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MLB Nineteen Nineties throwback baseball playing cards

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Earlier this year, we asked fans and MLB.com staff to submit their favorite baseball cards in a poll to celebrate Topps’ 75th anniversary, and we’re sharing the best of them every week. This week we looked at some 90s throwbacks, always a fun group of cards to flip through. So here’s a look at a fallback card from the ’90s for each team:

Blue Jays: Paul Molitor, 1995 Donruss

Molitor spent most of his career elsewhere, but when he came to Toronto in 1993 he had a big season helping the Jays win the World Series for the second straight year. More>

Orioles: Jose Mesa, 1992 Topps

Yes, Mesa chose the Orioles. But this card is all about the hair. More>

Rays: Fred McGriff, 1998 SkyBox Dugout Access

When you think of former All-Stars who played for the Rays late in their careers, McGriff’s name is high on the list. More>

Red Sox: Mo Vaughn, 1990 Topps

Before he was known as “Hit Dog”, Vaughn was a Red Sox rookie. But that doesn’t mean his biceps weren’t huge back then. More>

Yankees: Don Mattingly, 1991 Donruss

“Donnie Baseball” was on a Hall of Fame trajectory before injuries derailed him in the ’90s, but he was still dangerous in the batter’s box. More>

Indians: Jim Thome, 1997 Score ‘Goin’ Yard ‘

The best seasons of Thomes Hall of Fame careers came in Cleveland uniform, and this card shows the bat in his prime. More>

Royals: Carlos Beltrán, 1995 SP top prospects

Before embarking on an illustrious career with a knack for post-season heroism, Beltrán was a top prospect in the Kansas City organization. More>

Tiger: Cecil Fielder, 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings

Fielder was at the height of his immense power in Detroit, and this Diamond Kings art is a great reminder of it. More>

Twins: Kirby Puckett, 1990 Post Cereal

Some of the best baseball cards out there – for nostalgic reasons at least – came out of cereal boxes, and this Puckett gem is a great example. More>

White Sox: Frank Thomas, 1992 Fleer

The Big Hurt was a ticking time bomb on the plate, so this card really captures the essence of the fear it instilled in opposing pitchers. More>

Engel: Chuck Finley, 1994 upper deck

Finley is jamming with his guitar – well, bat? Yes, please. More>

Astros: Randy Johnson, 1999 Fleer Ultra

The Big Unit wasn’t an Astro long, but he made his time in Houston counting, posting a 1.28 ERA with 116 strikeouts over 11 starts after the Astros acquired him in a mid-season deal with the Mariners. More>

Athletics: Rickey Henderson, 1991 upper deck

Rickey is running. That’s a nice thing. More>

Seafarers: Ken Griffey Jr., 1995 Pinnacle

There didn’t seem to be anything Griffey wasn’t good at. Inflating huge bubbles was no exception. More>

Rangers: Ivan Rodriguez, 1994 Topps

Pudge in pretty much the best pose you could catch him in – firing a missile at the second base to catch a runner foolish enough to try to steal a base from him. More>

Braves: Javy Lopez, 1999 upper deck

The Braves catcher was an underrated hitter and proved it the year before this card was issued. More>

Marlins: Jeff Conine, 1994 Topps

When you think of Conine, you think of marlins. It’s just like that. More>

Mets: Darryl Strawberry, 1991 Fleer Pro-Vision

What a beautiful piece of art in these cards – Strawberry here wielding a “nuclear” bat. More>

Nationals / Expos: Kirk Rueter, 1996 Fleer Ultra

Rueter was a solid starter for the Expos in the mid-1990s, and while not a star pitcher, he was a star in the heart of the fan who submitted this card. More>

Phillies: Randy Ready, score 1991

Sometimes it is not the player on the map that counts most, but the action shot. More>

Brewer: Greg Vaughn, rookie rated Donruss in 1990

Vaughn had some great seasons with Milwaukee, and it all started with his rookie campaign in 1990. More>

Cardinals: Mark McGwire, 1999 Topps HR Record # 70

If you think back to the great 1998 homerun, this card is reminiscent of McGwire’s historic 70th homer of the season. More>

Pups: Ryne Sandberg, 1992 Studio Heritage

Sandberg was about as back as they come, so this card feels just right with him in an old-school baseball uniform. More>

Pirates: Brian Giles, 1999 SkyBox Thunder

Giles was exchanged by the Indians in 1998 for the Pirates Midseason, which was a breakout campaign on the record for the outfielder. More>

Reds: Barry Larkin, 1996 Score ‘Star Struck’

Larkin was at the height of his career when this card was issued – he had just won the 1995 NL MVP Award. More>

D-Backs: Travis Lee, 1998 Score

Lee was, in fact, the original d-back, becoming Arizona’s first free agent in 1996. He also met the franchise’s first regular season homer two years later. More>

Dodgers: Mike Piazza, 1994 Fleer Pro-Vision

Fleer Pro-Vision cards were beautiful works of art, and we can see why with this piazza card. More>

Giants: Barry Bonds, 1995 Topps

Bonds was the face of the Giants franchise in the decade of the 1990s, so it is fitting that he should appear on this list. He seems to be seeing on the map what is likely one of his 762 home runs in his career. More>

Padres: Bip Roberts, 1996 score

Nothing better than seeing Bip Roberts sitting in the dugout in a sombrero. More>

Rockies: Larry Walker, 1998 Fleer Metal Universe

The soon-to-be-established Hall of Famer had one of the best right outfield arms in baseball history, and that trait is well captured on this one-of-a-kind card. More>



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