Rookie Card Showcase: 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas

This is part 17 of an ongoing series. To see the rest of this series, click here.

Before there was Albert Pujols, there was the Big Hurt Frank Thomas. Laugh all you want, but when Thomas was healthy, there was no better first baseman in the game. He was the game’s premier power hitter, and arguably the greatest hitter (in terms of average) of the early and mid 1990s. Every time he stepped to the plate, he was fixin’ to put a hurtin’ on the other team. His on-field success lead to extreme hobby status and this 1990 Leaf card was THE card to have. In an era where card were produced in the millions (or close to that anyway) the Leaf product of 1990 was considered the elite brand due to its “limited” nature. The Thomas card rivaled the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. as the best active player rookie card to own at the time; each was being sold in excess of $75 at the time. To put that into perspective, boxes of basic cards like Topps and Donruss were still being sold for about $18 per. Thomas’ career was marred by injury starting in the late 1990s and his hobby status began declining as a result. (it should be noted that Thomas still has plenty of hardcore collectors willing to pay a pretty penny for the extremely rare cards) His Leaf rookie began showing up for discount prices; Gem Mint copies like the one shown here can be had for a little more than $20. That’s a hell of a collectible at a great price if you ask me.

5 Responses to “Rookie Card Showcase: 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas”

  1. Oh yeah, The Hurt was an incredible player. Batting average, power, walks, OPS…he was so valuable. He will be a first Ballot Hall of Famer. He is also one of the few players that lived through the steroid era that is not suspected of use (along with Griffey Jr.). He has a great reputation.

  2. Unslabbed prices are even more ridiculous considering how “big” this card was at one time. I remember paying $8 a pack right when Leaf came out… got two Griffeys in two packs and got $20 right back for one of them while standing in line to go into a show.

  3. one of the best cards ever for one of the best players of our generation, peep:

  4. I still pickup this 1990 Leaf Rookie when I see it. He was a staple in HOBBY for so many years. I never got on the JUAN GONE train. It was Thomas all the way with me. Natural athlete with tons of talent. Thomas and Griffey have stayed away from the drama to have long careers. I am happy for both of them.

  5. matthew jones Says:

    i have a 92 fleer frank thomas that has jose offerman on back i cant find nothing out about it can u tell me anything about it i got it when i was a kid

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