In the spring of 1987, collectors hoping to complete all that year’s baseball card sets were confronted with a stark reality — you couldn’t find 1987 Donruss or Fleer cards anywhere.

The perception of scarcity plagued these cards for years, but by the mid 1990s, we knew the truth — there were plenty to go around, and then some.

But, while 1987 Donruss never climbed through the stratosphere from a value standpoint, that doesn’t mean they’re worthless.

In fact, just about every ’87 Donruss has something going for it, and we’ve had fun with several of them over the years.

And, even with the overproduction of a set heading into the Junk Wax Era, a handful of these black-bordered classics still trade for decent prices on a regular basis.

What follows, then, is a list of the most valuable 1987 Donruss baseball cards in PSA 9 condition, as culled from actual recent sales as listed in PSA’s Auction Prices Realized tool.

Let’s dig in!

(Note: The sections below contain affiliate links to eBay and Amazon listings for the cards being discussed. Check out our full series of posts on the history of Donruss baseball cards.)

25) 1987 Donruss Barry Larkin Rookie Card (#492)

1987 Donruss Barry Larkin Rookie Card

Barry Larkin came to the Cincinnati Reds among a flurry of young players who were going to lead Cincy to a string of World Series titles …

Eric Davis

Kal Daniels

Tom Browning …

Kurt Stillwell/Jeff Treadway

Paul O’Neill …

And on and on.

They would bring glory back to the Riverfront and ride into Cooperstown together.

That never really panned out, but Lark sure did, collecting more than 2300 hits in a 19-year career spent entirely with the Reds.

Oh, and the 1995 NL MVP award.

Oh, and the Reds won the 1990 Fall Classic with Larkin at shortstop.

Oh, and Larkin made the Hall of Fame cut in 2012.

So, what does a 1987 Donruss rookie card with that kind of pedigree behind it bring these days?


Value: $8-12

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24) 1987 Donruss David Cone Rookie Card (#502)

1987 Donruss David Cone Rookie Card

Aside from being a rookie card in a pretty snazzy set just as rookie card mania *really* started to heat up, this Cone card didn’t really inspire a ton of collector interest when it was issued.

That began to change a couple years down the road, after a trade to the Mets and a 20-3 record in 1988 revealed the young strikeout artist to be a Cy Young candidate.

And, though, Cone’s greatness came at us in fits and starts over the years, the fact remains that he was one of the top starters of his generation with an outside shot to still make the Hall of Fame cut.

If he ever does, his RCs will see a resurgence.

Value: $8-12

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23) 1987 Donruss Reggie Jackson (#210)

1987 Donruss Reggie Jackson

In December of 1986, Reggie Jackson signed a free agent contract with the Oakland A’s.

Proud owner of 548 career home runs and the well-deserved title of Mr. October, Reggie had nothing left to prove.

Still, winding down his career with Oakland provided Jackson a fitting homecoming for his farewell tour, and gave collectors another round of cards to pull from our wax packs.

Value: $8-12

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22) 1987 Donruss Kirby Puckett (#149)

1987 Donruss Kirby Puckett

If Puckett got collectors excited with his 31 HR/96 RBI/.328 breakout in 1986 – and he did – then he had us absolutely giddy by the end of 1987.

In that storied season, Puck was the sparkplug firing the Twins’ incredible run to a World Series title and forever reserved his parking spot in dealer cases across the land.

Value: $10-12

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21) 1987 Donruss Will Clark Rookie Card (#66)

1987 Donruss Will Clark Rookie Card

One of the more vocal critics of the dudes who rollicked through the so-called “Steroid Era” was Will Clark.

You might call it sour grapes, but the truth is that Will the Thrill put up some pretty hefty numbers of his own early in his career with the San Francisco Giants.

How hefty?

Try 35 home runs in 1987, plus 29 in 1988 and 23 in 1989, with bells and whistles that included lots of walks, climbing RBI totals, and one of the most beautiful lefty swings of his era.

Those were big tallies in Candlestick Park in the 1980s, and then Clark’s power started to decline.

He stuck around until 2000, long enough to see oldsters like McGwire and Barry Bonds start to actually pick up their homer pace as they aged.

And Clark was quick to point out their shenigans.

In the end, Clark pounded out 284 home runs among his 2176 hits — a great career, but shy of the big-bopper stats we’ve come to expect from Hall of Fame first basemen.

Value: $10-15

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20) 1987 Donruss Pete Rose (#186)

1987 Donruss Pete Rose

Pete Rose sort of falls into the same bucket as Nolan Ryan — if Pete’s in a set, he’s probably going to be among the most valuable cards.

Whether this is true despite the controversy around his sports betting and lifetime suspension from baseball, or because of it, is open for debate.

What’s not up in the air is that Pete Rose remains one of the most talked-about athletes of all-time, and thousands of collectors still clamor for his cardboard.

Value: $10-15

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19) 1987 Donruss Jose Canseco (#97)

1987 Donruss Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco entered the 1986 season with all sorts of hype swirling around him, thanks to a stellar minor league showing and five home runs during a 29-game cup of coffee to end the 1985 season.

The young slugger more than lived up to those lofty expectations, though, bashing 33 homers and driving in 117 runs for the A’s to overtake wunderkind Wally Joyner and nab AL Rookie of the Year honors.

Needless to say, Canseco’s cards were among the hottest in the 1987 sets, even though he had rookie cards in the 1986 Fleer and 1986 Donruss issues.

And, though Jose’s bright star eventually fizzled in the heat of the steroid scandal (and some ridiculousness on his own part), he maintains enough hobby swagger to appear on lists like this one.

Value: $10-15

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18) 1987 Donruss Eric Davis (#265)

1987 Donruss Eric Davis

After struggling to stick in the majors in 1984 and 1985, Eric Davis burst onto the Cincinnati summer like a bowl of radioactive chili during the summer of 1986.

In just 132 games, Davis hit 27 home runs and stole 80 bases to leave Reds fans fantasizing about what the slender young man might do over the course of a full season.

And, all these years later, we’re still wondering the same thing – only once did Davis play in more games than he had in that breakout season, and, even then, he mustered just 135 appearances in 1988.

Still, Davis was a monster when he WAS on the field, even copping a trio of Gold Gloves for his work in centerfield.

For all the great things he accomplished on a baseball diamond, and for all the grandiose “what ifs” that his name conjers, Eric the Red maintains a strong hobby following even today.

Value: $10-15

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17) 1987 Donruss Jose Canseco Diamond King (#6)

1987 Donruss Jose Canseco Diamond King

There were few players who lit up the hobby during the ‘80s like Canseco did, and he was for sure the hottest name around coming into 1987 (with the possible exception of Don Mattingly in some circles).

So, if you were a baseball card company still trying to get your footing and chip away at the market leader, wouldn’t YOU want to capitalize on that hype wave any way you could?

I sure would.

And Donruss wanted the same.

For Big D, part of “any way you could” included the stellar paintings of Dick Perez, so *of course* they made Jose one of their Diamond Kings.

This one still feels special today, even after the slugger’s fall from grace.

Value: $10-15

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16) 1987 Donruss Wade Boggs (#252)

1987 Donruss Wade Boggs

Boggs won his third batting title in four seasons in 1986, hitting a fairly outrageous .357 while also drawing a majors-leading 105 walks.

In 1987, Chicken Man joined the power brigade, smashing a career-high 24 dingers and driving in 89 runs while still managing to raise his average to .363 to cop yet another crown.

So, yeah, Wade Boggs was popular with collectors … still is! You’ll regularly find cards from his prime – like this black-bordered beauty – on lists like this one.

Value: $10-15

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15) 1987 Donruss George Brett (#54)

1987 Donruss George Brett

After leading the Royals to a World Series title in 1985, George Brett found himself worse for the wear of that 155-game season topped off by a long October.

To wit, he managed just 124 and 115 appearances in 1986 and 1987, respectively, and his batting average “slipped” to .290 both years.

Not of that mattered a bit to collectors, though, as Mullet had long since established himself as a hobby icon, and even then-new cards like his 1987 Donruss were popular pulls.

Still are.

Value: $10-15

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14) 1987 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#139)

1987 Donruss Mike Schmidt

After a few years of being merely a great, All-Star-type player following his back-to-back MVP seasons in 1980 and 1981, 36-year-old Mike Schmidt cranked up his game again in 1986.

That summer, he led the National League with 37 home runs and 119 RBI, and that fall, he collected his third MVP award.

He’d follow up with 35 taters in 1987, more than enough to keep his cards in the “nice pull” category season long … and for decades on end.

Value: $10-15

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13) 1987 Donruss Ryne Sandberg (#77)

1987 Donruss Ryne Sandberg

Sandberg copped the 1984 NL MVP award for his role in leading the Cubs to their first division title, immediately establishing himself as a hobby darling.

The next few years weren’t quite as bright for the future Hall of Famer, as his offensive production slid more toward league-average than superstar even as he maintained his status as a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove second basemen.

The combination – and the promise of more – was enough to keep his cards simmering along until the Cubs started winning again in the late 1980s.

Then, when Ryno led the NL with 40 homers in 1990, his legend was forever cemented.

Value: $10-15

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12) 1987 Donruss Mark McGwire Rated Rookie (#46)

1987 Donruss Mark McGwire Rated Rookie

Nobody knew anything about androstenedione in 1987, and very few fans knew anything at all about steroids.

If you ever saw “PED,” chances are it was just a misspelling for everyone’s favorite funky candy, PEZ.

What we did know in that long-ago summer was that Mark McGwire could hit the stuffing out of a baseball.

All told, he went deep 49 times in 1987 to set the rookie record that stood until Aaron Judge undid it in 2017. Along the way, Big Mac’s cards rose to the top of the hobby Hot List, and this Donruss Rated Rookie beauty trailed only McGwire’s 1985 Topps Team USA issue in value and popularity.

Value: $15-20

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11) 1987 Donruss Roberto Clemente Puzzle Card (#612)

1987 Donruss Roberto Clemente Puzzle Card

Donruss cards didn’t come with bubble gum — they came with puzzle cards.

As in, each wax pack had three pieces of a puzzle, and if you collected enough pieces, you could put the whole thing together to see a Perez-Steele rendering of a baseball great.

And they don’t come a whole lot greater than 1987’s subject, Roberto Clemente, whose legend and hobby sway seem to grow with each passing year.

But you didn’t have to collect all the puzzle pieces to get a gander of the full Clemente painting in 1987 — all you had to do was score card #612.

Value: $15-20

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10) 1987 Donruss Tony Gwynn (#64)

1987 Donruss Tony Gwynn

When is a .329 batting average a disappointment?

Hardly ever, really, but you can be sure Tony Gwynn and his fans were hoping for more in 1986, when that BA lost out on a hitting crown to Tim Raines (.334).

Never fear, though, because Mr. Padre hit .370 in ‘87, good enough for the second of eight National League batting titles, and more than enough to ensure his cards would forever appear on lists like this one.

Value: $15-20

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9) 1987 Donruss Tom Seaver (#375)

1987 Donruss Tom Seaver

The first time collectors caught sight of the Red Sox version of Tom Seaver in a wax pack, we were already looking at a career capper … even if we didn’t know it yet.

Indeed, Seaver pitched in the minors for his baseball-home Mets early in the summer of 1987 before calling it a career in June.

And, suddenly, not only was this Donruss card super strange looking, plunking down an all-time great in a very unfamiliar uniform, but it was also a bona fide cardboard hunk of history.

Value: $15-20

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8) 1987 Donruss Benito Santiago Rated Rookie (#31)

1987 Donruss Benito Santiago Rated Rookie

Plenty of Donruss’s Rated Rookies picks fell completely flat over the years, which isn’t at all surprising given the difficulty of predicting baseball futures and that Donruss was trying to peg twenty winners each year.

In 1987, though, they hit on all cylinders when it came to Benito Santiago, who went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award that season and spent several years as one of the very best catchers in the majors.

Value: $15-20

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7) 1987 Donruss Don Mattingly (#52)

1987 Donruss Don Mattingly

This was primetime Mattingly, and there was no hotter name in the game or the hobby than Donnie Baseball when this card debuted.

After winning a surprise batting title in 1984, Mattingly copped American League MVP honors in 1985 and was arguably even better in 1986. The summer of 1987 proved to be yet another banner season for the Yankees captain as he marched inexorably toward the Hall of Fame.

Of course, back troubles led to a steep decline phase that sapped his Cooperstown candidacy, but Mattingly’s legacy in the hobby was already well secured.

Value: $15-25

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6) 1987 Donruss Cal Ripken (#89)

1987 Donruss Cal Ripken

The 1987 Donruss Cal Ripken is not a blazing rookie card.

It’s not from an “important” year, such as an MVP campaign, or the year Ripken broke Lou Gehrig‘s consecutive games-played streak.

All this card is, is a mid-career card of a gosh-darn living legend and one of the greatest players of all-time.

Value: $20-25

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5) 1987 Donruss Barry Bonds Rookie Card (#361)

1987 Donruss Barry Bonds Rookie Card

Yeah, you knew Barry Bonds would make this list, right?

Look, you’ve heard it all before, but Bonds did stuff in the 2000s that were pretty much unfathomable … and still are.

Right, I know — PEDs. But (and you’ve heard this before, too), Bonds was a Hall of Famer before he ever took aim on Roger Maris, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Babe Ruth, and, ultimately, Hank Aaron.

Bonds’ first Donruss card was in The Rookies from 1986, but this one is his base RC.

Value: $20-25

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4) 1987 Donruss Rickey Henderson (#228)

1987 Donruss Rickey Henderson

Henderson was already the premier speedburner and leadoff hitter in the game by the mid-1980s, but he added a power element to his game once he settled into the Yankees lineup.

And that’s where we find the Man of Steal on this card, fresh off a new career high in home runs (28, a total he matched in 1990, yet still a threat to swipe 100 bases in any given season.

No wonder this card – and pretty much every other Rickey – stands near the top of the value heap.

Value: $20-25

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3) 1987 Donruss Nolan Ryan (#138)

1987 Donruss Nolan Ryan

If you’ve ready any of my other articles on card values, then you’ve heard this before, but …

When Nolan Ryan appears in a baseball card set issued pretty much any time from 1968 through the mid-1990s, you can bet he’s going to make the list of most valuable cards in that set.

This 1987 Donruss card, issue during Ryan’s last year with the Houston Astros, is no exception.

Though he turned 40 that year and plenty of folks had written him off, The Ryan Express had plenty of gas left in his tank.

Value: $20-30

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2) 1987 Donruss Greg Maddux Rated Rookie (#36)

1987 Donruss Greg Maddux Rated Rookie

Greg Maddux look like Ferris Bueller with a mascara mustache, or maybe your local pizza delivery boy, on his 1987 Donruss Rated Rookie card.

But even then, the future Hall of Famer was starting to make waves in the hobby.

For starters, he was a Rated Rookie, and that was enough to get us thinking hard about a guy back in those days.

For another thing, Maddux had just landed a spot in the Chicago Cubs rotation and was a year out from turning in his first big season — 18-8, 3.18 ERA, an All-Star selection for the 1988 Cubs club that played the first night games at Wrigley Field.

After that, of course, it was pretty much a straight shot into Cooperstown for The Professor.

Value: $25-30

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1) 1987 Donruss Bo Jackson Rated Rookie (#35)

1987 Donruss Bo Jackson Rated Rookie

In the mid to late 1980s, there were few hotter athletes in the hobby than Bo Jackson.

Sure, in 1987, we had big-time sluggers like Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco lighting up the boards, all-around greats like Don Mattingly and Ryne Sandberg wowing us with their excellence, and fireballers like Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan blowing our doors off.

But Bo Jackson could do, like, anything on the diamond. And on the gridiron.

Ultimately, a football injury curtailed his career in both sports, but Bo’s cards remain popular items among collectors who remember how exciting it was to watch a guy we thought just might make the Hall of Fame … twice!

Value: $30-40

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This post is part of a series — check out our full list of posts about valuable Donruss baseball cards!

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