One of the best all-around players major league baseball has ever seen, Griffey amassed a record 6,079,688 votes for the 1994 All-Star Game. This surpassed the old record by nearly two million.
A thirteen-time All-Star, he is one of the most prolific home run hitters in history. His 630 home runs rank as the seventh-most of all-time.
Here’s a roundup with a trio of the best Ken Griffey Jr. cards, along with our thoughts on the current state of the resale market.
The Best Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Cards
As you may have guessed, it’s generally agreed that the best Ken Griffey Jr. cards are his rookie options. They were released in all major sets in 1989.
3. 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr. RC #41T (eBay)
Ken Griffey Jr.’s rookie card is undoubtedly the key to the 1989 Topps Traded set, even if it was vastly overproduced as a product of the junk wax era.
It’s a simple card, featuring a profile shot of the player with a bat slung over his left shoulder.
It’s arguably the most aesthetically pleasing RC from Griffey’s collection. His name and team found on a tag at the bottom.
Of course, anything other than a pristine version is worth peanuts, such was the number of collectors who were smart enough to hold onto their copies at the time.
2. 1989 Bowman Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr. RC #220 (eBay)
Heading over to the 1989 Bowman release, Tiffany cards differentiated from the originals by being printed on white cardstock with a high-gloss coating.
You’ll be able to find a Griffey Jr. rookie card that has been given the treatment, featuring the player on one knee as he poses for a profile shot on the training field.
The addition of a facsimile autograph helps the card to stand out from the others, and it’s great if you’re hoping for a more traditional look and feel.
1. 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. RC #1 (eBay)
The Star Rookies subset is found in the landmark 1989 Upper Deck set, with a collection of 26 cards.
Among them is the iconic Ken Griffey Jr. RC. It features a close-up of the player as he grins at the camera with a bat in hand.
It’s one of the more memorable cards from the era. That has translated to an abundance of copies in the present day.
Many have retained little to no value, but demand does exceed supply if you’re looking at pristine PSA 10 graded copies.
Ken Griffey Jr. Cards: Buyers Guide
Here are our thoughts on the current Ken Griffey Jr. card market, as well as his investment potential.
One of the benefits of being a rookie during the junk wax era is that it’s never tough to locate copies. Especially if you’re willing to look at lower grades.
For example, a PSA 9 copy of the 1989 Upper Deck RC is roughly $200, compared to roughly $1,700 for a PSA 10 version.
Alternatives include the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card found in 1989 Donruss.
The best card from an investment perspective is likely to be a PSA 10 grade featuring one of Griffey’s top rookie cards. Otherwise, there are just too many copies on the market. It is still oversaturated 30 years after they were originally released.
Ken Griffey Jr. Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
In 2016, Griffey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving 99.32% of the vote.
He obviously ticks all of the boxes if you’re looking for HoF investments, and then some.
In fact, there’s never been a player that I’ve been more certain of in terms of reputation and temperament. He’s respected by the wider community, as well as within baseball.
His collection of RCs might have been overproduced to the point of minor deforestation, but PSA 10 copies are still a valid long-term investment if you’re hoping for safer options within the hobby.
Griffey Jr. rookie cards don’t have the smallest print run, but anyone interested in card collecting is likely to have heard of his best options.