In my collection: 1 regular, 0 refractor :-(
Griffey looks: shiny
The result was a very high-demand set with ridiculous prices. The MSRP was $3.99 a pack, but they quickly started fetching upwards of $20 per pack, and there they remain. The refractors were 1 per box, and there are also jumbos which I have never seen but totally want.
|The regs look like this guy|
And no, I don't have the refractor for Griffey. When I was a kid, I considered it ungettable. Not like Holy Grail ungettable, because even that has higher perceived gettability than this card. I mean, this is the card that made me stop collecting Griffeys.
Yeah, you heard me. When I was a kid I got this magazine with a huge checklist of all the Griffeys ever made up to that point.
There I was, a 14-year-old kid joyfully amassing all the Griffeys ever comitted to cardboard, then I learned that this one existed and I thought "Psh. Never-freakin'-mind." What was the point? It was like the first time I ever really listened to "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Wayne's World soundtrack, via Walkman, on cassette in my parent's living room - never forget). This thing called "depression" was altogether new to me, and I didn't like it.
Now, 20 years later, I have seen this card for $500.00. That's only a blip on the ol' credit card, folks. It has never been more gettable. I honestly think I will own it one day. Then again, we do need a new lawnmower.
Wanna see that pesky refractor?
There it is, good ol' #110. I snagged these pictures online as well. This guy captured the refractor effect beautifully. Did I mention how shiny the Kid looks? Even on the regular-issue card it must have been amazing to behold this set for the first time.
I'm intensely ambivalent towards this card. It's so cool and scarce and awesome, but it is also a symbol of what made me leave the hobby. You can no longer, through sheer will, effort, trading and moderate expense, collect everything from a modern set. I say modern meaning a set still being produced wherein there is scarcity by design; not one that was made in 1952 that is scarce due to the effects of time and happenstance.
1993 Finest gave us Griffey collectors the ultimate tease, the biggest carrot on the longest pole, the first card that perfectly satirizes the entire hobby card industry. At once a great reward and a cruel joke.
Now, 20 years later, I'm getting older and less and less wise, and I'm learning to say, "Screw it - I'll enjoy the Griffeys I can get through reasonable, defensible effort." Hence this blog.
In the meantime I just bought a pack of 1993 Finest on eBay. I'm stupid.
One of my favorite blogs The Cardboard Examiner is just starting a card-by-card expose of this storied set. This guy's got information and tends to be a great read. And apparently he's got the whole set which makes me super jelly. Check him out.
Also, at the risk of coming across really dorky, I quoted a song lyric written by the great Stephin Merritt somewhere in this post. First person to spot it gets a free baseball card of coolness. Good luck!