20. 1998 Topps Stars Galaxy #G5 Silver #/75
This year of Topps Stars has some real monsters, the coolest of which are these Galaxy cards. There are no easy pulls from this set – the most common being the #/100 Bronze parallel. These silvers fell at just shy of 1:1000, but there were also Gold and Gold Rainbow version that go up to 1:13k packs. Nope.
19. 1997 Fleer Goudey Greats #2 Foil
At 1:800 (or 1:22 BOXES) of Series 1 only, these puppies are some of the scarcest insert parallels of the ‘90’s. While I don’t know how many are out there (I have guesses), I can only confirm that there are not freakin' many. Then again they’re not super well-known or sought after – probably because they’re pretty plain, TBH – so if you find one you can grab for a reasonable sum, I suggest you go for it.
18. 1992 Lime Rock Hologram #2 Autograph #/500 w/ COA
I'm not certain whether this one is one of the "official" pre-2000 Griffey autograph cards (I think this one may be up for debate), but even if it isn't, it's still a Griffey autograph, innit?
17. 2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Legendary Numbers Dual Relics #LN-22 Platinum Blue #/7 (w/ Willie Mays)
I mean, it has a piece of Willie Mays’ jersey on it is obviously the main thing here. The tattered look of vintage relics, am I right? Pretty thing.
16. 2005 Upper Deck MLB Artifacts Auto Facts Autograph #JR #/699
Not all autographs are created equal, and I just really liked the look of this one. Also most of the signatures I’ve seen on these are in blue ink, but this one is black. I don’t know why that made such an impression on me, but it did. The fact that it’s on-card sealed the deal.
15. 2017 Leaf Q Autograph Aqua #/15
I don’t think collectors take today’s Leaf too seriously, but I really like their stuff (they've been on several of these lists even appearing at #1 just last year, and they make up a whopping 13% of this year's Top 30). Take this Q brand. While many of their recent offerings are rehashed versions of classic Leaf products, Q is all original, and they look really good. This particular one was priced way too low for my liking, and for that I will not stand.
14. 1997 Pinnacle New Pinnacle Keeping the Pace #4
I decided to finish off all the Pinnacle flagship Griffeys in 2020, and while I did try to justify not including those from the one-off “new Pinnacle” set, in the end I had to get them as they are Pinnacle flagship Griffeys any way you slice them. Of the three big hit Griffeys I needed to complete that set, the least scarce and the most expensive was this, the bold & beautiful Keeping the Pace insert.
13. 1998 Pinnacle Epix #E1 Game Emerald & all three Header Cards
Any Emerald from this set is a prize, but I was more excited about the stupid header cards which are a major pain to track down. I’m only one Emerald short of the complete run of officially-released Epix Griffeys (there are a handful of the unreleased Emerald Moments out there that were backdoored, but that’s none of my business….).
12. 1989 Donruss Sealed Rack Pack w/ 2 visible Griffey Rookies
I have a confession: I bought this specifically because I did not believe it could exist. The moment it came in the mail I started looking it over for signs of tampering. Slits, broken seals, signs of resealing - anything. Of course I found nothing out of the
ordinary extraordinary which should come as no surprise as it made it onto the list. My new favorite sealed pack Griffey.
11. 2010 Topps Chrome #28 Gold Refractor #/50
One seriously tough parallel of Junior’s sunset Chrome card, and I would like to mention that this scan does not do it justice. The insertion ratios of 1:232 hobby/1:775 retail aren’t insurmountable, but factor in the 220-card base set and these puppies become near-impossible pulls. I acquired this one directly from a man whose claim to fame is collecting the complete rainbow of this card in both the regular and Chrome versions, including printing plates and the 1/1 SuperFractor. The man is a beast.
Okay, Top Ten coming up next. Don't get your hopes up too much - this is still 2020 we're talking about. Thanks for reading.