Friday, November 13, 2015

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 5

Welcome to 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 5 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:

Completeness of page: 9/9 

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 100% (45/45)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 36/45 (80%), Reds: 8/45 (18%), White Sox: 1/45 (2%)

Cards not listed in Beckett Magazine: 3/9 (20/45 total, 44%)

Approximate retail value of this page: $203 ($1433.50 running total)

Page 5 notes: For the first time in the set we have a page with more Reds cards than Mariners. We also have a pair of oddballs from early baseball card magazines that had no hope of taking on Beckett. In the early 90's there were a surprising number of high-quality cards made of star players on vintage Topps designs, and I have nearly all the Griffeys there are to be had. The star of this page, though, is definitely that 1989 Topps #41T Tiffany rookie which, I can assure you, does not continue to reside in this page.

Page 5:

37. 1990 Baseball Card Magazine #BC37
The first of two magazine-issued oddballs on this page, this homage to the 1969 design contains a photo I have yet to see on any other card. I've been slowly building a set of Griffey cards that are done in every vintage Topps design (you can see the ones I still need here), and these magazine issues have been invaluable in my quest.

38. 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter United States #US38
This extra-thick insert from early A&G reminds us all that Junior was born in the same town as and 49 years to the day after Hall of Famer Stan Musial. It's a pretty nice-looking set, too.

39. 1998 Upper Deck Nation Pride #NP39


40. 2001 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Home Opener Souvenirs Game-Used Base Relic #OD-40 #/400
There are 400 of this base relic floating around. The card back tells us they all did, indeed, come from one base with a large, red Opening Day graphic printed on it. This piece seems to be from the edge of the graphic. I love the purple/blue sky background and prominent opening day banners on display here. Too bad the Reds lost that day.

41. 1989 Topps Traded Tiffany #41T
Of all the Griffey rookies I own, this one took the longest to acquire for the price I wanted to pay. And why not? It's one of his most appealing rookies in a super high-quality glossy finish. Beckett lists this one at $50, but the market puts it closer to the $100-$120 range. The question is: did I take my copy out of the screw case and slide it into this page just for this scan? Or did I use one of the regulars for fear of damaging the real McCoy? And if I did, could you tell?

42. 2002 Donruss Originals #42 (1982 Design)

I've got to say that Donruss did an amazing job with the Donruss Originals set of 2002. It's just their version of Archives, but the cards themselves are clean, high-quality, and super faithful to the original designs. This homage to the 1982 design is my favorite of the four (yes, FOUR) different Griffeys in the base set. An unsung gem from the slow demise of the Donruss brand.

43. 2000 Upper Deck Ovation #43

This is kind of a first: the first repeat from the same base set. We saw the Mariners card from 2000 Ovation on page 3 - now here is a shot of Junior's first Cincy press conference. A few sets had multiple Griffey base cards as the card companies tried to catch up with Junior's unexpected move. 2000 Ovation just had the best.

44. 1990 Sports Card Digest #44 (1957 design)

Here's another oddball magazine throwback card. I love '57 Topps - design wise it's kind of like an early predecessor to Stadium Club. Super-scary photo, too, especially if you're a pitcher.

45. 1994 Donruss Elite Series #45 #/10000
While this particular year's design is not my favorite, Donruss Elite Series makes a few well-deserved appearances in this Frankenset. It was just so darn consistent for those first few years: always #/10,000, always bilaterally symmetrical, plenty of silver and/or gold, and never cheap or easy to pull. It's hard to believe an insert that got its start in a set like 1992 Donruss would last for as long as it did and carry the weight with collectors so many years after the demise of the brand. This card be Elite, son.

Here's the back of page 5:

Thanks for reading, and look for page 6 next Friday!

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