Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Greatest Griffey Acquisition of 2013 (and Ever)

[Warning: Refractor Porn ahead.  Safe for work, but not for wallet.]

We all have dreams.  Sometimes those dreams are reasonably achievable such as owning a house or getting married.  Other may seem impossible such as winning the lottery or a date with Pam Dawber; but even so, they don’t stop being your dreams, do they?  It's kind of their function to be unattainable - that's part of the fun.

I had a dream when I was a kid to own all the Griffeys.  It wasn’t an unreasonable notion back then, either.  At least it didn't seem that way before I got a hold of this:

The highlight of this book for me was the checklist of every Griffey card made up to that point.  I would reference it all the time, checking the little boxes one-by-one with every new acquisition. 

There's one box on this list that I thought may always remain unchecked.  I believed then that if I could just get that card and fill that little box, I might be able to someday reach my goal of completing the whole thing.  When I came to realize it was becoming less and less of a possibility for me to do that with all the new inserts and autographs cards coming out, I became less and less of a Griffey collector.  I lost my drive.

Nowadays we have a massive market filled with 1/1’s and printing plates and little books filled patches, and I have accepted that my dream of owning every Griffey is completely out of the question, and in that acceptance I have found a peace that allows me to enjoy collecting on a whole other level - one of childlike enthusiasm and a real appreciation for what I have.

In case you couldn't tell, this is the follow-up post to my Top Ten Griffey Acquisitions of 2013.  Sorry to keep you waiting, guys.  I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to see my top grab of the year.  Well, wait no longer…

1993 Finest #110 Refractor (!)

Yep, that’s the refractor.  This was the king of cards when I was a kid.  It was my ’52 Mantle.  My 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent.  My Everest.
Nowadays there are plenty of Everests.  So many, in fact, that owning one is not quite as alluring as it used to be.  Why spend hundreds of dollars for a fancy 1/1?  There are more 1/1’s every year.

If you filled a room with Griffey collectors, a common question may be “What are your best Griffeys?”  Some may say they have the cyan printing plate from 2007 Upper Deck, or perhaps one of the 2008 SPx American Hero 1/1’s, and those are some sweet Griffeys to have; but how many of us would lie awake at night as kids and dream of holding a cyan printing plate in our hands?  Or the 2013 Topps Tribute Purple Parallel?  These are not iconic cards - they’re just rareThat’s the difference.

There are estimated to be 241 Finest Refractor Griffeys, pretty far from a 1/1.  And yet you can rest assured that everyone in that room of Griffey collectors knows about it.  It's legendary.

Everyone who collected Griffeys in the 90’s remembers the all those zeros and the little exclamation point in the Beckett listings.  Most of us Griffey guys were kids back then with no expectation to ever be able to afford this card.  Now we are adults with careers and direct deposit, and those poor lost souls who are still into the Griffey game can actually have one if they can sufficiently hide the evidence of their purchase from their wives.  

Go ahead and count me among the chosen...

I don't foresee getting a card that will top the '93 Refractor in 2014, but I'll keep looking.  A Griffey collector's work is never done.


I took a ton of pictures and scans before I put this thing into the safe deposit box,a nd I'm not about to let them go to waste.  So, Refractorporn, anyone?


  1. I've got wood, in a non-gay way.

    Well done.

    1. Loud and clear, pal. I, too, have tingly feeling towards what is essentially a picture of a grown man. So strange and new....

  2. You never made reference: what did it take/cost to score this? Or is that information being with held from Mrs. Junkie?

    1. Feebay. Many spends. Fiscal ouchness. Wow.

      I had been shopping it all day, and that night a buddy came over and we started drinking vodka, and before I knew it I was breaking out the computer and pulling the trigger, Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" ringing in my head. I will say that it cost me about what I spent on repack boxes last year.

      And it warms my heart. How can you put a price tag on that?

  3. Neat-o! Congrats on a terrific pickup.

  4. A print run of 241 back then was mind boggling.

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  6. Trade ya a '91 Fleer Griffey for it. It's older, so it's better.

  7. Congrats! 1993 Finest is awesome. I want the Mattingly refractor, just like that, I've decided. Thanks for inspiring me to spend an ass ton of money.

  8. That's an amazing card! Absolutely love it! Congrats!

  9. I'm new to the blog, an many years late to this party, but this card is beautiful. This is my holy grail of Griffey's. This card came out at the height of my collecting and I wrote it off as never being able to afford one.'s game on