Friday, August 1, 2014

The Best Of All


Today I close my week of Griffey with my favorite Griffey pulls/pick ups of all time. I began collecting Ken Griffey Jr. cards in 1993 shortly after I returned to collecting. Selecting Griffey was an obvious choice for me, he was my favorite player on my favorite team.
 
My collection was actually pretty decent but sadly when I was divorced in 1997 my ex-wife was quite vindictive and before she left she trashed a portion of my collection while I was at work, which is why I have so many Griffey ghosts. In the past 17 years I have been slow building up my Griffey collection, which is why I only had 92 unique cards earlier this year, partially due to my frustration of not wanting to re-purchase cards that I once owned.

 My Top 10 All-Time Griffey cards in chronological order…

My first pick up was the 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card:
 

That was followed up with 1990 Leaf #245:
 
One of my favorite products in 1993 was Studio and this 1993 Studio #96 was my first Griffey pulled from a pack:
 
In 1996 holograms and die-cuts were becoming the rage and Upper Deck was leading the charge by putting them together with the SPx release. I still remember pulling this 1996 SPx #55 during a visit to my LCS:
 
Glow in the dark cards are awesome, there just aren’t enough of them around. This 1997 Score The Franchise #1 glow in the dark parallel was an eBay pick up a couple of years ago. I have since added the 1993 Upper Deck Glow Stars #111 to my collection too:

 

I have never pulled a Griffey autograph or relic, which sucks, but I have added a number of them to my collection. I picked this 2006 Sweet Signature #138 autograph about 6 years ago:
 
I love oddball cards, the more odd the better. One of my favorites is this 1999 Upper Deck Happy Holiday #HH-1 Santa Hat relic, a 5x7 card. These were Upper Deck exclusives given out to employees and vendors. Over the years UD has also produced Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky and Tiger Woods holiday related cards:

By far my favorite Griffey relic card is my 2000 Upper Deck Ovation Japanese #S-KG Shoe relic. I am enamored with the Japanese culture and when my LCS got a couple of packs of the Japanese 2000 UD Ovation in 2001 I bought them all in hopes of pulling anything Griffey related and had no luck. I hunted this card down shortly afterwards for roughly $25, an insane bargain. By far this is the most yellow relic I have ever seen (And I love it):
 


This 2000 Stadium Club Play At The Plate #PP4 Dirt relic card is my third favorite Griffey relic card (after the next card on the list). The dirt included is from a batter’s box but it doesn’t say any specific stadium.
 
The final card on my list is the 2003 Upper Deck Vintage #CA-KG Capping The Action baseball cap relic. I really dig the design with the old-school television set displaying the baseball cap relic.
 
Like yesterday I am slipping an 11th card in to my Top 10 list. This card is more a sentimental selection due to the timing of its addition to my collection.
 
In 1999 I took my girlfriend to Las Vegas on a much needed vacation. We went for a walk and ended up at the legendary Smokey’s Card Shop. I picked up a pack of 1999 Topps Gold Label and opened it in the shop. While talking to the owner’s wife she asked who I collected and before I left she pulled out this card from behind the counter and handed it to me because in her words “We were a cute couple”. Two days later we were back home in Seattle and I took my wife to the place where we had gone on our first date and proposed. We were married later that year and 15 years later she is still my rock as well as having a lucky hand when she is selecting packs.



 

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