The Top 30 Griffey Acquisitions list is my favorite post to make all year. It’s a challenge putting it together as I have to go through a year’s worth of eBay and COMC histories as well as trades and purchases with bloggers and through social media groups, not to mention cards acquired at card shows. But it’s so fun reliving my Griffey-collecting year that all the work I put into this post hardly feels like work at all.
We're starting off with an autohgraphed card. That’s right – an autographed card did not crack the Top 30 this year. I never would have expected this to happen. Griffey card snob level: expert.
1991 Score All-Star Jumbo Autograph w/ COA (The Score Board, Inc.)
In all fairness if the Top 30 list was any longer, this would be card #31. These cards were sold by the company Score Board Inc. and sold via home shopping channels with COA’s. They could have chosen a better card for mass-signing; but hey, it’s on-card and the price was right.
1992-98 Highland Mint Topps Mint-Cards Bronze #KG92
Here’s another after-market warlock. This is Griffey’s 1992 Topps base card in the form of a heavy brass ingot with a custom screw-down case and COA. The COA is a little weird to me. I mean, if it was autographed that would be one thing, but it’s a heavy brass reproduction of a baseball card. It would be like going to New York and buying a souvenir with a certificate that says “This is an authentic reproduction of the Statue of Liberty.” Reproductions by definition are not authentic, so why waste paper on a COA? Anyway, it’s kind of awesome, so here it is.
1992 McDonalds Limited Edition Collector Pins (set of 3)
I already had the complete set of three McDonald’s pin cards, but here are all three again with the pins still on them! They’re a bitch to store, but you can’t say I don’t have that McDonald’s pin checklist on lockdown.
1992 MTV 3rd Annual Rock n' Jock Softball Challenge #3 /20000
I used to watch these Rock n’ Jock things on MTV with my older sisters. This card is so perfectly 1992 I can’t even stand it. On the short-list of my favorite oddballs.
1993 Alrak Ken Griffey Jr. Bellevue Youth Baseball Benefit #NoN
Just a well-executed oddball from the heyday of oddball brands like Alrak. They’ve produced a lot of "what am I looking at?" Griffeys in their time, and this is one of the best.
1993-95 Cardtoons Big Bang Bucks #BB-8
Cardtoons is back! I found this by accident which is the same way I discovered all the other goofball Cardtoons cards I’ve picked up over the years. It’s the same illustration as on the “Ken Spiffy, Jr.” card from the same brand, but on a wacky currency design. Cards like these have made several Top Griffey Acquisitions lists in the past, so I couldn’t not give this thing a mention.
1993 Mothers Cookies Mariners Team Set
Mother’s Cookies made a lot of Griffey cards, but for some reason this one from 1993 is the toughest to find. I had to buy the entire team set to get one which was fine with me as it also included PC’s Dan Wilson and Jay Buhner.
1993 Topps Finest #110 4x6 Jumbo
It was the Golden Age of jumbos for the sake of jumbos…
1993 Upper Deck Fifth Anniversary #A1 10x12 Jumbo
I mean, really. The Golden Age. Just the case this thing came in is weighty and darn impressive. Photographed with giant baby for scale.
1994 Mothers Cookies #4
Another gem from the cookie-era.
1994 Studio Gold Series Stars #4 #/5000
I’ve had the silver one for ages and it’s so nice that I always wondered how it wasn’t serial-numbered. I only just learned about these even coming in gold and finally with some well-deserved serial numbers.
1994 Topps Spanish x3
How many of these did Topps even make? They are super tough to find.
1995 Score Platinum Team Sets Seattle Mariners
Here’s another set I bought in its entirety in order to get not just the two Griffeys therein but also some beautiful cards for Randy Johnson, both Martinez(es? ez? ‘s?), Jay Buhner, and Dan Wilson. The cost of the whole set was actually less than the cost of the two Griffeys alone. Fun fact, and many of you more seasoned collectors may already know this: if you want a specific card from a scarce set, be sure to price the full set, too. Oftentimes it is around the same price or even cheaper than the single card you’re after. I’ve seen this time and time again with Griffey cards. It still boggles my mind.
1995 Upper Deck #100 Electric Diamond Gold
I busted a TON of this product back in the ‘90’s and again in 2013 and only ever pulled two Electric Diamond Golds: Jim Abbott and Jeff Conine. Not bad pulls, but I’ve known for a while the Griffey was going to be a challenge. One finally fell in my lap very late this year which was great timing as I needed it for the 1996 Beckett Tribute checklist. There’s nothing special about the card apart from the color of the foil, so I should resent it; but I love ’95 Upper Deck enough that the worst this card gets from me is mild indifference.
1996 Leaf Limited Pennant Craze #4
Mid-90’s Leaf is some of my favorite cardboard, especially when it’s not cardboard but FELT! So felty!
1996 Leaf Statistical Standouts #/2500
Another mid-90’s leaf, Statistical Standouts was a perennially tough pull. They’ve even held their value pretty well over the years. So they remain relatively tough to this day. It’s a great insert timeline, though.
1996 Select Certified League Preview #1 (w/ Hideo Nomo)
This is a very pretty card from the days when Hideo Nomo was the hottest name in the hobby. That sidearm thing had everybody fah-reaking out and paying $12.00 or more for common base cards. I remember it well. This was probably a $100 card back then.
1996 Studio Press Proof Gold /500
Just a rare parallel from a time when rare parallels seemed somehow even rarer.
1997 Donruss Fabric of the Game Superstar Material #5 #/500
Fabric of the Game was a tiered insert with two Griffeys in it of which this is the slightly rarer one. While this card is made of wood, other cards in the set were made with more unusual materials such as leather which I would have liked to see.
1997 Finest #342
This year’s Finest base set was multi-tiered in terms of rarity, and of all the Griffeys in all the tiers, this is the rarest one. There is also a refractor, an embossed, and an embossed refractor which you should just give up on right now because you’re never going to own it. Except you, magicpapa – you totally own it.
1997 Fleer #206 Tiffany
This almost made the Top 30 list because the Tiffany parallel from this year was such a tough pull at roughly one per box. This doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that the base set was huge, so landing a specific player was much harder. I had never even seen one of these until I got this Griffey in the mail - they just don’t come up for sale often. If you see one for your PC guy, stay on it until it’s yours.
1997 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle #10 (w/ Bagwell, Young, Caminiti, Jones, Piazza, Bonds, Burks, Sheffield, Smoltz, Thomas, Knoblauch, Thome, A-rod, I-rod, Belle, Gonzalez, Pettitt)
It’s a 90’s collector’s dream! So much love and so much ire on one card, and with Dufex printing no less!
1997 Pinnacle X-Press Melting Pot Samples #6
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ve got to love a card of which there are more samples in the world than the card being sampled. I still haven’t pinned down the real deal, but I’m also in no hurry. I already have the sample, you see.
1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars Cross Training #2 #/1000
Here is the rarest non-parallel Griffey you can get from 1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars, a set burgeoning with cool, serial-numbered Griffeys.
1998 Pinnacle Epix Play Emerald #E1
These are complicated so I will save the in-depth description for a proper post. Suffice it to say that of the twelve total Griffeys there are to be had in this insert, this is the ninth rarest; and Emerald cards in general are the rarest color. I’m not confident I’ll ever find it in me to spend what is needed to complete this thing, but they are pretty.
1998 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle Collector Club Box Set #KEGR
This is Griffey’s card from the Pinnacle version of Topps Stadium Club, but as Pinnacle went bankrupt soon after the club was created it wasn’t around for long at all. The membership came with a t-shirt, so if anyone knows where there might be an XL of that laying around, I’ll pay handsomely. Like, Pinnacle t-shirt handsome.
1998 SP Authentic 300 HR Commemorative Trade Card
I also got the #/1300 jumbo commemorative card you traded this card for, but there’s something about the trade card that is so much cooler. I like to imagine this was pulled from a pack many years after the deadline passed, and everyone involved had a good laugh.
1998 Stadium Club Triumvirate #T16B
Everybody loves Triumvirate cards! Most collectors remember them from the ‘90’s, and those that don’t were reminded when Topps brought the insert back in the newest generations of Stadium Club. The insert, later renamed “3x3” (boo this), included two Griffeys per set for two years (1998 and 1999), each available in three parallels. That makes for a total of twelve Griffeys, some of which get awfully expensive, even now.
1998 Stadium Club Royal Court
It’s not all that rare – I just really like the design here. Purple cards FTW!
1998 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes Jumbo #GH 1
At a bar here in NOLA called “St. Joe’s,” there is a little piece of men’s room graffiti that I giggle at every time I go for some blueberry mojitos. It reads, “If you don’t like Morrissey, I don’t f***ing trust you.” Now, I like Morrissey. I don’t LOVE Morrissey, at least not enough to write such a powerful statement about him on a wall. But I recognize that to this person, if you like any music at all, you should be able to appreciate Morrissey as good music.
That is exactly how I feel about the stained glass effect of the amazing Gallery of Heroes inserts. Anyone who likes baseball cards at all should have some kind of appreciation for these. If you don’t like Gallery of Heroes, you can just get right on outta here. You are a bum. And you don’t like baseball cards.
Anyway, this is the jumbo version, and it’s just as beautiful as the regular-sized card.
1998 Upper Deck Unparalleled
Check out that wacky 90’s die-cutting!
1999 Skybox Metal Universe Diamond Soul #8
The lenticular fad went away back in 1995, but it wasn’t until this insert four years later that I actually liked a lenticular card. This is a gem of ‘90’s insert craziness.
I need a break from scanning, but before I go, here is a list of all the Pacific inserts I picked up in 2016:
1996 Pacific Crown Collection October Moments #OM06
1996 Pacific Prisms Fence Busters #FB-6
1996 Pacific Prisms Red Hot Stars #RH-7
1997 Pacific Fireworks #FW-11
1998 Pacific Crown Royale #125
1998 Pacific Crown Royale Cramer’s Choice Premium Jumbo
1998 Pacific Invincible Interleague Players AL #11A
1998 Pacific Invincible Team Checklists #26
1998 Pacific Paramount Cooperstown Bound #9
1998 Pacific Revolution Rookies and Hardball Heroes #28
1998 Pacific Invincible Interleague Players AL #11A
1999 Pacific Crown Collection Tape Measure #16
1999 Pacific Crown Royale Century 21 #9
1999 Pacific Paramount Personal Bests #32
2000 Pacific Aurora Dugout View Net-Fusions
2000 Pacific Aurora Scouting Reports #17
2000 Pacific Invincible Holographic Purple #41
2000 Pacific Paramount Cooperstown Bound #9
2000 Pacific Paramount Double Vision #33
2000 Pacific Paramount Maximum Impact #17
2000 Pacific Revolution Foul Pole Net-Fusions #7
2000 Pacific Revolution Triple Header #12
2000 Pacific Revolution Season Opener #12
2000 Pacific Vanguard Cosmic Force #5
2001 Pacific AL Decade's Best #13
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!