms of value.
In this list, I take a look at the top ten most valuable.
Let’s jump right in…
Brief disclaimer: I do want to make it clear that most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.
So, in order for the cards on this list to be worth much, they'll have to be graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition.
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:
1991 Score #441 Jose Canseco "Dream Team"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50
In a set loaded with tons of subset cards, this Jose Canseco card from the "Dream Team" subset stands alone as the most memorable.
Why Score chose to feature Canseco wearing nothing but a pair of jeans is anyone's guess.
Kirby Puckett was also shirtless on his "Dream Team" card and Rickey Henderson was wearing nothing but biker shorts on his "Cooperstown Card" that was a factory set exclusive.
Apparently, half-naked ballplayers were Score's way of trying to stand out from the crowd.
Whatever the reason, this card ended up being one of the most iconic of the early 1990s and collectors are still willing to pay decent money for high-grade specimens.
To be honest, I was stunned to see this card routinely selling for around $50 in PSA 10 condition.
1991 Score #773 Bo Jackson "Bo Breaker"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50
Usually, Bo Jackson was mashing the ball towards the outfield wall but on the occasion he would strikeout, he sometimes expressed his frustration by breaking his bat right there on the spot.
Sometimes he'd break the bat over his knee or sometimes he'd even break it over his head (wearing a helmet of course).
The practice was so famous that the White Sox even released a bobblehead of him snapping a bat over his knee.
Long before that bobblehead, though, Score paid tribute to Bo's memorable bat-breaking practice with this instantly recognizable "Bo Breaker" card.
1991 Score #692 Bo Jackson "Master Blaster"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35
To recognize some of the game's finest, Score released three subsets in "Master Blaster", "K-Men", and "Riflemen" to recognize power hitters, strikeout artists and players with canons for arms, respectively.
I believe Bo Jackson and Eric Davis were the only players to have both a Master Blaster and Riflemen card to their names.
And deservedly so, as those guys had amazing power on both sides of the ball.
The images of the players superimposed on backgrounds with explosive bursts of color have held up quite well over time.
1991 Score #2 Ken Griffey Jr.
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30
Considering all of the different subsets, Ken Griffey Jr. is featured on 8 different cards within the 1991 Score set.
Many of them are somewhat gimmicky in their look and feel but fortunately, his base card isn't.
It's arguably the best-looking card in the set and one of his personal bests of that era.
The full-color image of the Kid in the middle of his iconic, effortless swing surrounded by the blue borders is hard to beat.
Griffey Jr. was well on his way to stardom as he'd finish the 1991 season with his second straight All-Star appearance as well as Gold Glove and Silver Slugger honors, to boot.
1991 Score #412 Bo Jackson "Rifleman"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25
No explanation is needed for why Bo Jackson appeared in the "Rifleman" subset, just watch this video of him gunning down the speedy Harold Reynolds back in 1989:
1991 Score #4 Nolan Ryan
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $20
Speaking of guys with canons for arms, next on our list is none other than the legendary fireballer, Nolan Ryan.
The 1991 season marked his 25th in the Major Leagues, and while he didn't quite have the innings to lead the league in strikeouts, he did lead the league in strikeouts per 9 innings with a rate of 10.6, the third-highest of his career.
And the guy was 44 years old not 24 years old when he did this.
If there's anything as equally impressive as Ryan's velocity and power, it was his longevity.
Still extremely popular among collectors, Ryan's card can fetch $20 in top condition.
1991 Score #892 Ken Griffey Jr. "Dream Team"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $20
Heading into only his 3rd season of Major League Baseball, Score was already including Griffey on their "Dream Team" subset roster as well as giving him a "Cooperstown Card" in their factory exclusive set.
That shows you what the company thought of his talent and potential.
Unlike Kirby Puckett and Jose Canseco, though, Griffey chose to keep his shirt on for this card.
1991 Score #671 Chipper Jones Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $15
One of two Hall of Famers to make their debuts in this set, the Chipper Jones rookie card surprised me at first that it's not more valuable than some of the others in this set.
Then I checked PSA's population report and quickly learned why: there are well over 1,000 of these graded in PSA 10 condition while there are just a few dozen or more PSA 10 copies of the others on this list.
On the one hand, it quickly tells you how popular Chipper Jones was while on the other, it's a glaring example of what supply can quickly do to prices in this hobby.
At $15 for a PSA 10 specimen, this is a great bargain for a great-looking Hall of Fame rookie card of the iconic Atlanta Braves superstar.
1991 Score #697 Ken Griffey Jr. "Rifleman"
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $15
The only thing that surprises me about Griffey Jr.'s inclusion in the "Rifleman" subset was his exclusion from the "Master Blaster" subset.
Looking back on the stats of the guys who were included, it looks like they needed at least one 30+ home run season to qualify.
But, after smacking 16 home runs in 1989 and another 22 in 1990, I guess it wasn't quite so obvious that the Kid would transform into one of the greatest power hitters the game has ever seen.
However, after picking up a Gold Glove award in 1990, though, it was clear that Griffey had a monster glove and arm on defense even if his gaudy power numbers at the plate weren't quite there yet.
As such, he rightfully earned this card and its vibrant imagery and coloration make it practically bounce off the card.
1991 Score #383 Mike Mussina Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $12
For several years it wasn't clear if Mussina would get his call to the Hall of Fame as he earned just 20.3% of the vote in his first year of eligibility in 2014.
However, just as sure and steady as the man himself was on the mound, he steadily climbed to breaking the 75% of the vote needed to be inducted in 2019.
One of the biggest knocks on Mussina was his 270 career wins, falling just 30 short of that magical 300 number.
It's not like the guy was losing a ton, though, as many of his outings resulted in no-decisions in 18 years spent pitching in the ultra-competitive AL East.
Only four pitchers in history with more than 500 starts to their name had a better career winning percentage than Mussina: Christy Mathewson, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, and Pete Alexander.
1991 Score Baseball Cards In Review
So there you have it, the ten most valuable 1991 Score cards and a decent dose of nostalgia.
This set contained a total of 893 cards which was a gigantic checklist even by today's standards.
Much of that was due to the 11 different subsets that, in chronological order, included:
- Rookie Prospects (#331-379)
- First Draft Picks (#380-391, #671-682)
- AL All-Stars (#392-401)
- Master Blasters (#402-406, #689-693)
- K-Men (#407-411, #684-688)
- Rifleman (#412-416, #694-698)
- NL All-Stars (#661-670)
- No-Hitters (#699-707)
- Franchise (#849-874)
- Award Winners (#875-881)
- Dream Team (#882-893).
But like many sets of that era, 1991 Score was massively printed and with millions of copies of each card in circulation today, the values just haven't held up well over time.
Like I've mentioned, they need to be graded in PSA 10 condition to be worth anything, sadly.
But, for those of us who grew up collecting these as kids, they'll always have a huge nostalgic factor to them despite not having the highest monetary value.