30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Overlooked and Underappreciated

Whenever collectors talk about iconic memorabilia cards, Ken Griffey Jr's 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey card is usually part of the discussion and rightfully so.  It was a part of a historic set... the first baseball game worn jersey memorabilia card set ever produced.

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!


  1. I remember those! Just seeing them gave me a huge rush of nostalgia. It's a beautiful design I'm glad UD went back to on a couple occasions.

  2. I've always been partial to the UD 500 Club Piece of History bat relics that originated in 1999, and updated when new members to the club joined. They seem to have held their value pretty well.

  3. I don't know about a favorite relic - maybe my So Taguchi Bazooka relic from circa 05 because it was one that I pulled and So went on to play for the Cubbies. However, speaking of short term Cubs that no one remembers playing in Chicago, I remember declaring Rey Ordonez to be my favorite player during his brief time with the Cubbies in '04. He was still a slick fielder, but inept as ever with the bat, and signed only to serve as a stopgap when Alex Gonzalez got hurt. I don't know why I declared him to be my fav - but, I think that's where my fascination with "cameo Cubs" got it's start.

  4. I know he's a mess post NFL, but I think my favorite card will always be my 2001 Absolute Memorabilia Pro Bowl patch of Jimmy Smith, /25.


    He scored 3 touchdowns wearing that jersey and the patch is just amazing. It's one of the few cards I could truly never get rid of.

  5. None come to mind. I do remember a sweet Emmitt Smith patch card I USED to have.

  6. I got a Ty Cobb bat card as a Christmas gift from my parents a while back, and while I've largely moved on from the relic/memorabilia world, I still treasure that one.

  7. My favorites are probably some of my early 2000's Pops and Maz relics. The $10 you spent is not outrageous at all. I've noticed an uptick in prices with some of those early year relic sets.

  8. I like the 2007 UD Sweet Spot Classic gamers. So much so, I'm down to the big money cards for the whole set. They are all retired greats with pictures you don't see as often.

  9. I have a Ruth bat relic but honestly, no matter what the back of the card says, I always have a tiny shadow of doubt as to whether or not those type of things are legit.
    I've got a Mel Ott jersey swatch card with is actually a cooler looking card than the Ruth.
    Maybe my favorite is a Jim Bouton jersey relic with a pinstripe. It's kind of neat.

  10. That Todd Helton base card comes to mind. http://infieldflyrulecards.blogspot.com/2017/09/mom-goes-to-card-show.html

  11. I just got a really nice relic of Nikoloz Tskitishvili from the package you just sent me ;). Thanks again Fuji!

  12. My favorite relic set is 2000 Upper Deck HoloGRFX A Piece of the Series. I collected the whole 9-card set!

  13. One day I am going to add that Griffey 97 to my collection. I absolutely love it (and you telling me how much the Gwynn can be had for makes me want that one as well!)

  14. I have a Carlos Gonzales bat relic. It's from a Archives set. Bought one of those 7 packs box and got it. I think it's the only bat relic I have. It's here: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XkxaH99aujU/VJLronHeEtI/AAAAAAAAOz8/pydCBrb66ss/s1600/IMAG0344.jpg

    I also like the Billy Butler fabric relic I got because it's a mini from A&G. Also from one of those value boxes with 7 or so packs. Also here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eVoBFoUH3aI/VJLqKYMLHVI/AAAAAAAAOzo/VYVdVQm9h3g/s1600/IMAG1386.jpg

    Then I got this precious Mark Teixeire fabric relic from the almighty 5ToolCollector. Love Mark. He's one of my all time favourite player. Plays a big importance he has Portuguese ancestry (his father). Check my precious here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DIl29HFCvfo/UXrdrBXjY-I/AAAAAAAAEG8/mpcskxPCenc/s1600/IMAG1598.jpg

    But the most comic relics I got was some weird fabric relics that included a e-card. Yep. That's right...You can check again the story I posted lol: http://hobbycardseurope.blogspot.pt/2014/03/hit-its-relic-for-what-it-is.html

  15. dennis - i know. i actually thought about building one of the retro design sets, since I have a handful sitting in my collection.

    collecting cutch - yeah. very nostalgic

    mr haverkamp - i've never owned one, but i've seen what they sell for. it's gotta be one of the most expensive memorabilia card sets out there.

    tony b - i have always really like bazooka relics. as for ordonez on the cubs... i think that tidbit slipped by me.

    spastikmooss - that's a beautiful patch

    john miller - can't go wrong with a patch card of the all-time rushing leader

    nick - ty cobb bat card? that's definitely a keeper

    matthew scott - another one of my favorites is my 2001 ud decade pop jersey card. love the design... and the player.

    gca - love that set too. i have about 10 in my collection.

    commishbob - i think we'd be foolish to think that there are a percentage of memorabilia cards that are fake. btw... nice bouton. i don't think i've seen that sweet spot classic design before.

    adam k - that's a nice card. the fact that your mom picked it out and bought it for you makes it that much nicer.

    zippy - glad you liked it buddy.

    the lost collector - cool set. especially for yankees and braves fans. i probably will never find an affordable copy, but i'd love to add the maddux to my collection.

    chris p - when you get the griffey... i'll live vicariously through you.

    ana lu - sweet cargo. any relic that utilizes the '56 design is a winner in my book. i also like ginter framed relics. love the pre-scratched sosa card. gotta love them repacks.