9 Most Valuable Deion Sanders Rookie Cards

most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards
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Deion Sanders, better known as “Coach Prime” now, had an illustrious career both in professional football and professional baseball. Currently serving as the head coach for the University of Colorado Boulder, check out our article that dives into the past career of “Coach Prime”, and the most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards you can add to your collection.

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Who Is Deion Sanders?

Deion Sanders is an American football coach for the University of Colorado Boulder, and used to be a former professional football and baseball player. Nicknamed “Neon Deion” and “Prime Time” during his playing years and now “Coach Prime” in his budding coaching career, Sanders has played for five NFL teams and 4 MLB teams. During his stint with the NFL, Sanders played for fourteen seasons as a cornerback and a return specialist, and played nine seasons for the MLB.

Sanders appeared in both a Super Bowl and a World Series, and is considered by many to be the greatest NFL cornerback of all time.

Did Deion Sanders Play Both Baseball and Football?

Deion Sanders is one of the few athletes that has been able to play in multiple professional sports, his being baseball and football. He won two Super Bowl titles while playing football, and made a world series appearance in 1992 for baseball, making him the only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

What Teams Did Deion Sanders Play For?

NFL (National Football League):

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Washington Redskins
  • Baltimore Ravens

MLB (Major League Baseball):

  • New York Yankees
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • San Francisco Giants

Most Valuable Deion Sanders Rookie Cards for Baseball

Check out our list of the top six most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards for baseball:

6. 1990 Upper Deck Deion Sanders RC #13, $3.50

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One of the more popular cards from the 1990 Upper Deck, Deion Sanders’ Yankees rookie card is a perfect addition to your collection. With a minimalistic design and full frontal image of Sanders on the field, it is an interesting combination that you don’t see on many collectible cards.

Lower graded cards like this can still pull a good price, due to the amazing player Sanders was.

5. 1990 Donruss Deion Sanders RC #427, $20

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Coming from a cluster of cards featuring Deion Sanders for the first time, the Donruss Sanders rookie card is a great option for your budding collection. Though Topps Traded cards are the most recognizable brand of baseball rookie cards, Donruss is still a reputable brand you can enjoy.

Along with most of these cards on this list, the value is lower than other players due to it having a high print run, so many are still available in the GEM MT condition. You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune getting a good quality edition of this card.

4. 1990 Leaf Deion Sanders RC #359, $56

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If you want a Deion Sanders rookie card that isn’t going to break the bank, try looking for the 1990 Leaf #359 edition, which goes for under $100. While the design won’t turn many heads, it is still a great collection piece for those who admire Coach Prime in his, well, Prime. Leaf cards were widely available due to high print runs, and did attribute to that Junk Wax era deflation of prices.

CHECK OUT: How to Tell if a Baseball Card is Worth Money: 8 Simple Methods

3. 1989 Fleer Update Deion Sanders RC #53, $80

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Though there is not a lot going on in terms of design and imagery, the 1989 Fleer Update Deion Sanders rookie card still looks sharp in its cleanliness. Sanders is expressionless in the photo, but the red, gray, and white stripes add a simplistic look that complements the Yankees jersey.

With the other two card giants (Topps Traded and Donruss), the Fleer design was not as well-known, and are now both low value and easy to get ahold of.

2. 1989 Topps Traded Deion Sanders Rookie Card #110T, $100

most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards
Credit: eBay

An interesting thing about Deion Sanders’ rookie cards is that they are for two sports, so you can actually have two Topps Traded rookie cards, but for different sports. It might be an anomaly compared to other sports players, but it is a perfect opportunity for collectors to have one of each.

Even though this rookie card is from 1989, the Junk Wax era changes its value to around a hundred dollars, making it quite cheap compared to other rookie cards.

1. 1989 Donruss The Rookies Deion Sanders RC #6, $150

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If you started collecting in the 1980s, you might know the brand name Donruss The Rookies, especially with it’s signature green and black border. This helps distinguish from other Sanders rookie cards, and will add a unique touch to your collection. Our favorite part of the card is the action shot of Sanders as he plays for the New York Yankees, charging towards first base.

Though the Junk Wax keeps the value down, this rookie card can still go for over a hundred dollars.

Most Valuable Deion Sanders Rookie Cards for Football

Check out our list of the top three most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards for football:

3. 1989 Pro Set Deion Sanders Rookie Card #486, $100

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One of the mainstream Sanders rookie cards that doesn’t get mentioned as often is the 1989 Pro Set Sanders rookie card. It claims Sanders was the no. one pick in the draft, but we all know that he was the fifth overall pick, so this is an interesting talking piece of the card.

The photo is the best part of this card, catching Sanders in action looking for a pass, along with the red and white striped border. The only downside to this card is the high print run, so you will have no real difficulty finding a PSA 10 card. According to PSA there are more than 800 PSA 10 cards of this version in circulation, really lending to the whole Junk Wax era.

2. 1989 Topps Traded Deion Sanders Rookie Card #30T, $150

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The Topps Traded Deion Sanders rookie card is one of the most popular football rookie cards for Sanders, mostly because it was easily available in the Topps Traded set. The other main selling point with this card is its looks. With an 80s-feel design, complete with geometrical shapes, stripes, and an orange border around the image, the card really does look quite sharp.

The image of Sanders is also quality, showing him in action during his first season with the Atlanta Falcons. If you want a nostalgic but sharp card, consider collecting the #30T Topps Traded card.

1. 1989 Score Deion Sanders Rookie Card #246, $800

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Preferred by collectors who wanted to have a higher quality stock with their cards, the 1989 Score Deion Sanders cards are easier to find with a GEM MT rating than the Topps Traded cards. There is also a lot of great design choices with Sanders’ card that really make it a shining star in a card collection. With the forest green border and sky-blue background, Sanders stands out, especially with the darker colors of his uniform.

These cards were produced in higher batches, but if you can find a GEM MT 10 or autographed version, then the value will increase a good amount.

ALSO READ: 5 Most Valuable Football Cards 1990s From Manning to Favre

Why Aren’t Deion Sanders Rookie Cards as Valuable as Other Players?

Deion Sanders rookie cards were a part of the Junk Wax era, severely diminishing the value for the cards. The Junk Wax era means that the cards were printed out like crazy at very high numbers, exceeding the demand for them and dropping the price. This means that most cards in the Junk Wax era (1987-1994) carry a significantly lower value than they normally would. This is great for those collectors that are on a budget though, as most cards will sell for under $1,000.

How many super bowls has Deion Sanders won?

Sanders won two Super Bowls for two different teams in his NFL career. The first came while he was with the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, and the second he won with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.

Why is Deion Sanders called Prime?

During his football career from high school to the NFL, Sanders’ nickname was “Prime Time.” After he retired and accepted a head coaching job, the nickname was appropriately changed to “Coach Prime.”

How much is Deion Sanders worth in 2023?

Sanders worth is a large $45 million, drawing mostly from his career in both professional football (NFL) and professional baseball (MLB). He now earns money coaching for the University of Colorado Boulder.

Even though Deion Sanders’ cards are part of the Junk Wax era and aren’t as valuable as other player’s cards, he is still a huge inspiration to baseball and football fans everywhere. Whether you’re watching him coach now, or replying the tapes of his games, Deion Sanders is a perfect candidate for collecting your first sports cards. Make sure to use our most valuable Deion Sanders rookie cards list to make your next purchase, and find the best rookie card for your collection.

Alexandria is a News Editor, writer, and reader of all things literature. She graduated from the State University of... More about Alexandria Wyckoff