It's that time again! Well, it was probably that time a few weeks ago, but I'm pretty used to running behind schedule nowadays.
Anyhoo, it's time for my annual Top 30 Griffey Acquisitions list. This is always my favorite post to make, and I make it a point to never miss it. These Top 30 lists are important for me because they are a timeline of my collecting career. I find myself referring back to previous lists all the time to see when I got a hold of certain cards, more so lately as prices seem to be climbing higher almost by the month. I'm sure glad I rediscovered the hobby when I did.
We'll start this year's list with an unrankable card:
Honorable Mention: 2018 Junior Junkie 20-Year Checklist Custom
I put this here because I have no idea where it would have gone otherwise. If this list was based purely on the emotion the card inspired in yours truly, this would probably be at the top. I already gave a pretty thorough description of what this little custom job is all about, so I'll just say another "Thank you" to the mystery benefactor. Some of the greatest cards I own were gifts, and this is among the greatest of those. You did good!
30. 2007 Upper Deck Scott Hatteberg #289 Predictor
Just when you think you have all the cameos there are to get, another one comes along out of left field (well, first base) with a sweet backwards cap no less. This is the Predictor edition which is just slightly cooler than the regular base card (though I am clueless as to how Predictor worked in 2007 - I should look it up). Scott features prominently in the book Moneyball which I had read only a few weeks before someone brought this puppy to my attention, so I was just that little extra bit excited.
29. 1996 Bowman’s Best Cuts #1 Atomic Refractor (slabbed PSA 8)
The words “Atomic Refractor” give collectors goosebumps (which is why it is also the name of my card-themed thrash-metal band), and for good reason. They are not only scarce and valuable, they look goooood. This was the first year you could pull an Atomic Refractor, making this one of the first Atomic Refractor Griffeys (they also exist for his base card and Mirror Image insert – maybe in 2019?).
Just when I think I’ve seen all the Pacific inserts, another one pops up and forces me to up my COMC credits. A unique and low-numbered '90's insert.
As you may or may not know, this was the final card I needed to complete the 1996 Beckett Ken Griffey, Jr. Tribute checklist. On a card-by-card basis, this isn’t really that big a deal which is why it sits way down the list at #27. However, if I had to make a list of my most important Griffey acquisitions in terms of my collecting career as a whole, this thing would be Top-5.
26. 2001 E-X Wall of Fame Wall Relic (Milwaukee County Stadium) #9
I was under the impression that Pacific owned all the walls what with all their net-fusions inserts and such, but it turns out Fleer repped the wall as well. And as much as Junior intercepted major-league hits at the wall, odds are he made contact with this one in Milwaukee. Whether he ever made contact with this specific little sliver of vinyl remains up for debate (he totally did - I can feel the Griffey energy emanating from this thing).
Just a cool relic, and the only one I’ve ever had that is more or less guaranteed to have touched some major league ass.
24. 2002 Upper Deck Authentics #162 Reverse Negative
A Griffey-centric tribute to the famous reverse-negative Dale Murphy error card of Upper Deck's inaugural set. Fun idea, and perfectly executed. How often do you get to see our boy batting righty? Weird.
23. 2017 Panini Flawless #14 #/20 (diamond-embedded base card)
This is the second-nicest card I own with a diamond on it. They’re everywhere now thanks to Panini Flawless, but back in the 90’s when this was first done it was more of a gimmick than a gettable card. More on that later…
22. 2017 Panini National Treasures Legends Materials Booklets Duals Stats Jersey/Bat Dual Relic #LBMD-KG2 #/99
It’s a little book! I don’t know why that excited me so much, but here we are. Great-looking card.
21. 1997 Pinnacle Xpress Metal Works Ingots #1 Silver #/400
[Forgive the COMC image - mine is in a vault at the bank and I didn't want to postpone this post any longer.] The bronze was my first of these followed by the gold just a few months later. Since then I chased the silver for ages and even accidentally bought ANOTHER gold thinking it was the silver at one point. There are twice as many silvers as there are gold, but apparently the market doesn’t know that.
Thanks for reading, and look out for Part 2 of this list tomorrow!