If you were a young baseball fan during the late ’80s and early-mid ’90s, chances are you collected baseball cards and were a fan of Ken Griffey Jr. Junior just embodied cool. He had a great smile, always had his hat turned backwards, hit home runs, made great catches, and man, did he just have the prettiest swing in the world.
If you collected cards back then, chances are you had at least one Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card in your collection. If you did, that’s nothing compared to the collection Griffey had of himself.
Griffey Jr. spoke with Sporting News’ Chris Littman about the 25-year anniversary of the former Seattle Mariners center fielder’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card. Among the notable details Griffey shared about the card were that it was Photoshopped, and that he owns quite a few copies of it.
“I got a few … over 100,” Griffey Jr. told Sporting News. “I have the bigger version of that. A couple of those, too. I don’t have a hundred, but I have a couple.”
Griffey Jr. also says the card was Photoshopped.
“That was actually the first, pretty much,” Griffey said. “That baseball card was me in a San Bernardino uniform, they just Photoshopped it.
“If you notice, the Mariners had the blue stripe down the center of the shirt. That one doesn’t have it. And if you look at the hat closely enough, you’ll see the trim of the red where the yellow is.”
So it sounds like Photoshop was in even before the program was invented!
Griffey went on to make his major league debut at 19, hit .300 and became an All-Star in his second full season at 20, and he led the league in home runs four times with the Mariners, winning MVP in 1997. He retired in 2010 and will be a lock for the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.
All this talk about his rookie card has me feeling nostalgic and like I want to buy a pack of cards. Is there a better feeling than the suspense of opening up a pack to see what you get?
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