Walk Down Memory Lane as 1991 Topps Baseball Turns 30

Topps' 40th Anniversary Product is still a Fun and Inexpensive Rip
  • March 22, 2021


Ready to feel old?  1991 Topps baseball cards turn 30 this season!   It seems like just yesterday we were ripping packs trying to win the 40th Anniversary grand prize of a complete Topps set from every year (1952 - 1991)!  While we can't win the grand prize, we can still have fun opening packs of '91 Topps and reliving fun memories. Let's remember 1991 Topps baseball.

Get the fire extinguisher ready when we light these birthday candles; 1991 Topps is turning 30 big ones!  Hard to believe that '91 Topps baseball cards is now three decades old.  While many of the "Junk Wax" era card values have risen a tad this year (looking at you, 1990 Topps) the '91 Topps set is still beyond affordable to open.  With packs today setting you back a big seventy scents per pack, you can very easily open a full box of wax and relive those fond times from 30 years ago.  Along the way, you may even find a few valuable cards including a Chipper Jones rookie.

1991 Topps Baseball

  • 792 cards
  • 15 cards per pack
  • 36 packs per box
  • Original cost per pack = 50 cents
  • Key card = 333 Chipper Jones Rookie 

40th Anniversary 

Topps had been in the baseball card business for 40 years in 1991.  While you may have thought that Topps began in 1952 because of the iconic Mickey Mantle rookie, Topps released sets of Red and Blue backs in 1951 that were built like decks of cards for a fun game. To highlight the big occasion, Topps placed a cool 40th anniversary logo on both the front (small in the corner) and back (big, behind the stats) of the cards.  Along with the logos came the contests! 


A contest card was slid into each pack.  Sending a completed card with your name and address off to Topps put you in the running for one of 41 total prizes.  


Grand Prize = Every complete Topps baseball card set from 1952-1991.  Oh. My.  

2nd - 40th place = 1 complete Topps baseball card set 

Vintage Buy Backs  =  1 card or redemption for a vintage card from 1952-1990.  

An instant win card was inserted 1 in every 1,000 packs.  With inflation, $500 1991 dollars is about $965 today.  As a kid, I certainly couldn't spend that much money on a pack but I sure did try to pull an winner.  Amazing to think that some high-end packs today can set you back that full $965.  

Hall of Famers and Stars Galore

Ready for this?  There are 41 Hall of Famers in this set!

With Record Breaker cards, All-Star cards, and a few inserts, there are a total of 55 cards that you can pull of a Hall of Famer.  

  • Alan Trammell
  • Andre Dawson
  • Barry Larkin
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Bobby Cox
  • Cal Ripken
  • Carlton Fisk
  • Chipper Jones
  • Craig Biggio
  • Dave Winfield
  • Dennis Eckersley
  • Eddie Murray
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Frank Robinson
  • Frank Thomas
  • Gary Carter
  • George Brett
  • Greg Maddux
  • Harold Baines
  • Jack Morris
  • Joe Torre
  • John Smoltz
  • Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • Kirby Puckett
  • Larry Walker
  • Lee Smith
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Ozzie Smith
  • Paul Molitor
  • Randy Johnson
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Roberto Alomar
  • Robin Yount
  • Rock Raines
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Sparky Anderson
  • Tom Glavine
  • Tom Lasorda
  • Tony Gwynn
  • Tony LaRussa
  • Wade Boggs

There are plenty of other stars and players you remember, too. Eat (OK, don't eat) that 30-year-old stick of gum as you gawk at these players from your wax (or plastic...) packs:

  • Don Mattingly
  • Bo Jackson 
  • Barry Bonds

Relive busts and awesome names like:

  • Kevin Maas 
  • Oil Can Boyd (let's talk about best nickname ever)

Right now you can buy a full box of 36 packs for about $25.  That is 540 cards for $25.  You're not going to strike it rich opening up 1991 Topps, but at that cost, you're probably going to pull a Hall of Famer in every third pack.  Name another product that you can do that!

If you're lucky enough to pull a Chipper Jones rookie and do get it graded a 10 by PSA , the value is around $150.  According to the population report, there are 10,598 graded Jones rookies and about half (5,511) were given a grade of 10.  Not a rare card or a tough pull but a Hall of Famer rookie card that seems to grade well may be found in a .70 cent pack.

Rip for Fun

Opening packs for FUN!  Remember when this was a thing? 

When choosing the groomsmen for my wedding, I gave my friends a "groomsmen test" to make sure each was worthy. Context - I did this in 2017. I bought a $10 box of 1989 Topps.  I set the packs in front of my friends and claimed this was the "speed test."  My friends had to rip their packs the fastest!  I awarded bonus points along the way, too. We all laughed as hard as we could and just stared at the cards we admired as a kid.  Language Warning: My friends my friends have potty mouths from time to time.


1991 Topps can be that joy for you and your friends, if not your kids.  Rip open packs and take a trip down memory lane.


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