I am trying to acquire every Griffey base card. The lists and charts involved are harrowing and complex - a few base cards I can't even seem to verify exist. It's proving to be a bigger job than I expected; but as I am hard-headed and nerdy, it will surely be done. Plus the great thing about base cards is that they tend to be cheap.
As I complete base card checklists, I'll be putting together timelines of each brand's design evolution over the course of Griffey's career and posting them on the blog. It's mind-boggling how many brands were born and died just in the years Griffey played.
Here's all the base card checklists I've completed so far along with links to each brand's respective timeline as they are posted:
Collector's Choice/UD Choice
Fleer Metal Universe
Donruss Best of Fan Club
Donruss Fan Club
Donruss Super Estrellas
Pinnacle New Pinnacle
Skybox Molten Metal
FYI: brand name changes count. As you can see, I'm taking liberties with the titling of the timelines. For example, I'm including UD Choice in the Collector's Choice timeline. I also plan on merging some of Fleer Tradition with regular Fleer. These "spinoff" sets are basically replacements for their predecessors or have aesthetic similarities in the absence of the original set. Fleer was more or less replaced by Fleer Tradition, Flair went away and Flair Showcase took its place in the market - boom: same timeline. Brands that are clearly stand-alone sets (such as Fleer Focus and Pinnacle Aficionado) will have their own timelines.
Keep in mind that this is a continuous project, especially as some brands are still made and other are being re-introduced by new owners (looking at you, 2013 Pinnacle).