Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Top 30 Griffey Acquisitions of 2015: The Runners-Up

In terms of Griffey collecting, 2015 was, in a word, stupid. I acquired more grails and whales of every color than I ever thought possible. Somehow I just got really focused when it came to the big boys of Griffey cardboard. That, combined with a little extra expendable income from a promotion I got early in the year, resulted in what will probably be the most face-melting Top Acquisitions of the Year list I'll ever get to make.

But I can’t count everything, so I’ve decided to give those Griffeys that didn’t quite crack the Top 30 their own post. Most of these cards easily would have made the list in previous years, but not in 2015. This is the closest thing to Griffey card porn I can give you. Oh, and there's a neat honorable mention from 2014 at the end. Enjoy!

Topps released some limited 5x7" sets of all of Griffey's base cards in a new factory direct series called Cardboard Icons. I bought the black (#/199) and gold (#/99) complete sets, but the red (#/10) was just too expensive. I settled for just his rookie card in the red version. Thanks, eBay.

An uncut sheet 1 from 1989 Upper Deck I stuck in a poster frame. I may have to get this one properly framed some day soon.

Another uncut sheet, this one from an early-90's branded oddball set for Jumbo Sunflower Seeds. What a checklist, though.

The foil version - a tough find.


More goooooold!

A very pretty Flair insert.

That same Flair insert in its uncut sheet.

These fell one per box - that's one Griffey every 250 boxes. Junior also appears on two checklists in this set, and I've found one of them. Only one left to get.

Select Certified Mirror Golds are legendary. This isn't the famous one. In fact, this one's not that rare at all. But still, I can understand the appeal.

The Members Only version of this insert (right) is significantly easier to find than the regular (left). I needed both.

Kind of Leaf's version of Donruss' Elite Series.

Just a great-looking insert.

Topps Laser is never coming back, but a man can dream.

Leaf made an awful lot of wood cards in their time.

That banner is made of die-cut felt. This card you have to hold in your hands to really appreciate.

This card has a spinning wheel of stats and has Andruw Jones on the back. This is not the last Griffey card with Andruw Jones you will see...

This is the Away version - the Home version is far rarer.

Far and away the heaviest baseball "card" I've ever seen.

This card is not from the set it looks like it's from.

Not the last Hitting Machines card you'll be seeing, but certainly one of the cooler ones.

Translucent in a way this scan will never do justice.

This may be my favorite Gallery of Heroes design.

FIVE 1/1's, and they still didn't make the Top 30. That should hint at some of the craziness to come.

Just a really badass card. Well done, Panini. This one could have come out in 1998.

I'm only missing the pink version, but I may never find one as I feel weird typing "pink knob" into search fields.

Artist's Proofs, all. Not the prettiest parallels, but damn hard to track down.

This may be my favorite Dufex card every made. Bold and colorful.

Book cards FTW!

Another die-cut beauty from the 90's.

A custom job from lonestarr on the back of Senior's Tiffany '89 card.

Just a beautiful photo on a surprisingly scarce Gallery insert.

Solid gold.

The most imperatively-named insert I've ever seen.

500 was a very limited run for 1998.

Another Leaf woody.

Gold parallels of any You Crash the Game cards are super tough.

Honorable Mention:

I acquired this card in 2014 and completely forgot to include it in the Top 30 countdown. It certainly would have been in the Top 10 had I remembered, so I’m making amends with the Gods of cardboard by including it here today. It’s one of those dual autograph jobs featuring both Junior and Senior, but this one is different from the one I already have in that it features both Griffeys on their respective heritage teams. The last variation of this I need is one showing both Griffeys as Mariners, and one does exist. I'm planning on tracking one down in 2016.

You may have noticed the radical mis-cut this card got. Believe it or not this scan has been cropped straight on its y-axis which means the vertical cuts are wildly off-register. I don't know if this is the only specimen to get the crooked-cut treatment, but I'm all ears if any other owners out there want to share images of their own copies.

Anyway, this was just a sneak peek. The official Top 30 Griffey Acquisitions list begins next week. Prepare ye for a peek at the monster year this collection has had. Thanks for reading!


  1. Wow. If that father son duo didn't make it on the top 30, can't wait to see what does. Some of these I have, some I am drooling over

  2. Dude Topps Lazer is an insert in this year's flagship. Tons of great cards but I think that hats off is my favorite, as much as I hate baseball cards without hats it's a cool insert theme.

  3. I like how an uncut sheet of the most famous modern card only earns a spot in the honorable mentions post. That means some serious shit was found in 2015.

  4. Love the Leagues of the Nation insert. I have the Tino/Rolen.

    You Crash The Game was one of my favorite inserts as a kid.

  5. A lot of your Griffey posts -- including this one -- make me realize how much crazier the '90s were than I'd previously thought. Die cuts, spinning numbers, Topps Laser...on and on. Topps could stand to take a page from their '90s playbook to add some spice to today's hobby.

  6. So much 90s goodness....Comc here I come !

  7. Rest well knowing that those who search for "pink knobs" will be directed to your little corner of the internet now.

  8. Your entire list is pretty much my wants list

    1. I'd settle for just 2 of the 89 UD rookies.Seriously!

  9. TJ, After seeing these that didn't make to the top 30, I am wondering just what kind of damage you did to that list you put out last summer. In advance, sort of...Congrats on a MIGHTY FINE 2015!

  10. Woohoo, my humble little sketch card commission made the honorable mentions! :'D