After the magic of 1990 Leaf, collectors were expecting 1991 Leaf baseball cards to be even better.

And they might have lived up to that promise if …

… the design had been better …

… the rookie selection had been better …

… Donruss hadn’t printed enough of each card to make sure everyone on earth could have a complete set.

1991 Leaf baseball cards series 2 unopened wax pack

Alas, none of that happened, so we’re left with a 30-year-old (or so) set that looks pretty good but doesn’t bring in the big bucks we all once imagined it would.

Still, all is not lost, as these ten most valuable 1991 Leaf baseball cards — determined from recent eBay sales of perfect PSA 10 copies — carry plenty of star power and collector appeal.

Play ball!

1991 Leaf Nolan Ryan (#423)

1991 Leaf Nolan Ryan

It’s possible that no athlete ever was more popular than Nolan Ryan was in 1991.

That’s hyperbole, sure, but maybe not by much.

After all, The Ryan Express had roared past 5000 strikeouts two years before and, in May 1991, tossed his seventh no-hitter.

His rookie card skyrocketed to unbelievable levels and dragged all other Ryan cards with it. That effect persists today, and wherever you find Ryan cardboard, you can bet it’s near the top of the value hierarchy.

In the case of 1991 Leaf, that means $25 in PSA 10 condition.

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1991 Leaf George Brett (#335)

1991 Leaf George Brett

At 38, Brett was coming off his third America League batting title as 1991 dawned, but he was also entering the home stretch of a career that would leave him with a .305 batting average, 3154 hits, and 317 home runs.

He had been marked as a future Hall of Famer for years, a promise he made good on in 1999.

Always a collector favorite, Brett checks in around $25 here in PSA 10 condition.

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1991 Leaf Barry Bonds (#261)

1991 Leaf Barry Bonds

Bonds won his first National League MVP award in 1990, and many observers thought there were even better days ahead for the multi-tool talent.

They were right, of course, and even though the PED controversies in later years clouded Bonds’ legacy, he is still a strong hobby presence.

Today, his 1991 Leaf card is a $20 buy in PSA 10 condition.

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1991 Leaf Roger Clemens (#488)

1991 Leaf Roger Clemens

See the Bonds story above for the general take on Clemens and his place in the hobby.

Big arm, lots of Cy Young Awards, fall from grace …

And a $20 1991 Leaf card in perfect slabbed condition.

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1991 Leaf Kirby Puckett (#21)

1991 Leaf Kirby Puckett

Unlike Clemens and Bonds, Puckett didn’t reinvent himself as he aged.

Instead, his body let him down to the extent that he had to retire after just 12 seasons.

But those years were so good, and Puckett was so beloved, that he is still a big hobby figure these days.

With a Cooperstown plaque and two World Series championships with the Minnesota Twins under his belt, Puckett checks in at $15 here in 1991 Leaf (in PSA 10).

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1991 Leaf Barry Larkin (#3)

1991 Leaf Barry Larkin

When this card was issued, Barry Larkin was coming off a dream season for his hometown Cincinnati Reds, a season that ended with a title.

The future looked bright, and it was — for Larkin, at least.

A 1995 NL MVP award took him to the halfway point of a Hall of Fame career that marked him as one of the greatest shortstops of his generation.

It’s all good enough to hold his 1991 Leaf card steady at $15 for PSA 10 copies.

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1991 Leaf Cal Ripken Jr. (#430)

1991 Leaf Cal Ripken Jr

Know who was another great shortstop in the 1980s and 1990s?

Yeah, Cal Ripken, who would put together perhaps his finest individual season to take home the AL MVP hardware in 1991.

A few years later, of course, Cal passed Lou Gehrig for the most consecutive games played ever. In the meantime, Ripken’s cards took a Ryan-esque turn upward, and they never really looked back.

These days, expect to pay around $15 for a PSA 10 version of the 1991 Leaf Ripken.

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1991 Leaf Ken Griffey Jr. (#372)

1991 Leaf Ken Griffey Jr

And the other Junior? He was just starting his own upward trajectory as Cal was peaking in 1991.

Within a few years, though, Griffey would rise to heights that few mortals can even dream of, and his baseball cards became hobby royalty.

This 1991 Leaf is pretty pedestrian as Griffey cards go, but it can still fetch $15 in PSA 10.

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1991 Leaf Rickey Henderson (#101)

1991 Leaf Rickey Henderson

Henderson completed the triumverate of hot veterans in 1991 (with Ryan and Ripken), courtesy of an AL MVP award in 1990 and his breaking of Lou Brock‘s all-time stolen base record early in 1991.

Henderson is another guy who just kept running — in the hobby and on the basepaths — and never looked back, leaving his 1991 Leaf in the $10 range for PSA 10 copies today.

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1991 Leaf Randy Johnson (#319)

1991 Leaf Randy Johnson

Johnson was really just getting started when his 1991 Leaf card first made its way to collectors.

Sure, Randy was already scaring hitters with his heater and towering frame, but he still hadn’t put it all together to become The Big Unit.

Once it clicked for Johnson, though, the hobby embraced him, and this 1991 Leaf card is a $10 item in PSA 10 condition these days.

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