Top 10 Ken Griffey Jr. Cards

Top 10 Ken Griffey Jr. Cards

When it comes to the modern hobby, there's nobody in baseball as beloved as Ken Griffey Jr. Even today, he's still one of the most collected players around. Being at the forefront of many of the trading card innovations from the 1990s, there's literally thousands of amazing Ken Griffey Jr. cards to choose from.

Check out our Ken Griffey Jr. Card and Memorabilia Guide.

Here are 10 Ken Griffey Jr. cards that have left a lasting impression on the hobby. Some may not be the rarest and others aren't the most valuable, but they all have made a major impact on the hobby.

1987 Bellingham Mariners #15

Regarded as the first official Ken Griffey Jr. card, it shows "The Kid" with his first professional team, the Single-A Bellingham Mariners. Design-wise, little stands out for the team-issued card. Given its historical significance, it's reasonably priced. Gem Mint graded copies can be found for around $200.

1989 Topps Traded Tiffany #41T

The regular 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card suffers from being massively overproduced. However, the 1989 Topps Traded Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr. card benefits from a relatively limited print run (although not confirmed like some other Topps Tiffany sets, it's believed to be 15,000 copies) and a glossy finish.

1989 Topps sometimes gets a bad wrap simply based on its plentiful quantities. That shouldn't take away from the fun look. It also has one of the best Griffey photos among his rookie-year cards. Fans of the Tiffany cards may also want to consider the 1989 Bowman Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr, which is more limited but not nearly as nice a looking card.

1989 Upper Deck #1

It's not an understatement to say the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. changed the hobby. The first card in the first official set from a company that pushed the boundaries of the hobby, it's one of the most iconic cards ever made. Sure, they may have been printed by the brick and they don't hold the same value as they once did but that doesn't make the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. card any less classic.

1993 Topps Finest Refractor #110

It's hard to imagine the hobby today without Refractors. Topps launched the popular insert in 1993 with an extremely limited print run. Today, any 1993 Topps Finest Refractor is held in high regard. It just happens that Griffey's is held even higher than most.

1994 Upper Deck Mickey Mantle/Ken Griffey Jr. Dual Autograph

Back in 1994, autograph cards were still relatively new and tough to come by. So when Upper Deck paired Griffey with Mickey Mantle, the dual autograph became an instant hobby classic. Limited to 1,000 copies, the card also comes in individually signed versions.

1997 E-X2000 A Cut Above #2

The mid- to late-1990s were filled with strange inserts. Few capture this more than 1997 E-X2000 A Cut Above. Inserted 1:288 packs, these extremely tough cards are die-cut into a circular saw blade. The shiny foil board add further flair. There are several other rare inserts from this era that could also be up for discussion, however this particular Ken Griffey Jr. card mixes both the rarity and the look.

Also worth mentioning is the 1998 E-X2001 Destination Cooperstown Griffey. These inserts were even tougher, falling 1:720 packs. However, they don't have nearly the visual appeal of A Cut Above.

1997 Flair Showcase Legacy Masterpieces 1/1

Today, one-of-one cards are a part of nearly every set. Many of them no longer get much attention. But that wasn't always the case. When Fleer introduced one-of-a-kind cards in 1997 Flair Showcase Baseball, they stirred up lots of conversation. It was an acknowledgment that rarity was a driving factor in the hobby, with sets trying to outdo each other. Once this set took the ultimate step, there was no turning back. The set featured a tiered base set where every player had three different cards: Row 0, Row 1 and Row 2. Numbering and style for each were different. Because of the tiered structure, each player also had three different one-of-one Masterpiece cards.

Not surprisingly, it was Griffey's cards who led the charge. According to BaseballCardPedia, a collector bought two of the cards shortly after release for nearly $30,000. The collector who pulled the third one-of-one allegedly turned down an offer of more than $20,000.

An image wasn't available, but here's Griffey's Row 1 base card. Masterpieces are noted by numbering on the back and purple foil lettering.

1997 Upper Deck Baseball Game Jersey #GJ1

Believe it or not, there was a small window of time when game-used jersey cards held tremendous value and appeal. For baseball, memorabilia cards can be traced back to 1997 Upper Deck, which included one of three jersey cards every 800 packs. Tough in their own right, they became iconic for their part in launching one of the biggest trends in hobby history. While collectors still clamor for the Tony Gwynn and Rey Ordonez cards from the set, it's the Ken Griffey Jr. card that became the face of all the game-used baseball cards that followed.

2004 Upper Deck Piece of History 500 Club

With its elegant design and cross-generational checklist, Upper Deck's Piece of History 500 Club is on of the greatest insert sets the hobby has ever seen. How appropriate then that Griffey, the face of the company since the beginning, was added to the set in 2004.

Inserted randomly in boxes of 2004 Upper Deck Etchings, regular versions with a game-used bat piece are limited to 350 copies. Autographed bat versions are numbered to 25.

2005 Upper Deck Reflections Dual Signature (with Ken Griffey Sr.)

Perhaps the greatest father-son combo to ever play the game, Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. even spent a little time playing together with the Mariners. Upper Deck paired up their signatures in 2005 Upper Deck Reflections. The card has several similar versions of varying rarity, including some with jersey swatches.

Do you have a favorite Ken Griffey Jr. card? Feel free to comment below.

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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

User Comments

  1. I will own one of the Griffey/Mantle auto cards one day! Hopefully in less than 5 years.

  2. I miss the days of collecting baseball cards. lets go back to the early 90s

  3. I have a 1998 Topps Gold Label HOME RUN RACE HR3 that is a RED LABEL, not a black or gold label, but have no idea where to find out what it is worth. Anyone help me?

  4. I have a griffey jr rookie card i can’t find it in any magazine or website. Anyone have a idea on how to price it?

  5. Louie (ID 70200) » A card is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. What is the year / brand of the card? Look in the small print on the back and see what year the card was copyrighted/printed. There are lots of unlicensed and oddball Griffey cards from manufacturers that tried to cash in on his popularity after his 1989 rookie year by making cards in the early 90’s that they incorrectly marked as rookie cards. The only way to find the “real” value of the card is to search completed auctions on eBay. If there are none, you’ve most likely misidentified the brand or year or the card simply isn’t worth much of anything. Though you can always take it into your local hobby shop just to be sure.

  6. Could this card really exists?

    I have never seen this listed any ware ..
    till it was listed on ebay last month.


    If it is really what is says this must be the card to own for the collector…

  7. Nice collection. I have some of these in my huge collection of Griffey Jr. and I am looking to sell it all. Cards, Starting Lineups, autographs, unique packs and items. I have two sons and it is time to sell and build their college funds. Let me know if you are interested or if you know anyone that might be interested. Thanks, Harry

  8. I have a 1989/1990 Ken Griffey Jr card with stats on back. Printed by pepsi. Any one want it? What is value, I am not a collector. Found it, it’s the only card I have.

  9. Hey everyone i have a 1/1 2010/2011 heroes and prospects Ken Griffey Jr. In the game game used grandslam memorabilia the nike sign from batting glove.Wondering if anyone could estimate a value on it thanks

  10. Regarding the Top 10 Griffey cards, I have a question.

    On Ebay somebody’s selling a box of 1989 Topps RACK PACKS with the subtitle “Look for Griffey!”

    I thought his Topps rookie was a Topps Traded card. If so, the card could not possibly be found in a 1989 rack pack (Traded cards being printed BEFORE the regular 1989 set.)

    Am I wrong ?

  11. Mark Nolan » You are correct. If they’re Topps rack packs, there’s no Griffey. He was in Donruss, Fleer and UD packs but only the Score and Topps traded box sets.

  12. I have a Ken GriffeyJr. Topps Rookies commemorative card #11 of 33 but it is uncut between Craig Worthington #28 and Omar Visquel #33. Is it worth less because it is in a “threesome” ?!!

  13. Forgot to put that is from 1989

  14. Hello

    I have been working on collecting the 2007 sp by the letter set of griffey jr’s last name, or at least I think? I have the R, and 2 E’s each Card is a print run to 20. I have never seen the G, F, I, or Y and can not find any where if they even exist. I have however seen those letters in the 2006 and I think 2008 by the letter griffey’s. I guess what I’m getting at do they exist? Or does the 2007 b.t.l griffey’s spell out R,E,D,S but then again I’ve never seen the d or s. Or is this part of the upper deck scam where they give redemption cards out that have expired or they claim they don’t have that card and send you something comparable (that’s happened to me 3 times) or am I supposed to get letters from different years to complete it? I’m sure that if they do exist its possible that I haven’t found them since each card only has a print run to 20, I’ve looked and looked can anyone help?

  15. Hi,
    I have a 2004 upper deck a piece of history 500 club GU bat / auto of Ken Griffey Jr. and find a pricing. Was wondering if this is because it rare and what the price of it might be

  16. The last 2 500 HR Club Auto’s sold for around $3400. I would be interested in the card and would pay more than that.
    If you still have the card please shoot me a message at


  17. I have 3 Ken Griffey cards. 1 is a 1989 Topps traded Ex 5 #41T, and two Mint one Dunruss 1989 graded Mint 8 with grade date and signature of grader number 33, other is Fleer graded Mint 9 number 548 with date and signature of grader. Please contact me if interested via email at

  18. 1989 UPPER DECK-

    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Full vivid color frontal, black & white Bob Welch on the backside.
    Any insight as to the rarity & possible value of this item?
    I’ve researched and up to this point I have been unsuccessful & have not seen another like it, so please any feedback is welcomed, thanks…

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