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Bo Jackson baseball cards were hot items from the moment his rookie cards started popping out of wax packs in 1987.

Actually, collectors’ love affair with Jackson cardboard started even before then, thanks to 1) the hype that surrounded him as a two-sport, Heisman-Trophy-winning phenom taking his cuts in the batter’s box and 2) the rookie card mania that gripped the hobby in the mid-1980s and prompted companies to get some Bo cards into circulation at the end of 1986.

And, even though Jackson’s career was slowed down and ultimately cut short by a devastating hip injury suffered during an NFL playoff game in 1991, our fervor for his baseball cards has only grown over the years.

What follows is a rundown of the 20 most valuable Bo cards, with a few qualifier. Namely, all the cards on our list …

  • Were issued during Bo’s career
  • Are unique to the list in terms of appearance (so, you won’t find 1987 Donruss and 1987 Leaf, though there is one near-exception)
  • Not one-of-one, buy-back, autograph, relic-added contrivances

The values listed below are based on recent selling prices for cards in PSA 9 condition, though if you look hard enough, you can find 10s of most of these without too much problem … at a much steeper premium, of course.

Alright, with our ground rules established, let’s dig in and wallow in the 20 most valuable Bo Jackson baseball cards, starting at the bottom …

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

1992 Topps Gold Bo Jackson (#290)

1992 Topps Gold Bo Jackson

We start off with Bo in the unfamiliar black and white of the Chicago White Sox, an advent brought about by the hip injury that ended his football career in January of 1991.

After the Royals released him in March, the ChiSox signed him in April, and he worked his way to (new) Comiskey Park by September.

That was enough to get him in the 1992 Topps set as a southsider.

But this is no ordinary base card – it’s a 1992 Topps Gold card!

Considered by many to be the first true parallel, Gold featured all 792 cards from the base 1992 set, but with gold foil over the player and team name bar at the bottom of the card. Gold cards were inserted in all pack types, including vending boxes (five per box) and even factory sets (ten).

Collectors could also send in 100 runs from the “Match-the-Stats” game cards (also included in packs) for ten gold cards. It didn’t take consumers – and Topps – long to realize that you could game the game by shining a flashlight through the Match-the-Stats cards to reveal the answers and “win” every time.

Topps’ response was to stamp the Gold cards sent out as part of the game with an extra “Winner” gold label. These Winner versions of the Gold cards (shown here for Bo) are more plentiful than the “plain” Gold cards, but none are exorbitantly valuable.

Value: $15-20

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1990 Kenner Starting Lineup (Black and White) Bo Jackson (#)

1990 Kenner Starting Lineup (Black and White) Bo Jackson

By 1990, Kenner Starting Lineup figures had become something of a staple in the hobby, even if they were tough to store and display.

And, you couldn’t have a mainstream issue without Bo Jackson,

(Jackson was also part of the 1989 Starting Lineup set, but his individual card from that series doesn’t come up for sale very often at all in graded condition. Hence, its absence here.)

Bo had two cards in his ‘90 package – a yellow-bordered one, and this one, which checks in at a slightly higher price point.

Value: $15-20

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1986 Donruss ‘The Rookies’ Bo Jackson (#38)

1986 Donruss 'The Rookies' Bo Jackson

“The Rookies” was Donruss’ answer to Topps Traded and Fleer Update, and you have to hand it to them for their honesty. Because, make no mistake about it, all of those late-season issues were all about milking everything the companies could from the rookie card craze.

And 1986 was a perfect year to jump into the fray, thanks to an amazing rookie class that included Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner, Barry Bonds, Kevin Mitchell, Ruben Sierra, and so many others.

The Rookies captured them all, but it’s this Bo Jackson rookie card (along with Bonds) that sits at the top of collector wantlists today.

Value: $20-30

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1987 Donruss Opening Day Bo Jackson (#205)

1987 Donruss Opening Day Bo Jackson

The card companies of the 1980s whipped out some pretty innovative designs and creative ideas in an attempt to nose out the competition. Donruss Opening Day fit that bill to a “T.”

As the name implies, Opening Day included cards of the guys on every team’s Opening Day roster in 1987. As such, it was issued later in the season, when collectors were caught up in breakout rookies and looking forward to the fall issues – Rookie and Traded sets, mostly.

Opening Day gave Donruss a nice little hobby bump during what would normally have been a lull in new card sales, although distribution was limited. This 272-card run was offered only as a complete set, sold in a long flat box with five cellophane-wrapped bricks of cards face up.

The Barry Bonds-Johnny Ray error card is the most famous in this issue, but collectors still chase after Bo Jackson in his Kansas City Royals home whites, too.

Value: $25-40

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1987 Fleer Bo Jackson (#369)

1987 Fleer Bo Jackson

While Topps and Donruss bought in on Bo Jackson with their year-end sets in 1986, Fleer held off until 1987.

That makes this 1987 Fleer not only Bo’s FFC (First Fleer Card), but also a true rookie card, since it was one of the first to be nationally distributed through retail outlets (i.e., through wax pack sales at your local drugstore, etc.).

Fleer’s 1987 blue fade has always garnered mixed reactions, but there’s no doubt it provides a handsome tableau for Bo and his power-blue Royals togs.

Fleer also issued a glossy version of their 1987 set, issued in a colorful tin, and which is thought to have been “limited” to about 75,000 copies of each card.

There is little difference in price between the glossy and base versions of the Jackson RC.

Value: $35-35

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1987 Toys ‘R’ Us Rookies Bo Jackson (#13)

1987 Toys 'R' Us Rookies Bo Jackson

Baseball cards seemed to turn up everywhere during the hobby boom of the 1980s, and that included at beloved toy stores like … Toys “R” Us.

The 1987 Toys R Us issue jumped in on at least a couple of big hobby trends of the day, as it was a 33-card box set dedicated solely to rookies (or rookie cards, at least).

Today, the black borders make these cards a bit tough to come by in the very top grades, and they seem to have captured – and held – more collector interest than many box sets of the day.

The Bo Jackson card in this set features the Royals’ young slugger going to work in the batting cage on a sunny day. Hard to beat that imagery!

Value: $35-50

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1990 Score Bo Jackson (#697)

1990 Score Bo Jackson

Almost no one considers 1990 Score a landmark set, and it has mostly been lost in the avalanche of different issues and rampant overproduction of the era.

But this black-and-white shot of a shirtless Bo Jackson caused gasps and groans and sighs and shrieks from the moment it was released. A series of Nike posters with the same theme only helped solidify this image in the consciousness of fans and collectors everywhere.

Today, this card is a hobby icon, and collectors from all walks of life chase it like defenders trying to catch up with primetime Bo streaking down the football field toward the end zone.

Value: $40-50

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1991 Topps Tiffany Bo Jackson (#600)

1991 Topps Tiffany Bo Jackson

Topps finished up its run of eight straight Tiffany parallel sets in 1991 with what most consider to be the hardest to come by. Indeed, with an announced print run of just 4000 factory sets, these cards are downright scarce by the standards of the day.

Add in an understated and classic design on the typical premium white cardstock (for Tiffany) with a super glossy finish, and you have a recipe for success with collectors.

That goes double for this action-packed shot of Bo Jackson barrelling down the baseline.

Value: $50-60

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1987 Topps Tiffany Bo Jackson (#170)

1987 Topps Tiffany Bo Jackson

Topps produced an estimated 30,000 Tiffany sets in 1987, hardly scarce by any modern definition.

But this Bo Jackson rookie card has a few things going for it …

  • It’s a Bo Jackson rookie card
  • It’s a glossy and somewhat limited version of a downright iconic baseball card
  • It’s a Bo Jackson rookie card

Value: $60-70

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1987 Leaf Bo Jackson (#35)

1987 Leaf Bo Jackson

The third of a four-year run, 1987 Leaf was a partial parallel of the 1987 Donruss set, targeted at the Canadian market. The 264-card set featured more Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos than any other teams, but it captured the complete run of Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies to start the set.

Bo Jackson, of course, was part of that RR subset, checking in at #35. The more scarce Leaf bumps the Donruss version on this list, owing to the accompanying higher card value for top-grade specimens.

Value: $70-90

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1987 McDag Auburn Tigers Tiger Great Bo Jackson (#)

1987 McDag Auburn Tigers Tiger Great Bo Jackson

Issued by McDag Productions in 1987, the 11-card Auburn Tigers Tiger Great set is a mouthful, and it’s also one of those 1980s issues that looks like someone put it together on that new Commodore 64 they got for Christmas.

Either way, Bo shows up twice, once as a football player and once as a baseball player. The latter seems to be more popular today, at least judging by the PSA Population Report, though it doesn’t come up for sale all that often.

That means pricing is a bit tough to pinpoint, so you may see a wide range if you’re ever in the market for one.

Value: $65-100

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1986 Memphis Chicks Gold Bo Jackson (#28)

1986 Memphis Chicks Gold Bo Jackson

The 1986 Memphis Chicks issued two sets of cards featuring their players from that summer – one with gold borders and one with silver borders.

Cards were numbered according to the players’ uniforms, so Bo shows up as #28 in both runs.

There doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in availability of the cards, with neither Jackson hitting the open market in top condition all that often. The lower ranking of the Gold version here could well be just a matter of timing and who had a burr to bid up the Silvers when they sold most recently.

Value: $70-100

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1986 Donn Jennings Southern League All-Stars Bo Jackson (#13)

1986 Donn Jennings Southern League All-Stars Bo Jackson

Pretty much everyone wanted to get in on the card-production gold mine of the 1980s, and that included some dealers themselves.

A longtime super dealer, Jennings likely wouldn’t have been able to score MLB or MLBPA licensing, but the minors were a different story.

And, with Bo Jackson, Jose Canseco, Billy Ripken, Mark McGwire, and others graduating (or on the verge) from the Southern League, jumping on that circuit’s all-stars was a shrewd move.

Ads for these cards were everywhere back in the mid-to-late 1980s, and you could usually find plenty of them at the local card shop. With such wide exposure, the sight of this Bo pre-rookie became ingrained in our collector brains.

Today, this translates to a popular card that carries a fairly hefty price tag in top graded condition.

Value: $100-120

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1987 Classic Bo Jackson (#15)

1987 Classic Bo Jackson

The Classic board game was popular among both fans and collectors almost from the get-go when it was issued in 1987. Of course, for collectors, there was always the tension between playing the game the way it was intended and trying to keep the cards in pristine condition.

Indeed, the 100-card issue included with the game featured a pretty nifty green-bordered design, along with a lineup of the best players in the game plus rookie cards of guys like Barry Bonds, Devon White, Benito Santiago, and, of course, Bo Jackson.

That Bo card showcased the familiar theme of his being a two-sport star, in this case, swinging a bat while kneeling in his Auburn football jersey and pads.

Bo was also part of the 50-card, yellow-bordered update “travel” set released later in the year, but this one takes the cake from a popularity and value standpoint.

Value: $115-130

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1986 Memphis Chicks Silver Bo Jackson (#28)

1986 Memphis Chicks Silver Bo Jackson

This is the silver version of the Bo Jackson Memphis Chicks card, featuring a different image than we see on the gold version.

The silver also lands at a higher price point here on our list, but, like we discussed with the gold, that could be mostly a point-in-time market artifact.

Value: $120-130

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1994 Finest Refractor Bo Jackson (#241)

1994 Finest Refractor Bo Jackson

Topps Finest was back for a second go-round in 1994 after it set another new standard for super-premium cards in 1993.

Bo Jackson was back in the Finest lineup, too, appearing as a California Angel at the end of a career that would wrap up that summer when the players went on strike.

And, of course, the real game changers were back in 1994, too – Refractors were seeded one in nine packs and available as parallels for every card in the base set, including Bo’s.

Value: $175-200

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1991 Topps Desert Shield Bo Jackson (#600)

1991 Topps Desert Shield Bo Jackson

In 1991, with the U.S. embroiled in the first Gulf War, Topps produced a special run of their 40th Anniversary set and earmarked them for troops serving in the conflict.

These cards were identical to the base Topps cards from that year, but with a special gold-foil stamp on the card front that included a palm tree above Operation Desert Shield text.

Issued in 15-card packs that were indistinguishable from “normal” packs, these cards were intended to be shipped to the Middle East, but many of them ended up staying stateside.

With an estimated 6000 of each card produced (give or take a few hundred), it’s no surprise that the Desert Shield issue is one of the most popular of the early 1990s. Combine that with the legend of Bo Jackson and great photography, and you have a hobby winner.

Be aware that there are plenty of fakes out there because the stamp was evidently pretty easy for shysters to replicate. Trading in authenticated/graded copies is the safest bet for this one.

Value: $250-300

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1993 Finest Refractor Bo Jackson (#91)

1993 Finest Refractor Bo Jackson

Any ground that Topps gave up to upstart Upper Deck or the premium and super-premium issues that Donruss and Fleer pushed out in the early 1990s was made up in a flash in the fall of 1993.

Jumping into the high end of the new-card market with both feet, Topps pushed out this 199-card beauty with an announced print run of 4000 cases, each containing 12 boxes. That equates to about 30,000 of each card, which was perceived to be a pretty stingy amount back in those days.

Even stingier?

The distribution of the razzle-dazzle Refractor parallels, which seemed to be seeded at about one per box – most estimates have fewer than 250 of each Refractor in existence.

So, no surprise that a super-scarce Bo Jackson card has inched its way toward the top (or bottom, as it were) of our list.

Value: $325-400

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1986 Donruss Highlights Bo Jackson – ‘Highlights’ in White (#43)

1986 Donruss Highlights Bo Jackson - 'Highlights' in White

At about the same time collectors were ogling Bo’s first Donruss card, in “The Rookies” late-year issue, we also had the chance to nab another Jackson issue from Big D.

This “Highlights” card celebrates Bo’s historic bomb he hit at Royals Stadium that summer.

But the actual word “Highlights” across the baseball on the card front was supposed to have been rendered in yellow. Some of them got out into the wild with white lettering, though, and that error version is scarce enough that it commands a significant premium today.

Value: $500-600

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1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson (#50T)

1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson

For as bereft of strong rookie cards as the 1986 Topps base set was (Vince Coleman and Ozzie Guillen were the top of the heap for years, with Darren Daulton, Len Dykstra, Cecil Fielder, and Mickey Tettleton adding some beef later on), the 1986 Topps Traded set is downright loaded.

In that 132-card boxed set you’ll find extended rookie cards (XRCs) of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Jose Canseco, Will Clark, Andres Galarraga, Wally Joyner, John Kruk, Kevin Mitchell, and Kurt Stillwell (couldn’t leave that one out!).

And, of course, Bo Jackson.

For all the great baseball cards that Jackson appeared on during his all-too-brief diamond career, this one is undoubtedly the most desired and most widely collected.

The Tiffany edition, which was limited to 5000 sets distributed through dealers, only ramped up the price equation for all these guys, Bo included.

Incidentally, if you move up to a PSA 10 copy of this Jackson beauty (of which 37 exist at the time of this writing), you’re looking at a five-figure card.

Value: $850-950

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BO JACKSON 2022 Topps Diamond Icons Autograph Auto SSP #/25 - ROYALS

$16.01 (3 Bids)
End Date: Sunday 02/05/2023 21:33:01 EST
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1987 DONRUSS OPENING DAY BO JACKSON RC #205 PSA 9 MINT

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Bo Jackson RC 1987 Topps #170 Rookie GEM MINT 10

$15.99
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