Plus it featured one of the most popular baseball players of the era and arguably the best player in the game at the time. And when you factor in how tough this card was to pull (1:800 packs), it's no wonder this card still sells in the $500 price range.
But often lost in Griffey's shadow are the two other players on this set's checklist: Tony Gwynn and Rey Ordonez.
1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey #GJ3
Okay. I understand why Rey Ordonez doesn't receive a lot of recognition. Sure he was a 3x Gold Glove Award winning shortstop playing in New York, however he wasn't exactly the hottest rookie in the game. That title should have gone to the other shortstop playing in New York.
But the third guy on the checklist is a bonafide first ballot hall of famer and was one of the best pure hitters of his generation.
1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey #GJ2
Yet I was able to pick up this jersey card a while back over at Dave and Adam's Card World for a little under $10. Some of you might be thinking that spending $10 for a memorabilia card is a little outrageous, but compared to Griffey the Gwynn is a steal.
I'll never deny The Kid's greatness. He was the driving force for the hobby for years... whereas Mr. Padre was buried in San Diego his entire twenty year career. But is Griffey really worth 25 to 50 times more than Gwynn? Well... based on what collectors are paying... I guess he is.
But that's okay, because that just means that Gwynn and Ordonez collectors have the opportunity to grab a really cool piece of history for a reasonable price.
In addition to advocating for Gwynn and Ordonez's 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey card, I'm also using them for my Day 28 submission to Tony's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge, which asks us to show off a favorite relic/manufactured relic card.
So there are two of my favorite relic cards. What about you?
Do you have a favorite relic or manufactured relic sitting in your collection?
Happy Hump Day! Have a great Wednesday and sayonara!