Friday, September 18, 2015

Doin' the Happy Dance. Feelin' the Flow. Working it. Working it.

When it comes to cardboard I am a total sucker for three things: needless reprints of modern cards, cards embedded with coins n' shit, and Griffeys. For those reasons, here are a trio of Griffey checklists that I was recently able to complete listed in increasing difficulty.

2015 Topps Birth Year Coin/Stamp Relics: 4 cards

These things, man. I mean, I was never a philatelist, but you bet your boots I've been a numismatist since my grandma got me turned onto coins when I was 10. When I saw these babies were coming down the pipe, I was all, "Be affordable, awesome cards!" And they were. The penny was by far the toughest get of these four which was weird.

The stamp I know nothing about, but it is very pretty and patriotic, and unlike some of the cards in this checklist the colors in the stamp go well with the card.

The cards are serial numbered out of 50, something I didn't even notice the first time I made this post - thanks, Ryan! There is an autographed version of the quarter card for some players, but not all. More importantly, not Griffey. That makes this a complete set for our purposes.

Woo! Complete set!

Topps must have really turned up the Griffey dial for 2015 because these happened, too:

2015 Topps Factory Set Chrome Refractor Reprints and Gold Parallel: 6 Cards

I wasn't kidding when I said I'm a sucker for reprints of cards you wouldn't expect to see reprints of. Really, who in 2015 is waiting with bated breath for a reprint of the 2007 or 1999 Topps base cards? The answer is me! I love 'em!

These are some of the best reprints Topps has ever done, too. They're extra thick and heavy - you could tile floor with them. And the refraction is strong and the chrome shiny.

It can be tricky to spot a gold parallel for that 1999 card which was already gold-bordered, so if you're not sure which one you have, just look at the grass field in the background. Green = regular, gold = well, gold.

I've been unable to find the odds of pulling the gold parallels, but I suspect they are at least a little rarer than their counterparts. I'd be more interested in learning how they landed on these three sets. I mean, 1989 is a given, but why 1999 and 2007? I'm guessing 1999 because it was his last Mariners card and 2007 because it was his last Reds card, but why not 2010, his sunset card? And 2000, his first Reds card? Are there more on the way? If so, a gold parallel of the 1990 design could be really cool.

Thanks for keeping the Griffey game going for 2015, Topps!

Another complete set!

Finally comes a real bear of a checklist that is infamous among Griffey collectors the world over: the harrowing 100-card 2008 SPx American Hero set. I was finally able to land the last card I needed, and here it is:

Old #KG82. Finally.

With every card in the massive checklist serial numbered to 725, this thing tried my patience and exhausted all my search methods. I acquired cards in every way I know how: ebay, blind lots, trades, shows, LCS, COMC, Justcommons, and several others I'm not thinking of.

Hey, wanna see 'em all at once? Let's make it official:

2008 SPx Ken Griffey, Jr. American Hero Insert #/725: 100 cards

<sigh> Thing of beauty, folks. Of all the Griffey sets I've vowed to build, this one has definitely taken the most hands-on work and research to finally finish off. Pulling that final card from the envelope it was mailed in was truly surreal. I wasn't even excited at the time. I was more like, "Good, fine, whatever, it's done." Now that I can look at them all at once, I am pleased.
Wooo! Complete set!

Thanks for reading.


  1. There might be a gold parallel of the 1990 - in 2005 there was a Topps set based on the Rookie Cup, and they included reprints of the original All-Star Rookie cards - I thought there was a parallel of the reprint (though no reprint parallels came in the retail box I purchased), too.

    Oh. There is a 1/1 Rookie Cup Reprint Gold Chrome Refractor.... There are 25 Chrome, 15 Chrome Refractors, and who knows how many "regular" reprints there were....

    1. I know who has that 1/1, too. His name is Mike, and he is good at Griffeying.

    2. I guess knowing who has a particular short printed card is a small consolation to not having it in your collection. At least some random seller isn't holding it hostage on eBay for some astronomical amount, and it's not trapped in a pack, in a box, in a case, in a warehouse somewhere...

    3. I hate thinking about the cards I need that are probably just sitting in a pack somewhere on a shelf or hanging on the pegs at a Target in Nebraska. Or even worse, someone bought the pack holding that one card I need and gave it to their little kid, who promptly selected out that one shiny card and began using it as a ninja throwing star.

  2. Those coin & Stamp cards look serial numbered to me. Looks like they are all out of 50. The penny is 17, the nickel is 10, the dime is 24 and the quarter is 44.

  3. Some great additions and what an accomplishment - a 100 card set of one player all numbered to 725. I am a huge fan of the coin cards, and I too was puzzled when you were hoping they were numbered after I looked at the pics - happens to me quite frequently too!

  4. Oh dang. That girl dancing is crazy funny. Congratulations on completing these three sets.

  5. I'm a little OCD about coin cards like that (or I would be if I actually owned any). For example, I would definitely have to upgrade the nickel card you've got here.. Drives me crazy to see Jefferson totally upside-down! I wonder if perfectly aligned copies of these coin cards sell for a premium. Topps and most collectors obviously don't care too much, but I bet there are enough of us anal nuts out there to drive the prices up a bit.

    1. I hadn't given it much thought, but now it's all I can see.