Baseball Cards! My Almost Worthless Ken Griffey Jr. “Rookie” Collection

1989 Upper Deck #1

I bought this card for $100 back in 1997.

This card is the 1952 Topps of my generation…only without the value. This card represents the 80’s and 90’s cards in a nutshell: popular and overproduced. Its hard to underestimate how hot this set was at one point. Shortley after release cases of the set were going for 10,000 dollars a pop–up from the $600 that the shops were paying at wholesale. The Griffey card drove the sets popularity.

The problem is that Upper Deck was–and still is–a bunch of greedy thieves. They knew that with the ’89 set they were printing money…so they kept the printers going. Not only were they overproducing the set itself, but were printing sheets of the Griffey card. Upper Deck was handing the set out to its employees as bonuses, who were then flipping them at card shops–flooding the market even more. I have heard of collectors who were able to get entire cartons of the Griffey card from ex-employees of Upper Deck, which should give you an idea of the kind of shit that was moving out the backdoor of the company. When it was all said and done, Upper Deck produced over a million of the Griffey card alone, and to this day its the most graded card by PSA, with almost 100,000 copies being slabbed. Despite that, this card still manages for move for ~$25 in good condition.

Anyway.  Below is a small collection of Ken Griffey jr. cards that a young me put together. 1997, I think.  I had gotten the Griffey in the mail on a Thursday, and then got a bug to get all the Griffey 1st/2nd year cards I could find.  That Friday I went to my local cardshop and bought up all the cards that he had, and then coincidentally there was a card show in Eastlake, Ohio that weekend that I was able to convince my parents to take me to and let me get the rest.  I was very proud of this little collection…and still like it…despite the fact that its only worth about $5.

1990 Donruss #365

1989 Score Traded #100T

1990 Topps #365

1989 Donruss #33

1990 Topps #336

1989 Topps Traded #41T

1990 Donruss #192

1989 Fleer #548

1990 Fleer #513

1989 Donruss Rated Rookies #33

1989 Bowman #220


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