1989 Upper Deck #1
Unanimous or not... Ken Griffey Jr. (IMHO) was synonymous with Major League Baseball for an entire generation of ballplayers. and I'm excited that he'll be joining guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron in Cooperstown.
1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures #JR
In the 90's, I worked at two different card shops. One at the start of the decade... and another at the end. During both tenures... The Kid was one of the most popular players in the game and the hobby.
Unfortunately... during most of the 90's, I was either as starving college student or struggling teacher with major credit card debt. In other words... he was a little out of my financial league, so I stuck to guys like Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux.
2007 UD Masterpieces 5x7 Box Topper Signature #MP2
That didn't mean I didn't appreciate what he brought to the diamond year in and year out during the first half of his career. Seriously... who isn't impressed by Griffey's 398 home runs during his first stint with the Seattle Mariners? Plus he won ten Gold Glove Awards during that time span.
2001 SPGU Authentic Fabric #KG
Then early in 2000, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds and everything changed. In a sense, he kind of fell off of my hobby radar. Actually... everyone fell off of my hobby radar. By 2002, I had sold off the majority of my collection and was out of the hobby.
1996 SPx Commemorative #KGA1
Fast forward a few years and I recaught the cardboard bug and haven't looked back since. And when I returned... who was still around? Mr. George Kenneth Griffey Jr.
1989 Mother's Cookies SGA #3
I'm still not a Ken Griffey Jr. super collector... but at least I'm able to target specific cards I'm interested in and buy them. The cards in this post are my personal favorites.
Congratulations Mr. Griffey! And thank you for everything you've done for our hobby and the sport of baseball. Happy Wednesday and sayonara!