When the new card season began early that spring, 1993 Upper Deck baseball cards found themselves in a cage match of their own making.

After a year of ruling the roost of premium cards all by their lonesome, and then three more years of increasingly intense competition in the race to turn baseball cards into Mylar-wrapped lottery tickets, Upper Deck made some changes.

Gone were the clean white borders on every card, replaced with … well, with clean white borders on most cards, but also with full-bleed photos in special subsets like Top Prospects and Star Rookies.

And then something only Upper Deck could do — gold holograms. Or, more properly, Gold Holograms.

This was UD upping the ante by replacing their usual silver holograms on card backs with (you guessed it) gold holograms, but only on a small fraction of their cards.

In particular, one out of every 15 factory sets was issued with gold holos, but everything else — including from-pack cards — got the customary silver treatment.

And why is that important here?

Ah, patience grasshopper. All will become clear below as we run down the ten most valuable 1993 Upper Deck baseball cards, as determined by selling prices (culled from the PSA Auction Prices Realized tool) for cards in PSA 8 condition, which happens to be the most common shape PSA has seen for the ’93 UDs.

Now, on with the show, beginning with a true hobby classic …

1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter Gold Hologram (#449)

1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter Gold Hologram

Yes, the 1993 SP is the gold standard when it comes to Derek Jeter rookie cards, but this “1993 Top Prospect” card is a classic in its own right.

Especially when it comes adorned with a Gold Hologram …

Copies of this Jeter RC in PSA 8 condition sell for around $600 these days, with 9s and 10s reaching four and five figures, respectively.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones Gold Hologram (#459)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones 459

This is no rookie card, thanks to some early-career issues that came before Chipper ever even debuted in the Major Leagues.

But this is a great looking card that evokes memories of early modern era cards (can you say 1953 Bowman Pee Wee Reese wannabe?) and was issued during the year Jones did make his debut — and yet still two full seasons before he was officially a “rookie.”

And, with the gold hologram in PSA 8, it’s a pretty heavy hitter — expect prices north of $300 if you can even find one for sale.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter (#449)

1993 Upper Deck Derek Jeter

Even the more common Silver Hologram version of the Yankees’ legendary Captain stands above most other comers in 1993 Upper Deck.

This “pedestrian” hologram knocks the card down to the $20 range in PSA 8, making it an affordable alternative for most collectors looking to snag a hunk of hobby history.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones (#459)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones

So, this is Jones answering Derek Jeter, blow-for-blow.

It wasn’t always this way, of course, because everyone had Larry as a can’t-miss prospect from the moment the Braves took him as the first overall pick in the 1990 draft.

That made those 1991 cards of his instant hits and gave him a head start in the hobby on DJ, whom the Yanks took #6 overall in 1992.

After Jones finally made good on his promise in 1995 by finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year voting, that gap only widened … until Jeter copped the AL ROY award in 1996 and helped the Yankees win a World Series.

Over the Braves.

The two diamond heroes have been collector favorites ever since, and this Chipper silver holo checks in just about where the Jeter silver holo does — around 20 bucks in slabbed PSA 8 condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr.(#355)

1993 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr

Nothing at all special about this card except the fact that it features a sterling image of one of the greatest players to ever lace up the spikes, perfectly centered in an elegant design that makes the whole thing look like a magazine cover or poster.

As base cards of non-rookies from the Junk Wax era go, this Griffey is hard to beat.

Expect to pay around $10 for Junior in PSA 8 condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Mike Piazza (#2)

1993 Upper Deck Mike Piazza

This one is not a rookie card, either, but it sort of is.

Piazza shocked the world during that summer of 1993 by becoming the first 62nd-round pick to win the National League Rookie of the Year, thanks to mashing at the plate that included 35 home runs, 112 RBI, and a .318 batting average.

Amazing stuff, especially for a guy who also spent 146 games crouched behind the dish that season.

The Dodgers standout and future Hall of Famer became an immediate hobby favorite, and that went triple for his 1992 Bowman rookie card.

But this card was his first UD pasteboard, and it came out just as he was doing all that slamming, so no surprise that it remains popular all these years later.

Prices for slabbed NM-MT copies hover in the $10 range.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Don Mattingly (#134)

1993 Upper Deck Don Mattingly

When Jeter arrived in New York for a cup of coffee in 1995, he found a legend waiting for him there (OK, probably not explicitly waiting for him, but still.)

By then, of course, Don Mattingly was just about done, his bad back sapping what once looked like a freight train hauling tail straight for Cooperstown.

An ailing Mattingly managed to help the Yanks into the postseason for the only time in his career after that strike-shortened 1995 season, but he was done — gone before the next run of New York glory years began in earnest with Jeter’s full-time arrival in 1996.

In 1993, though, we all still held out hope that Donnie Baseball could get back to where he had been in the 1980s, namely on the dais along with baseball’s other top-tier greats.

Today, this awesome looking card from that era of hope — from before The Strike of 1994-95 left us jaded, from before the steroid years — sells for a shade under $10 in PSA 8 condition most of the time.

If Mattingly ever does make the Cooperstown cut, by dint of his combined player and manager escapades, or by nod of the Eras Committees, that might look like a bargain.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Trevor Hoffman (#773)

1993 Upper Deck Trevor Hoffman

Like Jones, Hoffman made his cardboard debut in the 1992 Bowman set, almost unbelievably as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

And like Jeter, it took Hoffman a few years after this card was issued to really make his case as a star — he received his first Cy Young votes in 1996.

Hmmm, timeline sounds familiar, huh?

When all was said and done, Hoffman owned the all-time saves record, at least until Mariano Rivera had his way. And then, in 2018, Hoffman got the call from the Hall.

So no surprise Glenn Hoffman‘s brother makes our list here with his first Upper Deck card, pushing $10 in PSA 8 condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Manny Ramirez (#433)

1993 Upper Deck Manny Ramirez

Another non-rookie, this Manny card isn’t even his first Upper Deck card, despite the “Top Prospect” designation.

Still, this is an early-career card of one of the greatest all-around hitters of the last 30 years, side issues notwithstanding.

And, although Ramirez may never make it to Cooperstown thanks to those very side issues, he’s still plenty popular with plenty of Indians and Red Sox fans (and other collectors from the 1990s).

Expect to pay $5-10 for this horizontal smile billboard when you find it in PSA 8 condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Nolan Ryan (#155)

1993 Upper Deck Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan always appears on these types of lists, right?

And why not?

There may have never been a player as universally revered, loved, and feared as Ryan was in the early 1990s (just don’t ask Robin Ventura).

Heck, even all the young bucks in 1993 Upper Deck couldn’t push The Express out of the way.

Today, he’s standing right there in front of us demanding five bucks or so for his UD in PSA 8 condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones (#24)

1993 Upper Deck Chipper Jones

See just how hyped Jones was?

Not only did he land on that Peter Gammons special up there, but he also got the Star Rookie treatment here on card#24.

Even though he had all those earlier rookie cards and even though he wouldn’t be a rookie until 1995.

This Chipper is about a $5 card in slabbed NM-MT condition.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

Want to see a video version of this article?

Derek Jeter 1993 Upper Deck SP Foil #279 RAW

$59.00
End Date: Thursday 10/28/2021 17:38:49 EDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

1993 Upper Deck SP #279 Derek Jeter RC Rookie

$0.99
End Date: Thursday 10/28/2021 22:11:48 EDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

DEREK JETER 1993 UPPER DECK SP RC ROOKIE BGS 8 BAS JSA AUTHENTIC 10 AUTO

$224.50 (4 Bids)
End Date: Thursday 10/28/2021 22:51:24 EDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

1993 Upper Deck SP Chipper Jones psa 9

$265.00
End Date: Saturday 11/20/2021 20:33:15 EST
Buy it now | Add to watch list