Friday, June 12, 2020

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 23

Welcome to Page 23 of the Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 23 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:

Completeness of page: 7/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 99.03% (205/207)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 145/205 (71%), Reds: 56/205 (27%), White Sox: 2/205 (1%), No team indicated: 2/205 (1%)

Page 23 Notes: It was fun while it lasted. We have a lot to celebrate about this page, specifically we finally reached card #200, we now know exactly how high the line of Griffey card numbers goes unbroken, and finally we get to see an official autograph issue despite being so far along in the set.

All this is bittersweet, though, as we got not only our first gap in the frankenset, but TWO gaps. Sure, the first 100 were guaranteed given just the 2008 SPx American Hero insert, but we had plenty of options available to make it fun. As the numbers grew it evolved into a take-what-you-can-get situation. Now it's down to this - begging card companies to put Junior on card #202 and 207.

Oh, well. This was a long time coming, I suppose, but still. Ouch.

Page 23:

199. 1998 Stadium Club #199

This is one seriously action-packed photo. I've never been 100% sold on this particular design from Stadium Club, but you can't argue with the photography here. I sense a rounding of third is on the horizon.

Alright, here we go....!

200. 1992 Classic Best #200


What a great card, too. These were always a little confusing to adolescent Junior Junkie because of the obviously pre-rookie photo under a big ol' "1992," There is an autographed version of this card, but that one is technically unnumbered - just one of those "Congratulations" backs - so it doesn't count here. Still totally happy at how we ended up here.

Back to it:

201. 2006 Ultra #201 Lucky 13

The subset is made up of successful players who were selected in the first 13 picks. I dig the subset logo, the bored kid with the Space Jam t-shirt in the background, and the ultra-young Griffey batting photo; but the theme of this one can be hard to spot (unless they printed an explanation on the packs themselves which, if that's the case, I take that back).

And that is the highest the line of unbroken Ken Griffey, Jr. card numbers go. 201. Not bad.

202. --- (1988 Donruss Griffey, Sr. #202)

This is uncharted territory, so I've got to set some precedents here. First off, there actually *is* a Griffey card #202, and you're looking at it. That's the face of a proud papa whose first-born was just drafted first overall. I'll be damned if I'm not going to include it here, but it is only in the capacity of a placeholder. While technically a Griffey card, that is just not enough. I'm including it on the completed page, but I drew a big red asterisk on it. Until a Junior card comes out at #202, this is going to have to do. (Say, what are the odds that a wheel from one of the big card houses with some sway in the card numbering reads this blog? Maybe we'll find out next year? Please...?)

203. 2002 Fleer #203

My Griffey binders tell quite a story. An alien could land on Earth and flip through those binders one time and immediately know that something happened around 2001/2002 to make everybody go into full-on patriot mode. Every brand was suddenly all about the Stars & Bars, Mom's apple pie, and just about every other #TeamUSA trope you can imagine. And God bless 'em for that. We did get some great cards out of it. This one's a little dry, sure, but it is positively dripping with freedom. Who can put a price on that?

204. 2004 Upper Deck Diamond Prosigs Collection Autograph #204

This autograph is seriously numbered 204. What kind of set are you making where  Griffey auto is #204? I mean, in-person auto, buybacks, reprints - all that I get. But this is an anomaly. Whatever, I'll take it.

205. 1999 Upper Deck Sports Illustrated Kids #205

We could have used the regular base card here. We could also eat grits dead-ass plain every day and live to be 150, but where's the fun in that? Sports Illustrated for Kids is the salt and butter to my 1999 Upper Deck Griffey grits. And now that sentence exists.

206. 1997 Fleer #206 All-Star Tiffany

I made the original checklist four or five years ago, and at the time I put the regular base card in this spot. I honestly thought I'd never find this parallel for a reasonable price (this year's Tiffanies are hella-scarce). The four year gap in posting these things did pay off a little here and there.

207. ---

Welp, there it is. This is not the last one of these you're going to see. Not even close. No Griffey, no placeholder. Just nothing. I considered digging up a serial-numbered card for each of the empty slots (a Griffey #207/5000, for example) just to have something to put there. I also considered putting cards that are Griffey-related such as those of teammates and friends. After weighing all the options, though, I think I prefer just leaving them open and calling them "opportunities" for now. Makes it feel like this is a living, breathing project. But yeah, this hurts.

Here is the back of Page 23:

Thanks for reading!


  1. Casually throwing an auto into a frankenset?!

    I love the Griffey Tiffany. Sweet card.

  2. Always cool, I was really wondering when you would miss a number.

  3. I never saw that Sports Illustrated set before. Love the Griffey collection, so much fun to follow along.

  4. I like the idea of using his father as a place holder... and a serial numbered card to hold the #207 spot.