Even more so than their counterparts on the diamond, 1989 Score football cards helped to change the football card hobby forever.

Lining up against Topps and newcomer Pro Set in the fall of ’89, Score parlayed their two-year base in the hobby into a debut that featured what everyone wanted …

Rookie cards!

1989 Score Football cards unopened wax packs box

Not just any RCs, either, but cards of guys who had just been drafted that spring … like Tony Mandarich and Sammie Smith.

And plenty of guys who had a little more success than those two first-rounders.

In fact, reading through this list of the most valuable 1989 Score football cards may give you the urge to head out to Canton and visit the Hall of Fame busts of some of these young dudes.

(Rankings based on PSA 9 prices culled from the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide.)

Hut! Hut!

1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card (#257)

1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card

Sanders may not hold any of the most glamorous rushing records, but there were plenty of fans who considered him to be the best ever at the position.

Still are plenty with that opinion, even though Barry retired at just 30 years of age and seemingly still at his peak.

While Lions supporters still feel the sting of that move, the rest of us can revel in Sanders’ Score rookie card, on top of the mountain here at $40 in PSA 9.

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1989 Score Deion Sanders Rookie Card (#246)

1989 Score Deion Sanders Rookie Card

Neon Deion was that “other” two-sport athlete who followed Bo Jackson to the NFL and Major League Baseball in the late 1980s.

And, while Bo may have had a higher talent ceiling and a heavier impact on the hobby, it was Sanders who built a long (enough) career to become a football Hall of Famer.

Sanders was electric on both types of fields, and he holds enough sway in the hobby today to keep his Score RC in the $20 range in PSA 9 condition.

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1989 Score Troy Aikman Rookie Card (#270)

1989 Score Troy Aikman Rookie Card

Aikman left one glamorous position for another when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him out of UCLA in 1989.

He stepped right into the fire of a smoldering ‘Boys franchise that fall and withstood a 1-15 season, confident that better days were ahead.

And, thanks to developing and incoming talent like Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Daryl Johnston, Ken Norton, Darren Woodson, and many others, Aikman was right.

By 1996, the Cowboys had won three Super Bowls, and Aikman was well on his way to Canton.

His Score rookie card lines up here at $20 (PSA 9).

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1989 Score Steve Atwater Rookie Card (#263)

1989 Score Steve Atwater Rookie Card

Atwater caught on with the Broncos right at the end of their 1980s run that saw them lose three Super Bowls with John Elway in the pocket.

And, like Elway, the All-Pro free safety hung on through the lean 1990s to find himself on two Super Bowl winners in 1998 and 1999 (thanks to strong defensive pieces around him and amped up offensive weapons like Shannon Sharpe and Terrell Davis).

Atwater is a Denver legend and his RC tops $10 here in PSA 9 condition.

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1989 Score Michael Irvin Rookie Card (#18)

1989 Score Michael Irvin Rookie Card

From the very outset of his NFL career, Irvin had some problems with attitude and off-field shenanigans, but he kept it together well enough to post seven 1000-yard season, missing an eighth in 1996 by just 38 yards.

And there would have been no Cowboys rings without Irvin.

The Hall of Famer lines up here with a $10 rookie card (PSA 9).

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1989 Score Rod Woodson Rookie Card (#78)

1989 Score Rod Woodson Rookie Card

Woodson spent the first decade of his career as one of the game’s best cornerbacks for a series of strong late 1980s and 1990s Pittsburgh Steelers teams.

After a season with the 49ers in 1997, Woodson settled in with the Ravens and, in 1999, moved to free safety.

It was a concession to time in some ways, as Woodson had lost a step at 34 years of age.

But he led the NFL in interceptions (7) for the first time that season, a feat he repeated three years later for the Raiders (8).

It all added up to a bust in Canton and a $10 Score rookie card in graded MINT condition.

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1989 Score Tim Brown Rookie Card (#86)

1989 Score Tim Brown Rookie Card

How cool would it be to have two Heisman Trophy winners on the same team?

Ask the Raiders, who counted both Marcus Allen and Tim Brown among their superstars from 1988, when Brown arrived, through 1992, when Allen left for the Chiefs.

For his part, Brown stuck around through 2003 before wrapping up with a one-year stint in Tampa Bay.

Along the way, the Notre Dame legend caught nearly 1100 passes for close to 15,000 yards and an even 100 touchdowns.

Good enough for the Hall of Fame and a $10 (or so) Score rookie card.

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1989 Score Derrick Thomas Rookie Card (#258)

1989 Score Derrick Thomas Rookie Card

Thomas was dominant from the jump in the NFL, recording 10 sacks in his rookie season with the Chiefs.

It only got better from there, as his 20 sacks led the NFL in 1990, and he amassed 126.5 before his premature death early in 2000.

A Hall of Famer, Thomas pushes $8 here in PSA 9 condition.

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1989 Score Cris Carter Rookie Card (#72)

1989 Score Cris Carter Rookie Card

Like Brown, Carter spent much of his career in the impossible shadow cast by Jerry Rice from the west coast.

But the Ohio State product turned himself into a Vikings legend on the backs of two 122-catch season, 1101 snags for nearly 14,000 yards, and a ridiculous 130 TDs.

Carter’s RC sells for $5-10 in PSA 9.

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1989 Score Thurman Thomas Rookie Card (#211)

1989 Score Thurman Thomas Rookie Card

Those 1990s Bills were tough to watch, because you knew they’d get the Super Bowl every year, and you also knew they’d wipe out in the Big Game.

But man, those were some great teams, with some great players — like Pete Metzelaars, Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly, Andre Reed.

And Thurman Thomas.

Without Thomas jamming the rock down the gullett of opposing defenses (to the tune of more than 12,000 yards), the Bills would have never even had a shot at a ring.

Another Hall of Famer, Thomas lines up here at $5+ in slabbed MINT condition.

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1989 SCORE UNOPENED WAX BOX BASEBALL CARDS 36 PACKS RYAN RIPKEN BOGGS MATTINGLY

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1989 Score Ken Griffey JR. RC Mariners #100T Mint (Oc)

$1.02 (7 Bids)
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1989 Score Baseball Trading Cards Wax Box

$8.95
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1989 Score Traded Set Break #100T Ken Griffey Jr NR-MINT *GMCARDS*

$2.23 (7 Bids)
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