The 10 Most Expensive Sports Cards Of The 90s (Updated 2024)

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The most expensive sports card from the 1990s is the 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan Autograph card (#GJ13S), and there some other great and expensive cards from the era, which we’ve covered below.

At the start of the 1990s, the sports card hobby was still in the Junk Wax Era, where overproduction of cards from card manufacturers caused card values to tank.

So, are there any sports cards from the 1990s that are worth money? Yes, and in this post we take a look at the 10 record sales of sports cards from that decade.

The basketball card-heavy list features 2 of the NBA’s biggest stars in almost every spot – It was a big era for Basketball, and some of the most iconic and sought-after cards are from that time.

Note that any variations of the same card are not included in the list, in the interest of variety – For example, the red Precious Metal Gems cards aren’t included if I’ve already mentioned the more valuable green version of the card.

Table of Contents

The Most Valuable Sports Cards From The 1990s

1. 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan Autograph #GJ13S (BGS 8)

1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan Autograph #GJ13S (BGS 8)

Taking the top spot for the most expensive sports card from the 1990s is the Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan card, from 1997.

The card features a patch of game-worn MJ jersey, which has big appeal to collectors for obvious reasons. While memorabilia cards are commonplace in the sports card hobby today, they certainly weren’t in the 90s, when this was released – The set marks the first NBA release that included memorabilia cards.

Jordan was a part of the main checklist of 22 different standard jersey cards, which were extremely rare in series 1 packs – The 23 autographed versions were part of Series 2, and he was the only autographed jersey in the set.

The jersey piece itself comes from Jordan’s 1992 NBA All-Star Game jersey, so it’s not Chicago Bulls.

Record Sale: October 2021 – The card sold for $2.7m in BGS 8 grade.

2. 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green Kobe Bryant #81 (BGS 8.5)

Another one of the NBA’s stars features on the second most valuable sports card from the 90s, Kobe Bryant, with the Metal Universe Precious Gems Green card from 1997.

The value of Kobe’s cards saw an increase after his tragic death in 2020.

The card is from the 1997-98 season, which was Bryant’s second in the NBA – He also made his first All-Star game appearance that season.

Only the first 10 printed cards were done in green, with the remaining 90 in red, so there’s only 10 of this card in existence, and considering Precious Metal Gems cards are generally hard to keep in good condition as well, it’s incredibly rare and valuable.

Record Sale: February 2022 – The card sold for $2m in BGS 8.5 grade.

3. 1996 Topps Chrome Refractor Kobe Bryant #138 (BGS 10 Black Label)

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor Kobe Bryant #138 (BGS 10 Black Label)

In third spot, is the Topps Chrome Refractor card from Topps, released during the 1996-97 NBA campaign, Kobe’s rookie season.
The refractor card is considered extremely rare, and is naturally highly sought-after, featuring Kobe in action for the Lakers.

The record sale is one of only two versions of the card to receive the coveted BGS black label 10 grade.

Record Sale: March 2021 – The card sold for just under $1.8m in BGS 10 Pristine Black Label grade.

4. 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green Michael Jordan #23 (PSA Authentic)

Another highly sought-after and valuable card from the Metal Universe collection is the Precious Metal Gems Green Michael Jordan card from 1997.

The card is one of the most desirable Michael Jordan cards of all time, and limited to just 10 green foil copies, the same as the Kobe PMG card listed above – The remaining 90 were also red foil.

Record Sale: December 2020 – The card sold for $915k in PSA Authentic grade.

5. 1996 E-X2000 Credentials Kobe Bryant #30 (PSA 10)

1996 E-X2000 Credentials Kobe Bryant #30 (PSA 10)

Another entry into the most valuable sports cards from the 1990s featuring the late, great Kobe.

This one again features Bryant in action for the Lakers with the yellow jersey on, and another released during his rookie season.

The E-X2000 Credentials parallel card is limited to 499 copies, and is really tough to find today – It ranks as one of the top Kobe rookie cards.

Record Sale: October 2021 – The card sold for $617k in PSA 10 grade.

6. 1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Derek Jeter #279 (PSA 10)

1993 Derek Jeter Upper Deck SP Foil #279 (PSA 10)

The first, and only, non-basketball card entry in the list comes from MLB legend Derek Jeter.

The 1993 SP foil card is undoubtedly Jeter’s holy grail when it comes to his sports cards. While the card itself isn’t rare, it’s nearly impossible to find one in the top grade – Very few have ever achieved a PSA 10.

This Derek Jeter rookie card is one of the most desired baseball cards in the hobby, and his most valuable rookie by a margin.

Record Sale: April 2022 – The card sold for $600k in PSA 10 grade.

7. 1996 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 0 Kobe Bryant #31 (BGS 10)

1996 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 0 Kobe Bryant #31 (BGS 10)

Another one of Kobe Bryant’s top rookie cards comes in at number 7 on the list of the most valuable sports cards of the 1990s.

The card features 2 images of Kobe, one of him in action with the ball for the Lakers, and one of him in the bottom right in his yellow jersey.

The card was limited to just 150 copies, and the record sale was the 08/150 card, which has the added appeal of being his jersey number, as well as achieving a BGS 10 grade.

Record Sale: 2021 – The card sold for $431k in BGS 10 grade.

8. 1998 Skybox Molten Metal Fusion Titanium Michael Jordan #41F (PSA 10)

The 1998 Michael Jordan Skybox Molten Metal Fusion Titanium card is stylish and unique, with a pointillist portrait of the basketball icon on the right, and an image of him in action for the Bulls on the left.

Limited and numbered to just 40 copies, it’s a highly desirable card that isn’t easy to get hold of.

Record Sale: January 2021 – The card sold for $369k in PSA 10 grade.

9. 1999 Upper Deck Game Jersey Autographs Michael Jordan #GJ10A (PSA 10)

1999 Upper Deck Game Jersey Autographs Michael Jordan #GJ10A (PSA 10)

The second Michael Jordan memorabilia card on this list, the Upper Deck Game Jersey Autographed card, which was released during the 1999-00 season.

It was released after MJ finished with the Chicago Bulls, and features him reaching to dunk the ball.

There’s also the added appeal of not only the game jersey patch, but also the hard-signed autograph in blue ink, with the handwritten serial number /23. The record sale was the 23/23 card, which is the iconic MJ jersey number, and the number he’s wearing in the image on the left.

Record Sale: July 2022 – The card sold for $229k in PSA 10 grade.

10. 1996 Topps Finest Gold Refractor Kobe Bryant #269 (BGS 10)

1996 Topps Finest Gold Refractor Kobe Bryant #269 (BGS 10)

The final card on our list of the most valuable sports cards of the 90s, is another featuring Kobe Bryant.

It’s a nice looking, and iconic card, which is another of his top rookies. Topps Finest products remain desirable to collectors across the hobby, and this gold refractor of Kobe Bryant’s 1996 Heir card certainly is.

Record Sale: March 2021 – The card sold for $206k in BGS 10 grade.

Most Expensive Cards Of The 90s By Sport

Football

1998 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph Peyton Manning #87 (PSA 10)

1998 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph Peyton Manning #87 (PSA 10)

Record Sale: January 2019 – The Card sold for $72k in PSA 10 grade.

Basketball

1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan #GJ13S (BGS 8)

1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey Michael Jordan Autograph #GJ13S (BGS 8)

Record Sale: October 2021 – The card sold for $2.7m in BGS 8 grade.

Baseball

1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Derek Jeter #279 (PSA 10)

1993 Derek Jeter Upper Deck SP Foil #279 (PSA 10)

Record Sale: April 2022 – The card sold for $600k in PSA 10 grade.

Soccer

1991 Panini Foot '92 Zinedine Zidane #43 (PSA 10)

1991 Panini Foot '92 Zinedine Zidane #43

Record Sale: October 2021 – The card sold for $69k in PSA 9 grade.

Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

Jason is a lifelong sports fanatic and a huge fan of the NBA and NFL. He's long been a collector of sports cards - For over 20 years in fact. He collects various different sports, as well as some non-sport cards. He has a particular soft spot for 90s basketball inserts. Find Jason on X (Twitter): @jason_clarke91.
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