For most of the last three decades, Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards sat near the top of the hobby mountain.

The popularity of Junior cards climbed steadily through his first 11 years with the Seattle Mariners and then jumped into the stratosphere when he came “home” to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2000 season. Unfortunately for the Reds and Griffey, that marriage turned out not to be quite the dream match-up we all envisioned, and Griffey’s star dimmed, just a bit, as his numbers tumbled and other superstars stepped into the spotlight.

With the late-career exploits of Barry Bonds and the continued emergence of early-career greats like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro Suzuki, Griffey lost his top-of-mind spot among many sectors of collectors.

But make no mistake — Griffey was always there, plugging along with solid stats even as h1990-Fleer-Box-Bottom-Ken-Griffeyis lithe body grew thicker and even as it became clear that he wouldn’t quite achieve the career milestones many had predicted for him. And all the while, he stayed clear of the PED fray that dragged down the reputations of those who had overshadowed him, and in 2010, he retired with the Mariners … what could have been better?

As it turns out, Griffey wasn’t quite done, because in January of 2016, as the game was emerging from the clouds of the Steroid Era in earnest, Junior was elected to the Hall of Fame, being named on the highest percentage of ballots — 99.32% — ever and topping the great Tom Seaver’s mark of 98.84%. (Until Mariano Rivera toppled everyone’s Cooperstown cart, that is!)

That election was the red ribbon tied around the party-papered box of Griffey’s career, and his Cooperstown induction in July will be the bow. In the meantime, Griffey’s baseball cards still sit near the top of the mountain, ratcheted up perhaps a bit from their pre-2016 levels, but undeniable leaders among modern pasteboards.

If Griffey had been born 20 years earlier, getting a handle on his cards would be relatively easy, and you would even1990-Topps-Baseball-Glossy-Rookies-Ken-Griffey-Jr have a decent chance to collect them all and amass a Junior master set. But since he debuted in the early years of the card explosion and helped hasten its advent, Griffey has been the subject of thousands of cards, making it nearly impossible to track them all. That doesn’t mean you can’t wade through the mass, though, and zero in on the issues that matter most to you.

All you need is a guide.

Luckily, we’ve done that leg work for you.

What follows is a comprehensive guide to Ken Griffey, Jr., baseball cards, courtesy of some of the best Junior resources on the web. We’ve organized these links into convenient chapters to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, but you just might want to read the whole thing.

After all, there’s only one Griffey, Jr., but there are thousands of ways to collect him.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1

The Minor Leagues

Junior was just 17 years old when the Seattle Mariners drafted him in June of 1987, so it wasn’t too surprising that they sent him to Low-A Bellingham to begin his professional career. Also not shocking was the fact that the talented youngster made short work of Seattle’s minor league system, stopping in San Bernardino and Vermont in 1988 before opening the ’89 season in the Bigs.

Those short two years may have seemed like an eternity for Griffey and anxious fans, but it also gave future collectors a little bonus: minor league cards of The Kid.

Here are the best places on the web to learn about Griffey’s pre-rookie issues.

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Chapter 2

The Rookies

Of course, the Ken Griffey, Jr., baseball card journey gets serious beginning with his 1989 rookie cards, and there are plenty from which to choose. Here is a rundown of each of those 1989 cards, along with the best web resources to give you the full scoop on each one.

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Chapter 3

The Masters

Some collectors just have to have everything and, even if that’s not realistic, you at least might want to know about everything. When it comes to “everything” in the world of Ken Griffey, Jr., pasteboards, the universe consists of 10,000+ different cards. While you may never amass even a fraction of a Junior “master set,” these pages will help you keep tabs on what’s out there, and some of them will inspire you with their ambition in piecing together astounding Griffey collections.

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Chapter 4

Best of the Best

Aside from “all-time great,” Griffey defied categorization during his career, and so do some of the best Griffey card resources on the web. From Top-10 lists to Junior card galleries, these pages don’t fit neatly into a particular shoebox, but they’re must-read material for any Griffey enthusiast.

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Chapter 5

Price Guide

While standard out-of-the-pack baseball cards lost much of their value during the bust years, there is still plenty of action on the secondary market for premium, graded, and superstar cards. Many of Griffey’s issues fit that bill on multiple fronts, and collectors understandably want to know what their Junior cards are worth.

These pages can help you keep tabs on the Ken Griffey, Jr., baseball cards market while also giving you plenty of inspiration for continuing to build out your own collection.

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