However considering today is Ken Griffey Jr.'s special day, I figured I'd dig into that folder and pull up a trifecta I built a while back.
Autographed Card: 1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #JR
Yeah. I know. I've shown this card off before. Technically I've shown off a few of the cards in this post at some point. But when a card looks this good... it has earned the right to be blogged about on multiple occasions.
Rookie Card: 1989 Upper Deck #1
I had a difficult time deciding on which rookie card I'd add to the trifecta. I was able to narrow things down to the following: 1989 Topps Traded, 1989 Mother's Cookies, and his 1989 Upper Deck.
Over the years... the 1989 Topps design has gradually become one of my favorite 80's designs. I'm sure there have been times when I've actually preferred his Topps rookie card over his Upper Deck. I'm also a huge fan of the Mother's Cookies stadium giveaway card. I grew up attending Giants and A's games at Candlestick Park and the Oakland Coliseum... especially when they were giving out free baseball cards, so I came close to using this oddball issue. Unfortunately there would be those who would argue and not call this card a true rookie card.
I ended up going with his Upper Deck rookie card, because it's one of the most iconic baseball cards ever printed and easily his most popular. It's definitely features an amazing design and will always be one of the most recognized trading cards in our hobby.
Memorabilia Card: 2001 SP Game Used Authentic Fabric #KGM
I own seven Ken Griffey Jr. memorabilia cards, but this is the only one where he's featured as a Seattle Mariner. That might not matter to others, but seeing him in a Cincinnati Reds uniform is like seeing Rickey Henderson or Wade Boggs in Yankees Pinstripes.
That's why I specifically went out and targeted a few of his older relic cards, but in the end this card was the most affordable.
Griffey's autographs have come down in price over the years, but they still aren't exactly cheap. That's why I only pick up specific signatures that I've targeted over the years. There are still two other autographs I'm looking to add to my collection, but neither have dropped into my price range.
Here's one of my favorite and priciest memorabilia cards in my collection:
Normally I'd refrain from spending $20 on a bat card, but this particular one has two of my favorite players of all-time plus the home run king and today's man of the hour.
The other five memorabilia cards in my collection are low-end run of the mill, supposedly game used pieces of Griffey's bat or jersey:
I have a ton of inserts and oddballs featuring Griffey, but nothing super rare or high end. Here's a few of the ones that I thought were unique or extra shiny:
The 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars is quite possibly the first Griffey insert card I ever pulled. I'm not sure if I pulled any of the other cards, but I've always enjoyed my fair share of 90's inserts.
I'll wrap things up with the other four rookie cards that I own...
I didn't realize until now just how many "bat on the shoulder" rookie cards Griffey has. This has to be a record, right?
As I wrap up this post, I'm watching Griffey's induction speech and kinda regret not jumping on the bandwagon back in the early 90's. Griffey always took a back seat to guys like Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson, Rickey Henderson, and of course Tony Gwynn. But after listening to him honor his father, mother, children, and wife... I couldn't help thinking the whole time that I need to call my parents and thank them for all that they've done for me.
Congratulations Junior! Thank you for entertaining baseball fans for over two decades. I'm always jealous when I hear people talking about growing up watching guys like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. But the next time I feel that way, I'll stop and remember that I had the privilege of watching Ken Griffey Jr. and his hall of fame career.
Happy Sunday and sayonara!