1990 Topps

Total Cards: 792

Rating: 6.1 (152 votes)
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Notes: Distributed in one series (#1-792)


  1   Nolan Ryan   Texas Rangers
  2   Nolan Ryan 5000K   New York Mets
  3   Nolan Ryan 5000K   California Angels
  4   Nolan Ryan 5000K   Houston Astros
  5   Nolan Ryan 5000K, UER
UER: Refers to "Texas Stadium" on back, should be "Arlington Stadium"
  Texas Rangers
  6   Vince Coleman RB   St. Louis Cardinals
  7   Rickey Henderson RB   Oakland Athletics
  8   Cal Ripken RB   Baltimore Orioles
  9   Eric Plunk   New York Yankees
  10   Barry Larkin   Cincinnati Reds


  • A card done in the 1990 Topps style of then-President George H. W. Bush also exists. Topps printed 100 cards of the President as a gift to the Commander in Chief. During his days at Yale, Bush played first base on the varsity baseball team and was team captain his Senior year. Over time, some these cards have made it into the secondary market and a few were pulled from packs. A photo in Topps Magazine from 1990 depicts President Bush being presented with a binder of these cards.

    In the Summer of 1990, White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, himself an avid card collector, appeared on The Tonight Show and traded a 1990 Topps George Bush card to Johnny Carson for a 1957 Topps Ernie Banks. In 2013, Governor Sununu submitted a Bush card to Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) for grading; who then discovered a heretofore unknown variation.

    Whereas, all other Bush cards that had been previously graded by PSA had a rough surface -- not unlike a regular 1990 Topps card -- the card Governor Sununu submitted to PSA had a glossy coating on the front. All glossy cards were from the batch Topps gave directly to President Bush, who then gave a few to Governor Sununu. Former Topps CEO Arthur Shorin (who also possesses a glossy) confirmed in a press release that only 100 glossy cards were produced. It remains unclear why or how the non-glossy cards were produced or distributed; however, some collectors in 1990 reported pulling them from packs.
  • The last regular-issue Topps set to offer the Glossy Send-In mail set after 8 consecutive years.
  • Card #785 features the final Topps card of Hall of Famer Jim Rice.
  • The "Batting Leaders" inserts were only included in 100-card blister packs sold at K-mart, making it a difficult set to complete.
  • There were 13 cards that were printed without a strip of black in the final process, the most famous of which was the #414 Frank Thomas DP RC card where he had no name printed. The others were: John Hart #141, Kevin Tapani #227, Marcus Lawton #302, John Morris #383, Fred McGriff AS #385, Julio Franco AS #386, Carlton Fisk AS #392, Jeff Russell AS #395, Craig Biggio AS #404, Joe Magrane AS #406, Darrin Jackson #624, Jim Acker #728. These were all on the same sheet (all are orange border) and they missed a final black printing process which is seen in the thin black border around the colored frame. It is more evident in the AS cards that had a black and white in the background of the player photo. These are known as blackless variations and coveted by some collectors who will pay a tremendous amount of money. As of 2022, there are less than 1000 known in existence of each.

User Comments

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:26PM

This is the first major box I ever received, found it in my parents closet, it had been a company promotion at the time.

May 28, 2019 - 3:59PM

This is the first pack of cards I remember buying. I had several bought for me prior to this as a kid, but this is the first one I remember buying with my own money. I still get a sense of nostalgia every time I see one---this and 1990 Donruss Baseball. I wish cards from the early 90's held up better (price-wise) but I suppose there are a million reasons they didn't, which are too many to go over and not keeping with the intent of this post.

It's great to be here and I look forward to getting the rest of my collection uploaded and interacting with this community.

Nov 10, 2018 - 12:28PM

Most of my box bottoms are in 4 card panels.


Posted by: BigEd76
Jun 9, 2020 - 8:34PM


SubjectRepliesLast Post
What would have been the odds?2May 6, 2022 7:05 AM
by switzr1
1990 Topps Blackless23Apr 11, 2022 10:24 PM
by vrooomed
1990 Topps Baseball basic set with Blank fronts1Jul 13, 2021 10:34 PM
by vrooomed
Can't find in Database6Nov 16, 2019 1:42 PM
by obxyankeefan
Question about Uncut Sheets10Nov 7, 2018 7:36 AM
by Lea DeFoote

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