12 Most Valuable 1992 Pinnacle Baseball Cards

Written By Ross Uitts

Last Updated: September 17, 2023
Most Valuable 1992 Pinnacle Baseball Cards


With other competitors pivoting towards issuing higher quality, premium cards at the time, Score joined the pack when they released their 1992 Pinnacle baseball card set.

Compared to some of the standard Score products then, the company certainly turned things up in the quality department with this set design.

And, don't forget the bar code on the bottom of card backs along with the special plastic lenticular detector they offered to collectors to read the codes to spot fakes...

Today it seems kind of funny that so much "security" is built into the 1992 Pinnacle design since not many people would likely go to the trouble of counterfeiting any of these cards.

But, back then, no other company had a security feature like that so it was cool to see.

At 620 cards total, the checklist was smaller than the regular 1992 Score baseball card set but the quality was much better.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 15 most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

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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, Stadium Club, 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 Pinnacle #522 Jeff Kent Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $200

When thinking about some of the best second basemen that have yet to make it into the Hall of Fame, Jeff Kent is always among the names at the top of that list.

He was far better known for his bat than his glove, and still sits at the top of the list for most home runs hit by a second baseman despite Robinson Cano giving him a decent run for his money in recent years.

Kent spent the first five seasons bouncing around from the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Mets to the Cleveland Indians who then traded him to the San Francisco Giants ahead of the 1997 season.

And, that's when his career took off as he and Barry Bonds formed an incredible 1-2 punch in the heart of the Giants' order.

From 1997 to 2008, Kent played six seasons for the Giants, two for the Astros, and four for the Dodgers.

And he was named an All-Star at least once for each of those teams.

Most will remember Kent for his incredible 2000 season when he won the MVP Award and Silver Slugger after batting .334 with 33 home runs, 125 RBI and 114 runs scored.

If he ever does get elected to Cooperstown, expect a nice bump in price for his rookie cards.

1992 Pinnacle #522 Jeff Kent Rookie Card

1992 Pinnacle #549 Ken Griffey Jr.

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $175

Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons, Ken Griffey Jr. entered his fourth year in the Majors looking to keep his career soaring to superstar levels.

But, Griffey didn't play without distraction, however, as the Seattle Mariners' ownership continued to leak threats to relocate the team throughout the season.

I remember back then that Indianapolis was one of the potential locations.

I don't know if it was true or not, but growing up in Central Indiana, I was more than excited at the thought of Griffey and the Mariners moving over from Seattle.

Tampa was probably the more realistic relocation target for the Mariners back then, but hey, a kid could dream.

Anyway, when it came time to perform on the field, Griffey shook off all the distractions and continued to perform at a high level.

The 22-year-old superstar also put on an absolute clinic in the 1992 MLB All-Star Game, finishing a triple short of the cycle and earning MVP honors.

He also earned his third-straight Gold Glove while slashing .308/.361/.535 with 27 home runs and 103 RBIs in 565 at-bats.

1992 Pinnacle #549 Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #247 Jim Thome Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $150

If you had doubted Jim Thome would one day be a Hall of Famer and one of the game's greatest sluggers in history by his performance in 1992, no one would've blamed you.

From 1991 to 1993, the 21-year-old native of Peoria, Illinois bounced around between the Minors and Majors in desperate search of the incredible bat that he'd become known for years later.

After a late-season call-up, Thome played in 40 games for the Cleveland Indians but didn't exactly raise any eyebrows with his .205/.275/.299 slash line, two home runs and twelve RBI in 117 at-bats.

Every time Thome stepped to the plate, he seemed to be going all-in for a homer or nothing as he struck out 26% of the time.

Fortunately for Thome and Indians fans, the organization kept its faith in the legendary slugger, and by the time the 1994 and 1995 seasons rolled around, he had finally gained traction.

From that point on, it was off to the races to see how many All-Star Games he'd appear in and how many moonshot home runs he would hit.

1992 Pinnacle #247 Jim Thome Rookie Card

1992 Pinnacle #295 Manny Ramirez Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $150

At the 1991 MLB Draft, no one doubted Manny Ramirez's talents or how high he could eventually rise at the Major League level if he applied some focus and discipline.

Still, several team executives and scouts had doubts about Manny Ramirez and some of his antics.

Despite the hesitation, the Cleveland Indians took him with the 13th overall pick and gave him a $250,000 signing bonus.

After dominating rookie ball in 1991 in the Appalachian League, Ramirez began the legend of "Manny being Manny" in 1992.

The Indians asked the Dominican Republic native to return home for winter ball in 1992, but Ramirez quit and went back to his home in New York after just fifteen days.

He'd later join the high Class-A Carolina League's Kinston Indians in 1992, where he finished the season with a .278 average, 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 81 games.

It would be a year of mixed reviews, to say the least, as he slumped early in the campaign before catching a bit of fire in June and early July.

Still, Baseball America named him the number three prospect and the "Most Exciting Player in the Carolina League."

Years later, Ramirez would prove to be one of the most exciting players in the Majors year after year.

1992 Pinnacle #295 Manny Ramirez Rookie Card

1992 Pinnacle #1 Frank Thomas

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $50

The 1992 season was one of the worst years Frank Thomas had during the 1990s.

I'm smiling and laughing a bit as I type that because finding a "down" year for Thomas in the 90s is kind of a joke since it could qualify as a career year for many.

On the season, Thomas batted .323 with 24 home runs, 115 RBI, and 108 runs scored while leading the Majors in doubles (46), walks (122), OBP (.439) and OPS (.975).

If that's a "down" year, you can quickly get an idea of how dominant the "Big Hurt" was throughout the rest of the decade.

He was just as impressive in several seasons during the 2000s, too.

But, during the 1990s, Thomas was a two-time MVP and five-time All-Star while becoming an icon on the south side of Chicago.

I'll never understand how Frank Thomas finished his career with only five All-Star appearances.

1992 Pinnacle #1 Frank Thomas Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #50 Nolan Ryan

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $50

Outside of maybe Ivan Rodriguez, Nolan Ryan remains arguably the most popular player in Texas Rangers franchise history.

It's even more impressive when you consider he only played five seasons for them on the back end of his iconic 27-year Major League career.

Yet, as soon as the Refugio, Texas native left the Houston Astros for Arlington to start his swan song with the Rangers in 1989, fans instantly poured into the stadium to watch him throw.

During his first season with the Rangers at 42 years old, Ryan made the All-Star Team, led the league in strikeouts (301), and finished fifth in the Cy Young vote.

Rangers fans loved him from that point forward.

By 1992, Ryan was 45 years old and still looked pretty good, despite finishing with a misleading 5-9 record in 27 starts.

His better days may have been well behind him, but there's no denying the financial stability and credibility he brought to the Rangers franchise.

1992 Pinnacle #50 Nolan Ryan Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #200 Cal Ripken Jr.

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $40

During his tenth-straight season with the Orioles in 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. turned in the best year of his Hall of Fame career to pick up his second American League MVP award.

But, during the 1992 season, Ripken didn't even know if he'd be with the team for much longer.

All season long, Ripken played with the distraction and tension that came with a lack of progress on working a new deal with the Orioles organization.

It affected his play, too, as he fought through multiple slumps at the plate.

Finally, on August 22, 2992, Ripken signed a five-year deal worth $30.5 million to stay with the Orioles, making it the largest contract received by an MLB player to that point.

After signing, his struggles at the plate didn't magically disappear and Orioles fans weren't shy about booing the legendary Iron Man.

When the season came to a close, Ripken's slash line stood at an uncharacteristically disappointing .251/.323/.366 while he had only hit 14 home runs and driven in 72 runs.

By the following season, Ripken shrugged off his 1992 struggles and continued to give Orioles fans plenty of magic moments for years to come.

1992 Pinnacle #200 Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #283 Griffey & Henderson

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $40

I always thought that the "Idols" subset scattered across Series One and Two of this set was one of the more interesting of the era.

The cards featured fourteen active players at the time and another active or former player that he used to admire.

The Griffey and Henderson card featured two of the most popular players among today's collectors of that era, making it an outstanding card to collect.

On the card's reverse, there is an excellent write-up about how a fifteen-year-old Griffey first started to idolize Rickey Henderson, who was playing alongside Griffey's father with the New York Yankees in 1985.

1992 Pinnacle #283 Ken Griffey Jr. Rickey Henderson Idols Baseball Card
1992 Pinnacle #283 Ken Griffey and Rickey Henderson Idols Baseball Card Reverse Side

1992 Pinnacle #294 Nolan Ryan Sidelines

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $40

The "Sidelines" subset was another creative way to feature players in a different light than other sets were doing at the time.

This subset also contained fourteen players across Series One and Two but brought a twist to things by showing each player doing something he loved outside of baseball.

Randy Johnson was into photography and his card showed him hoisting a giant camera while in his Mariners uniform.

Kirby Puckett loved to play pool and was shown in street clothes, stooped over a table and playing at a local pool hall.

And, then, Nolan loved cattle ranching so we get to see an image of the strikeout king herding cattle on horseback.

1992 Pinnacle #294 Nolan Ryan Sidelines Baseball Card
1992 Pinnacle #294 Nolan Ryan Sidelines Baseball Card Reverse Side

1992 Pinnacle #401 Rickey Henderson

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $40

At 31 years old, Rickey Henderson turned in one of the best performances of his career during the 1990 season en route to picking up the only MVP of his storied career.

Two years later, the legendary speedster gave nobody any reason to believe he would be slowing down at 33 years old when the 1992 season got underway.

Unfortunately, Henderson made a couple of trips to the disabled list that ultimately caused him to miss the All-Star Game for just the second time since 1982.

Yet, when he was on the field for those 117 games, he slashed an impressive .283/.432/.474 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs in 396 at-bats to help the A's secure a first-place finish in the AL West at 96-66.

His 48 stolen bases marked his lowest output since 1987, but his 81.4% success rate was still better than his All-Star campaign in 1991.

Though he continued to defy time and played at a high level until 2003, Henderson never appeared in another All-Star Game after his tenth appearance in 1991.

1992 Pinnacle #401 Rickey Henderson Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #20 Kirby Puckett

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Fresh off a second World Series Championship, Kirby Puckett looked to keep that momentum going into the 1992 regular season.

Sure enough, Puckett delivered yet another phenomenal season.

For the third time in his career, Puckett led the Majors in hits (210) and the American League in total bases (313) for the second time, thanks to a terrific .329/.374/.490 slash line.

That season marked the second time in his career that he'd crossed the 100+ mark in RBI (110) and runs scored (104), all while belting 19 homers and stealing 17 bases.

Obviously, he was a force to be dealt with at the plate, but he brought his glove, too, as he picked up his sixth and final Gold Glove.

With so many great seasons on his resume, it's hard to say which one was his best overall.

His numbers were better across the board during his 1988 season but he was almost as good in 1992.

If you're into advanced stats, you could look at his 7.8 WAR in 1988 versus his 7.1 WAR in 1992 as a tie-breaker.

1992 Pinnacle #20 Kirby Puckett Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle #23 Don Mattingly

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Don Mattingly was incredibly dominant during the 1980s and was seemingly on a surefire path to Cooperstown as the face of the New York Yankees.

Unfortunately, injuries began to weigh on him later in the decade and into the 1990s, preventing him from being able to produce the kind of power numbers at the plate for which he was famous.

Still, Mattingly turned in a respectable set of numbers during the 1992 season as he batted a respectable .288, hit 14 home runs, drove in 86 runs, and scored 89.

Yes, those weren't the kind of .300+ batting averages, 30+ home runs, or 100+ RBI stats that he could produce earlier in his career but they were still good.

And, don't forget, he remained a Gold Glover at first base.

However, the playoffs continued to elude Mattingly, though he'd finally get a shot at the postseason during his last year with the Yankees in 1995.

1992 Pinnacle #23 Don Mattingly Baseball Card

1992 Pinnacle Baseball Cards In Review

Issued in two 310-card series, the set featured a 620-card checklist that showcased many of MLB's brightest stars and talent in the highest quality manner to date for a Score product.

The photography was fantastic, the black border design looked classy, and there were even bar codes at the bottom of the reverse of each card to help detect counterfeits.

It seems silly now to think anyone would fake a 1992 Pinnacle card, but hey, it was a cool feature to see back then.

Unopened Box of 1992 Pinnacle Baseball Cards

The Jeff Kent, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez cards were a decent crop of rookies and there were plenty of stars and future Hall of Famers inside as well.

As far as subsets go, the set featured some of the more creative ones of the era, including:

  • 1992 Rookie Prospects (throughout checklist)
  • Idols (#281 - 286; #584 - 591)
  • Sidelines (#287 - 294; #592 - 596)
  • Draft Picks (#295 - 304)
  • Shades (#305 - 310; #601 - 605)
  • Grips (#606 - 612)
  • Technicians (#614 - 620)

This set is routinely overlooked in the hobby since many of the cards don't have much value anymore.

However, I will always love this set for its look and feel alone combined with the nostalgia that they bring.