1989 Upper Deck

Total Cards: 800

Rating: 8.2 (164 votes)
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Top Sets: #14

Notes: Distributed as a first series (#1-700) and High Series (#701-800). Factory sets include #1-800.


  1   Ken Griffey Jr. SR, RC   Seattle Mariners
  2   Luis Medina SR, RC   Cleveland Indians
  3   Tony Chance SR, RC   Pittsburgh Pirates
  4   David Otto SR, UER
UER: 1988 Tacoma 123 H, should be 124
  Oakland Athletics
  5   Sandy Alomar Jr. SR, RC, UER
UER: Born 6/16/68, should be 6/18/66
  San Diego Padres
  6   Rolando Roomes SR, RC   Chicago Cubs
  7   David West SR, RC, UER
UER: 822 innings in minors, should be 821
  New York Mets
  8   Cris Carpenter SR, RC   St. Louis Cardinals
  9   Gregg Jefferies SR   New York Mets
  10   Doug Dascenzo SR, RC   Chicago Cubs

Inserts and Related Sets



  • This was the first set ever released by Upper Deck.
  • This was the first set to feature the use of holograms.
  • The first cards to be sold in tamper-proof foil packs.
  • At $0.89 a pack, carried, by far, the highest suggested retail price of its time.
  • Upon its release, there was speculation that collectors wouldn't pay that much for a pack of cards and that the market couldn't support a sixth card maker.
  • Eighteen year old Upper Deck employee Tom Geideman is credited for wanting to make Ken Griffey Jr. the #1 card in the set.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. was actually not wearing a Mariners cap when the picture was taken. He was wearing his minor league San Bernardino Spirit cap and the picture was edited to look like a Mariners cap.
  • The picture was so convincing that Griffey himself, supposedly, asked an Upper Deck photographer a year later when the picture was taken because he didn't remember posing with a Mariners cap.
  • The set arrived 3 months later than planned because of production problems.
  • Card #117 of Gary Pettis shows him holding and looking at the very card he's on.
  • The #1 Ken Griffey Jr. card was featured on the cover of the May 1991 issue of Sports Card Trader magazine.
  • Some of the other players considered for the #1 card were Gregg Jefferies, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Gary Sheffield.
  • Angels pitcher DeWayne Buice (card 147) owned a 12% share of Upper Deck.
  • The 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey card is the most graded ever for both PSA and BGS.

User Comments

Jan 7, 2021 - 5:21PM

So, probably get some skeptical boos here....have any of the black border cards been added to the trading card data base?. Read an interesting article from about a year ago that was a good quick read, I am gathering that there is debate on scarcity etc.? If any one knows feel free to share. Thanks. Love this site.

Apr 30, 2019 - 1:33PM

I was 4 years old when I went into a local video rental store and used 50 cents to purchase 8 cards from a trading card vending machine. This is the first instance I ever purchased sports cards. The only card I remember coming from that pull was, indeed, a Griffey rookie. Not knowing how to preserve cards at such a young age, it was placed into a shoebox with several others added later, I still have it but it is in exc condition at best because of blunted corners. This is just a nostalgic set to me which I have now completed.

Feb 4, 2019 - 4:22PM

Inventory @ 8 Monster Boxes
1. any ERR/VAR Cards have been deleted.
2. Hi-value Stars have been deleted

* If proposing a trade, I may have the ERR/VARs or STARS but ask me.


Posted by: BigEd76
Jul 9, 2021 - 1:04AM


SubjectRepliesLast Post
How to tell the difference b/twn err and cor var of card #133Jun 12, 2022 5:22 PM
by MattnMiller
Double astericks variation on the Griffey Star Rookie?1Mar 24, 2022 12:50 PM
by abide
1" Circular Hologram Team Stickers3Oct 4, 2021 7:31 AM
by obxyankeefan
1989 Upper Deck2Dec 3, 2019 7:57 PM
by HutNut
1989 Upper Deck High Series1Feb 2, 2019 4:14 PM
by jimetal7212

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