In the aftermath of The Strke that killed the 1994 season and truncated the next, 1995 Topps baseball cards faced a tough and dwindling hobby audience jaded by more than a year of nonsense from the game we love and a decade-plus of cardboard glut.

So, in response to what they correctly perceived would be diminished demand from previous years, Topps announced they were curtailing production numbers for their 1995 base set … without actually telling us what those numbers were.

What we did/do know is that the 1995 Topps baseball cards were issued in two series of 396 and 264 cards, for a very Fleer-like total count of 660.

Today, Topps’ promise of a less ambitious printing schedule seems to have held true to at least some extent, as evidenced by card prices for top-grade copies that outpace many of the issues of similar vintage.

What follows is a rundown of the most valuable 1995 Topps baseball cards, based on recent selling prices for PSA 10 specimens. We’ll start at the bottom of our pile, price-wise, and work our way to the pinnacle (Score pun intended).

(Note: The following sections contain affiliate links to eBay and Amazon listings for the cards being discussed.)

1995 Topps Dave Winfield (#158)

1995 Topps Dave Winfield

After a two-season stint with his hometown Minnesota Twins, during which he collected his 3000th hit, Winfield headed to Cleveland for the 1995 season.

There, he provided a steady veteran presence for a young club that streaked to a 100-44 record, a division title, and an American League pennant.

Winfield didn’t see any October action, and he didn’t return for 1996, but he did give us this smiling parting shot of a Cooperstown-bound legend.

Value: $15-20

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1995 Topps Frank Thomas (#1)

1995 Topps Frank Thomas

Most observers considered the Big Hurt to be the best hitter in baseball during the mid 1990s, and his 1994 numbers did little to dispute that assertion: .353 batting average, 38 HR, 101 RBI, 106 runs scored, 1.217 OPS.

For his efforts, Thomas won his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player Award and landed card #1 in the 1995 Topps base set.

Collectors gobbled up all the Big Hurt cardboard we could find, and this one instantly became one of the hottest cards in the set.

It’s still not far off the lead.

Value: $20-45

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1995 Topps Pedro Martinez (#622)

1995 Topps Pedro Martinez

Pedro actually saw his performance tail off a bit during his first season with the Expos after the Dodgers traded him for Delino DeShields in November of 1993.

Even so, the young righty’s 11-5 record and 3.42 ERA helped Montreal to the game’s best record (74-40) and left us all wondering – even today – what would have happened had the Expos driven all the way to a title that fall.

Of course, The Strike killed any chance we had to answer that question, and today we have the Washington Nationals instead of Les Expos.

But none of that stopped Pedro from becoming part of the enduring Montreal legend and grabbed onto a hunk of the hobby limelight that only grew as his Hall of Fame career developed.

Value: $28-39

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1995 Topps Don Mattingly (#399)

1995 Topps Don Mattingly

Mattingly squeaked his batting average above .300 (to .304) in 1994 for the first time during the 1990s, and he was rewarded with some down-ballot MVP support.

But the writing was all the wall, and Donnie Baseball’s chronic back problems showed no signs of reversing course.

Still, the Yankees legend managed to play 128 games in 1995 and landed in his first postseason ever as New York nabbed a Wild Card berth.

Alas, the Yanks would fall to the Mariners in their American League Division Series (in five games), and the Hit Man would never play again … not that it mattered to collectors.

Indeed, the 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly rookie card stands today as an absolute hobby legend and a landmark advent on our road to the modern hobby, and ALL of Mattingly’s cards have come along for the ride.

This one, the last regular Topps card issued while Mattingly was active, is no exception.

Value: $30-40

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1995 Topps Rickey Henderson (#559)

1995 Topps Rickey Henderson

A trade deadline deal sent Henderson to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, and Rickey stuck around north of the border long enough to help the Jays win their second consecutive World Series title that fall.

Then it was back to Oakland (on a free agent deal), where Henderson began yet another A’s tenure by stealing 22 bases and scoring 66 runs in 87 games before play stopped in 1994.

We see the ultimate hot dog doing what he does best here on his 1995 Topps baseball card, and he’d be off and running again the summer, swiping 32 more bases for the ‘95 A’s while scoring 67 times.

Of course, by then, Rickey already owned all the stolen base records there were to own, and he was taking aim at other marks – runs, walks, number of teams, most mustard worn, etc.

Collectors loved it all, and we pretty much still do.

Value: $45-50

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1995 Topps Manny Ramirez (#577)

1995 Topps Manny Ramirez

After a 76-86 showing in 1993, the Cleveland Indians catapulted into contender status in 1994, running up a 66-47 record to finish second in the American League Central division during the strike-truncated summer.

Cleveland owed that turn of fortunes to a stable of young talent that was all starting to gel, with Manny Ramirez leading the way.

In just 91 games with the Tribe that season, Manny hit .269 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI, good enough to finish second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting behind Bob Hamelin(!).

Ramirez’s rookie cards had already been floating around the hobby for a few years by that point, but they took on new life heading into The Strike.

Coming out of it, even Manny’s new cards – like this one featuring the Topps All-Star Rookie trophy – were in hot demand.

Value: $40-60

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1995 Topps Tony Gwynn (#431)

1995 Topps Tony Gwynn

After winning his fourth batting title in six seasons in 1989, Tony Gwynn was 0-for-the-90s when it came to hitting crowns entering the 1994 campaign.

It was fair to think that, in his middle 30s, Mr. Padre’s best days were behind him.

Then, all Gwynn did was slap a single off Father Time’s face on the way to an amazing .394 batting average that engendered one of the great and enduring “what if” conversations regarding The Strike: could Gwynn have hit .400 if the season had concluded as originally scheduled?

We’ll never know, but we DO know that Tony followed that National League hitting title with three more in a row and set his cards on a new hot-list trajectory.

This pasteboard, showing Gwynn during his 1994 re-breakout, is a persistent collector favorite.

Value: $71-105

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1995 Topps Ken Griffey Jr (#397)

1995 Topps Ken Griffey Jr

Entering the 1995 season, Griffey was still just 25 years old and fresh off his first American League home run crown (and second 40-homer season).

He had finished second in MVP voting in 1994 (to Frank Thomas) and was, as usual, a favorite to win the award in 1995.

His cards were hotcakes across the board, in other words, which meant that his then-new 1995 Topps issue was a top-drawer pull

Then, in late May, Junior broke a wrist scaling the outfield wall to make a play, and he was on the shelf for two months.

He came back just in time to help the Mariners push into the playoffs for the first time, and then his mad dash home to beat the Yankees in Game 5 of the American League Division Series became one of the most indelible October memories in baseball history.

And maybe even saved baseball in Seattle.

This Griffey card from one of his monumental seasons is a hobby monument in its own right.

Value: $93-123

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1995 Topps Derek Jeter (#199)

1995 Topps Derek Jeter

Though Jeter’s rookie cards were already a couple years in the rearview mirror by the time this Future Star appeared behind a venetian blind, Jeter had yet to make his major league debut entering the 1995 season.

He’d take care of that bit of trivia early in the new campaign, but he’d only end up playing in 15 games for the Yankees that summer.

Jeter’s official rookie campaign – for which he’d eventually be named American League Rookie of the Year – would have to wait until 1996.

And, by the time that honor came to pass, after the new-look Yanks’ dynasty had its first World Series title, every Jeter card was hot stuff, this one included.

Value: $110-140

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1995 Topps Cal Ripken Jr (#588)

1995 Topps Cal Ripken Jr

Coming out of the players’ strike that decimated the 1994 season, obliterated the World Series, and stunted the start of 1995, fans had a bad taste in our mouths. We needed something to cleanse our baseball palates.

A feel-good story.

A hero from the darkness.

Luckily, we had Cal Ripken, just as we had since late 1981, after that other terrible strike. Only this time, Iron Cal was taking dead aim at Lou Gehrig’s “unbreakable” consecutive games played streak.

With the major league schedule finally taking flight in late April, we could pencil in the date on our pocket skeds: September 6, 1995, at Camden Yards.

Orioles v. Yankees.

It would be perfect.

And it was.

And it all led to an even greater demand for Ripken’s cards, marking this base Topps issue as an instant classic and a hunk of hobby history … and among the most valuable of all 1995 Topps baseball cards.

Value: $110-160

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Does your favorite appear among these most valuable 1995 Topps baseball cards? I’d love to hear your picks for the best in the set!

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