12 Most Valuable 1992 Fleer Ultra Baseball Cards

Most Valuable 1992 Fleer Ultra Baseball Cards


Though the brand officially debuted in 1991, the 1992 Fleer Ultra baseball card set was a massive improvement over its predecessor.

Collectors responded very well to this set...

I loved their look and feel when I first ripped into packs of them back then.

And, I still think they look great to this day.

Remember, Upper Deck had already upped the demand for quality in the hobby, and even Topps had their "Stadium Club" line, too.

Fleer couldn't afford to fall behind in the premium market and this set got them back on track.

The beautiful full-color design and glossy coating really hit the mark with hobbyists looking for premium quality.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 12 most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

Ross Uitts

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Let's be clear: most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.

Like the 1992 Donruss, Fleer, Leaf, Pinnacle, Score, Topps and Upper Deck sets, large print runs saturated the market with these cards, driving down their values.

So, 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 flawless.

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

1992 Fleer Ultra #123 Ken Griffey Jr.

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $50

Coming off their first winning season in franchise history in 1991, the Seattle Mariners looked to keep that successful momentum moving forward into the 1992 season.

And, Ken Griffey Jr. made sure to do his part.

Though he missed out on his second consecutive Silver Slugger, Griffey remained one of the most feared hitters in the league as he belted 27 home runs, 39 doubles and 4 triples while driving in 103 runs.

He continued to be a hawk in center field as well, committing just one error and posting a .997% fielding percentage to lead all AL center fielders for the only time in his career.

Griffey's staunch defense made him a no-brainer for his third-straight Gold Glove.

However, despite Griffey's efforts on both sides of the ball, the Mariners struggled under new manager Bill Plummer, finishing last in the AL West with a 64-98 record. 

The team let Plummer go in October but Griffey would stick around for several more years to lead Seattle to brighter days.

1992 Fleer Ultra #123 Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #141 Nolan Ryan

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $50

At the age of 45, Nolan Ryan took the mound for the Texas Rangers on April 6, 1992 to serve as the team's Opening Day starter against the Seattle Mariners.

In his 768th game in Major League Baseball, Ryan went 4.1 innings while allowing one earned run, giving up five hits and striking out four as the Rangers won 12-10.

However, Ryan didn't get the decision that game, something that would be a common theme for a few months as he held a 1-3 record over 12 starts heading into July.

Looking to turn things around, Ryan opened July with a bang, pitching a complete game victory with thirteen strikeouts at home against the New York Yankees to open the month.

July was easily his best month of the season as he went 4-0 over five starts.

Unfortunately, Ryan wouldn't taste victory the rest of the season and finished with a 5-9 record.

1992 Fleer Ultra #141 Nolan Ryan Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #11 Cal Ripken Jr.

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Coming off the best year of his career in 1991, in which he took home his second American League MVP Award, Cal Ripken Jr. looked to keep that momentum going in 1992.

Unfortunately, the 1992 season turned out to be one of his worst.

All season long, Ripken dealt with slumps and distractions related to contract negotiations that heavily impacted his production at the plate.

Though he was struggling, Ripken still signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract with the Orioles on August 22, 1992, to pull off the largest MLB contract of any player in history at that point.

His production didn't improve much after signing, and by the season's end, Ripken had turned in a sub-par .251/.323/.366 slash line with career lows in home runs (14) and RBI (72) to boot.

Even with such a bumpy season, Ripken Jr. still earned his tenth-straight All-Star selection and the second and final Gold Glove of his Hall-of-Fame career.

Not to worry, there would be plenty of brighter days ahead for Ripken as he continued his trek towards Cooperstown.

1992 Fleer Ultra #11 Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #44 Frank Thomas

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Frank Thomas continued the blistering start to his career in 1992 with another impressive performance at the plate.

Though he saw a dip in home runs versus the year before (24 vs. 32), he continued to help the White Sox put runs on the board overall with 115 RBI thanks to his strong plate discipline and power-hitting.

His 46 doubles paced the Majors while he led the American League in walks (122), OBP (.439), and OPS (.975) for the second year in a row.

Somehow, the Big Hurt missed out on the All-Star Game, but by the following season he would turn in the first of back-to-back MVP seasons and would be selected as an All-Star for the first of five straight seasons.

Thomas was one of the most feared hitters in the league throughout his 19 years in Major League Baseball, but during the 90s, he was especially fun to watch.

1992 Fleer Ultra #44 Frank Thomas Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #54 Jim Thome Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Jim Thome eventually solidified himself as one of the greatest sluggers of his generation, but things were still looking a bit shaky for the future Hall of Famer in 1992.

From 1991 to 1993, Thome spent most of the early parts of those seasons in the Minors before the Indians would call him up later on in the year.

When the Indians called him up again in 1992 to spend 40 games with the club, Thome didn't exactly strike the same fear into opposing teams as he would years later.

In fact, his .299 slugging percentage and .574 OPS were the lowest of his career and screamed anything but "power hitter."

His 26% strikeout percentage over 117 at-bats spoke to the lack of experience facing big-league pitchers, but Thome didn't let the time go to waste.

It's probably fair to say that 1992 was a terrific learning experience for Thome, and hardly anyone could have predicted he'd go down in history as one of the most feared hitters of his day.

1992 Fleer Ultra #54 Jim Thome Rookie Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #105 Don Mattingly

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

By the time the 1992 season came around, Don Mattingly's glory days of being one of the top all-around players in baseball were gone.

His glove was still there as he could play well enough at first base to pick up the seventh Gold Glove of his career.

But, his power with the bat wasn't the same as during the 1980s when he put up incredible home run and RBI totals year after year.

When the late 80s and early 90s came around, injuries finally caught up to Mattingly and zapped his power.

During the 1992 season, he still hit 14 home runs, drove in 86 RBI, and scored 89 runs, so it wasn't like he had completely fallen off the map.

But, it sure seemed that way for a guy who had previously routinely flirted with 30 home runs, 100+ RBI, and 100+ runs scored seemingly every season.

The dip in production at the plate didn't make him any less of a fan favorite, however, as he remained popular with Yankees fans and card collecting hobbyists.

1992 Fleer Ultra #105 Don Mattingly Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #114 Rickey Henderson

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Like Don Mattingly, injuries began to take their toll on Rickey Henderson more and more during the 1992 season.

Though he still smacked 15 home runs, scored 77 runs, and stole 48 bases, he failed to make the All-Star Game for just the second time since 1982 (1989).

Two trips to the disabled list during the year will do that to a player.

But, when he was on the field, he still played at an extremely high level.

In fact, his .283/.432/.474 slash line and 81.4% stole base success rate were better than his All-Star campaign the year before.

The Athletics traded Henderson to the Toronto Blue Jays before the trade deadline in 1993 for help in their anticipated playoff run, but he later returned to Oakland for his third of four stints in 1994-1995.

He'd play parts of 11 seasons after the 1992 campaign, never reaching an All-Star Game again as injuries piled up and his explosiveness diminished.

1992 Fleer Ultra #114 Rickey Henderson Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #139 Ivan Rodriguez Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Ivan Rodriguez made his Major League debut with the Texas Rangers on June 20, 1991, and immediately showed flashes of future greatness with both the bat and glove.

As a result, he earned a fourth-place finish in AL Rookie of the Year voting and the respect of would-be base stealers with his 48.6% caught stealing percentage, the second-best mark in the AL.

By 1992, Rodriguez started 112 games behind the plate and increased his caught stealing percentage to 51.8% to lead the AL for the first of nine times in his career.

He also earned his first of fourteen All-Star Game appearances and first of thirteen Gold Gloves.

Needless to say, Rodriguez hadn't wasted much time making his presence known in the Majors.

Over twenty-one seasons in MLB, Ivan Rodriguez earned a reputation as one of the greatest catchers of all time and eventually made it into Cooperstown in 2017.

1992 Fleer Ultra #139 Ivan Rodriguez Rookie Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #251 Barry Bonds

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $35

Barry Bonds showed a tremendous amount of promise during the late 1980s, and when the 1990s rolled around, it all came to fruition as his game exploded into another realm.

He kicked things off by winning MVP honors for the 1990 season in addition to his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

After narrowly losing out to Atlanta's Terry Pendleton for the 1991 NL MVP Award, Bonds easily beat him out for the 1992 NL MVP Award.

Bonds led all of Major League Baseball in walks (127), intentional walks (32), OBP (.456), slugging percentage (.624), OPS (1.080), and OPS+ (204).

He also hit .311, belted 34 home runs, drove in 103 runs, scored an NL-best 109 runs.

Oh, and he stole 39 bases, too.

Barry Bonds was simply a guy you didn't want to see in the batter's box in 1992 if you weren't a Pittsburgh Pirates fan because he could hurt your team in several ways.

Unfortunately for Pirates fans, it would be Bonds' last season with the club as he signed a six-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $43.75 million ahead of the 1993 season.

1992 Fleer Ultra #251 Barry Bonds Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #9 Mike Mussina Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

When Mike Mussina first retired from baseball, many looked at his career 3.68 ERA, 2,823 strikeouts, 270 wins, 5 All-Star selections, and 7 Gold Gloves to judge if his resume was Cooperstown-worthy.

No one argued that Mussina was an incredible pitcher.

But, few remained convinced that he was good enough to join the Hall of Fame.

He seemed to be right on the line.

Fortunately for Mussina, Sabermetrics grew in popularity, and when applied to his numbers, they painted a completely different picture of just how good "Moose" really was.

After considering that Mussina pitched his entire career in the A.L. East in hitter-friendly ballparks during the steroid era, he was actually very much a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher.

Thankfully, during his sixth year of eligibility, Mussina finally received the call to Cooperstown and ever since, his rookie cards have enjoyed a nice uptick in value.

1992 Fleer Ultra #9 Mike Mussina Rookie Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #350 Kenny Lofton Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

When the Houston Astros called up Kenny Lofton late in the 1991 season, he raised eyebrows during his first game after turning in three hits and scoring three runs.

But, since the Astros already had a solid centerfielder in Steve Finley, they traded him to the Cleveland Indians during the offseason.

Understandably, Lofton was hurt and felt the Astros gave up on him too soon.

He used that as motivation and spent countless hours with Cleveland's first base coach Dave Nelson retooling his approach to baserunning and fine-tuning his bunting technique.

With a renewed sense of purpose, Lofton responded with one of the most celebrated rookie seasons in Cleveland's franchise history.

Lofton's slash line of .285/.362/.365 was decent but the way he tore up the base paths made everyone's head spin.

His 66 stolen bases in 1992 paced the American League while also establishing a new franchise record and American League rookie record.

Lofton finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year vote in 1992 and would go on to earn six All-Star appearances and four Gold Gloves over his spectacular career.

1992 Fleer Ultra #350 Kenny Lofton Rookie Card

1992 Fleer Ultra #115 Mark McGwire

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Nothing seemed to go well for Mark McGwire during the 1991 season as he battled anything from marriage issues off the field to poor performances on the field.

He still managed to make the All-Star Team for the fifth year in a row, but his 22 home runs, 75 RBI, and slash line of .201/330/.383 were well below his usual standards.

McGwire dedicated himself to improving his physical fitness during the offseason and even sought help from a vision specialist to ensure everything was ready to go for the 1992 season.

His work paid off big time as he belted 42 home runs and drove in 104 runs thanks to an AL-best .585 slugging percentage and 176 OPS+.

Big Mac's production and leadership helped the Athletics to a first-place 96-66 record in the AL West, but they were unfortunately defeated by the eventual World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays in the playoffs.

1992 Fleer Ultra #115 Mark McGwire Baseball Card

1992 Fleer Ultra Baseball Cards In Review

Issued in two 300-card series, the set featured a 600-card checklist that showcased many of MLB's brightest stars and talent in the highest quality manner to date.

Big names inside the set like Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. were collector favorites back then and are still loved today.

Rookie cards for Jim Thome, Ivan Rodriguez, Kenny Lofton and Mike Mussina add a nice boost as well.

Unopened Box of 1992 Fleer Ultra Baseball Cards

The photography and premium look and feel of the cards have held up quite well to this day.

Most of the cards in the checklist sadly don't have much value anymore due to how many of them were printed.

But, still, there are some in the set that can have decent value when graded in top condition.

If anything, this set packs a considerable amount of nostalgic value and will forever have a special place in hobby history.

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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