Showing posts with label Griffey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Griffey. Show all posts


Ken Griffey Jr., 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

Names: Ken Griffey Jr. and random grandma
Teams: Seattle Mariners, Team Upper Deck
Positions: Outfield, grandma
Value of card: Back in her day, this card would have cost about what it's worth now
Key 1994 stat: One meal on wheels
Let's go to Seattle for a cross-generational Matchup: 

Round 1: Looks better in a hat (Winner: Griffey)
Round 2: Makes a better apple crumble (Winner: Grandma)
Round 3: Smells more like mothballs (Winner: Grandma)
Round 4: Weeks away from an debilitating injury (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: More apt to swat a baseball (Winner: Griffey)
Round 6: More apt to swat a behind (Winner: Grandma)
Round 7: Cringing slightly from unwanted physical contact (Winner: Grandma)

Final score: Grandma 4, Griffey 2 (Ties: 1)

Synopsis: Grandma took The Kid to the woodshed in this Matchup, but she'll still make him that apple crumble. Thanks, Grandma!

Card submitted by John Stoddert


Barry Bonds (and Ken Griffey Jr.), 1996 Upper Deck (V.J. Lovero Showcase Week No. 1)

Name: Barry Bonds (feat. Ken Griffey Jr.)
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Overbidding in the Showcase Showdown on "The Price is Right"
Key 1995 stat: Five fingers (that's four more than he usually gave photographers)
Just in time for the MLB playoffs, it's V.J. Lovero Showcase Week: When talented Sports Illustrated photographer V.J. Lovero died in 2004, he left behind many great baseball images, as well as one of the most ridiculous baseball card subsets of all time, the 1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase. This week, we're highlighting seven of the most absurd shots from that collection, all intended to show MLB stars at their most colorful (and we all know how well that's turned out before).
Something's amiss: There's something unusual about this card, but we just can't put our finger on it. It's not Griffey, with his hat turned backward, smile on his face       the Kid always seemed to be smiling in the mid-'90s. It's definitely not Barry, waving away a member of the media with a look of displeasure. That's par for the course. It's not even that ad on the fence for Arrowhead Water, so cool and refreshing after a day (OK, three innings) of patrolling the outfield during a spring training game. Wait a sec ... spring training ... that's it! A cloudy day in Phoenix? Unheard of. What, did it start raining toads next?


Ken Griffey Jr., 1992 Upper Deck Looney Tunes Comic Ball

Names: Ken Griffey Jr., Bugs Bunny
Team: Seattle Mariners
Positions: Outfield, down a hole
Value of card: 12 rabbit pellets
Key 1991 stat: Zero seats filled in stadium despite image being Photoshopped
It's time for a Looney Tunes edition of The Matchup:

Round 1: Worldwide fame (Winner: Bugs)
Round 2: Mustache "whiskers" (Winner: Tie)
Round 3: Lack of embarrassing buck teeth (Winner: Griffey)
Round 4: Righteous blue glove (Winner: Griffey)
Round 5: Shocking sexual innuendo (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Cool custom hat (Winner: Bugs)
Round 7: Anatomical correctness (Winner: Griffey)

Score: Griffey 3, Bugs 2, Ties 2

Synopsis: The laugh-a-minute cartoon rabbit put up an impressive fight, but, in the end, the turtleneck beat the hare.

Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp


Ken Griffey Jr., 1990 Post Collector Series

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners (good thing they labeled it)
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One vending machine gold chain
Key 1989 stat: 17,852 bowls of cereal eaten
It's time for a snap, crackle, pop quiz:

What kind of cereal included this card in one of its boxes?

(A) Honey Bunches of Nothing
(B) Bland Flakes
(C) Lacking Charms
(D) Nut N' Honey (No, really: nothing)
(E) Fruity Players
(F) Special-Needs K
(G) Total (Debacle)
(H) Absence Jacks
(I) Jimmy Dean Sausage Balls
(J) Urkel-Os
(K) None of the above


Future Heroes Checklist, 1993 Upper Deck

Names: Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Roger Clemens, Roberto Alomar, Barry Bonds, Kirby Puckett, Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez
Teams: Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A's, Texas Rangers
Positions: First base, outfield, pitcher, second base, outfield, outfield, first base, outfield
Value of card: More bad than good
Key 1993 stat: Too many players on one baseball card
Heroes vs. zeros: In 1993, Upper Deck produced a subset called "Future Heroes" with cards featuring eight individual players, plus the above frightening checklist. These guys were among the best in baseball at the time, but did they pan out as heroes? Let's break it down.

Frank Thomas
The Good: .301 career batting average, 521 home runs. ... Was a South Side staple for 16 years. ... Advocated for drug testing in baseball as early as 1995. ... Had a video game named after him. ... Infectious smile. ... Awesome nickname. ... Hall-of-Fame lock.
The Bad: Video game wasn't all that great. ... According to Baseball Card Bust, he was a ladies' man and played with explosives in his bat. ... Sour end to his time with the White Sox. ... That's pretty much it.
Verdict: Hero

Ken Griffey Jr.
The Good: .284 career batting average, 630 home runs. ... Some of the most spectacular defensive plays you'll ever see. ... Made the Mariners relevant. ... Drove up interest among young people in baseball (until the strike, that is). ... Released a series of wines to help fund charities. ... Had a series of video games named after him. ... Pretty good nickname. ... Hall-of-Fame lock.
The Bad: Again, video games left something to be desired. ... Could have been the all-time home run king if not for all those injuries. ... Trade to the Reds stunned fans in Seattle and across the nation. ... According to Baseball Card Bust, posed for a quasi-adult magazine and starred in a mind-numbing TV show. ... Looks kind of shady on this card.
Verdict: Hero

Roger Clemens
The Good: 354 wins, 4,672 strikeouts, career 3.12 ERA. ... Hmm, we'll have to get back to you on the rest.
The Bad: Steroid accusations, adultery accusations, throwing-a-bat-at-Mike-Piazza accusations. ... Completely torqued off at least two fan bases (Boston and Toronto). ... Once threw at his own son in a game.
Verdict: Zero

Roberto Alomar
The Good: .300 career batting average, 474 stolen bases, 210 home runs. ... Hall of Famer. ... Able to survive long winter nights in Canada.
The Bad: Spat in an umpire's face. ... Accused by two women, including his wife, of not telling them he had HIV. ... Made his brother play catcher all the time.
Verdict: Zero

Barry Bonds
The Good: .298 career batting average, 762 home runs, 514 stolen bases. ... While in San Francisco, his head grew large enough to shade his teammates at third base and shortstop, which is pretty nice.
The Bad: Steroids-palooza. ... Not exactly well-regarded by teammates, media, fans, children, dogs and four out of five dentists. ... Convicted of obstructing justice (and not David, either). ... According to Baseball Card Bust, was a career criminal.
Verdict: Zero

Kirby Puckett
The Good: .318 career batting average and one of the most memorable World Series home runs. ... Excelled as a big-leaguer despite being only 4-foot-2. ... Known for community service (other than keeping area restaurants in business). ... Beloved by Twins fans. ... Hall of Famer. ... Name was Kirby.
The Bad: According to Baseball Card Bust, became addicted to billiards and bad sweaters. ... Accused of abusing women who weren't Marge Schott. ... After retirement, couldn't stop eating, which contributed to his early death.
Verdict: Inconclusive

Mark McGwire
The Good: 583 career home runs, including a then-record-breaking 70 in 1998 that helped baseball recover from the strike scandal. ... One of the most storied mullets in all of professional sports history (see the above card for proof). ... Survived a massive earthquake by playing baseball. ... Appears to be depicted as one of the guys from Metallica on this card. ... According to Baseball Card Bust, was more patriotic than Uncle Sam and George Washington combined.
The Bad: Steroids, steroids, steroids. ... Spent time with Jose Canseco. ... Undid all that good work helping baseball recover from one scandal by starting another.
Verdict: Zero

Juan Gonzalez
The Good: .295 career batting average, 434 home runs. ...Overcame rough start in Puerto Rico that probably involved this slum lord. ... Pretty cool nickname. ... Even better mustache. ... And even better eyebrows, at least in the above card.
The Bad: In the Mitchell Report. ... Been married almost as many times as Larry King. ... Friends with George W. Bush. ... According to Baseball Card Bust, made a lewd gesture on a card.
Verdict: Zero

Synopsis: Congratulations if you're actually still reading this. But no congrats to Upper Deck, which misfired on six of its eight "future heroes." Nice work, guys. What, you couldn't fit Rafael Palmeiro and Lenny Dykstra on here?


Ken Griffey, 1988 Fleer

Name: Ken Griffey (not "The Kid")
Team: Atlanta Braves (the awkwardly racist logo version)
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Two feathers from a brave Indian chief
Key 1987 stat: One golden child
10 of Ken Griffey's biggest accomplishments in life:
10) Playing Major League Baseball
9) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
8) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
7) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
6) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
5) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
4) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
3) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
2) Fathering Ken Griffey Jr.
1) Eating 26 waffles and 14 chicken thighs at Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles in Atlanta


Ken Griffey Jr., 1991 Score All-Star

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Center field
Value of card: Three broken crayons
Key 1990 stat: Size 27-¾ cap
10 reasons Griffey's head is so big:
10) He knows he has the best mustache of all the eighth-graders.
9) He's proud of having baseball in his blood.
8) As a Mariner, he's a skilled seaman. (rim shot)
7) Somehow, mysteriously, his neck's mass flowed into his cranium and disappeared.
6) He had to grow it that big to fit into the only helmet the team would give him.
5) He always knew he'd be the subject of a fine work of art, again.
4) Supermodels would kill for his legs.
3) He's trying to entice the army of faceless zombies behind him by showing off his massive brain.
2) He's impressed by his own illustrated bulge.
1) Elephantiasis


Ken Griffey Jr., 1992 Upper Deck

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Your glasses from 20 years ago
Key 1991 stat: A whole mess of home runs
An unsatisfying punchline:

Q: How many Kids does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: We're not sure. The first two got off to a great start, but the third one keeps getting hurt.


Ken Griffey Sr., Ken Griffey Jr., Craig Griffey, 1992 Upper Deck Bloodlines

Names: Ken Griffey Sr., clockwise from top, Ken Griffey Jr., Craig Griffey
Team: Seattle Mariners
Positions: Two of the three at the kids' table
Value of card: 3 cents (2 cents for Junior, 1 cent for Senior, zilch for Craig)
Key 1991 stat: Four family barbecues a month
It's time for The Matchup, Bloodlines version:

Round 1: Talent, baseball, 1990s-2000s (Winner: Griffey Jr.)
Round 2: Talent, baseball, 1970s-1980s (Winner: Griffey Sr.)
Round 3: Talent, sweeping floors, 1980s-2000s (Winner: Craig)
Round 4: Talent, blueberry muffin making (Winner: Craig)
Round 5: Talent, crocheting (Winner: Craig)
Round 6: Talent, hugs for Grandma Griffey (Winner: Craig)
Round 7: Talent, riding coattails (Winner: Craig)

Score: Craig 5, Junior 1, Senior 1

Synopsis: In a surprising turn of events, the surefire Hall of Famer and his all-star father go down to a little-known cousin for whom posing for a 1992 baseball card proved to be the closest he would ever get to the big leagues.


Ken Griffey Jr., 1991 Jimmy Dean Signature Edition

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners ... maybe
Position: Outfield
Value of card: 3 pounds of rotting sausage
Key 1990 stat: 3 pounds of rotting sausage, eaten
Just one of those cards: We here at the Bust could skewer this card with a Top 10, a Pop Quiz or a Scouting Report, but with a card this bad, we feel the need to be straightforward. Let's start with the uniform, or the lack thereof. Maybe ol' Jimmy Dean should have forked over the extra dough to the players association to at least make it appear Griffey played in the major leagues, rather than the Southern Sausage League. Then there's the Jimmy Dean logo. A cowboy boot "J"? That's witty, partner. Also, this is a "signature edition," yet no signature appears on the card? The red and yellow border is a nice touch, though. You don't want anyone to forget this card comes from a sausage company. Griffey didn't help matters much. Look close, his teenage mustache contains 18 hairs. He's making love to the camera and is close to making love to the bat. Bottom line: It's never good to see how the sausage card is made.



Ken Griffey Jr., 1990 Donruss Diamond King (Atrocious Diamond Kings Week, No. 7)

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One terrible drawing
Key 1989 stat: 17-inch neck
What makes this Diamond King so atrocious? It's an unfitting end to Atrocious Diamond Kings Week. Or is it? Sure, The Kid is one of the greatest players of all time, but when this approximate rendering of him was done, he had all of 127 games under his belt. How was that supposed to make grizzled veterans like Bryn Smith and Ed Whitson feel? And then there's the wonderful drawing on this card. Griffey's neck is bigger than his head, his hat appears to be orbiting around his hair, and the background looks like a Trapper Keeper jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and landed on the sun. So while Griffey may have in fact been a king of the diamond, this card is more like a Diamond Eunuch.


Ken Griffey Jr., 1989 Star

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: The Future
Value of card: One retirement
Key career stat: 1 million times asked what might have been
Goodbye, Kid: Ken Griffey Jr., seen above being interviewed by a man with a silver tabby cat on his head, announced his retirement from baseball Wednesday. Thus ends a spectacular career that could have been even better had Griffey's ligaments and bones not been made of wax paper. The 1997 AL MVP appeared in 13 All-Star games and hit 630 career home runs, fifth-most all time. He's a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but today, even more importantly, he becomes a Baseball Card Bust MBP — Most Busted Player. Let's relive some of his memorable moments here.
  • Old-timey Kid carries a sandwich around in his pocket.
  • Griffey Jr. and Sr.: From TV superstars to prostituted has-beens.
  • Junior the magician levitates bats, balls and hearts.
  • Griffey loses his only Matchup to Tubby and The Bone.
  • The Kid and some other potential MBPs shine.
  • Put on your sunglasses and prepare for the fuchsia.



1992 Stars of the Baseball Universe

Names, from bottom left: Frank Thomas, Nolan Ryan, Bo Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr.
Teams: Chicago White Sox (Thomas, Jackson), Texas Rangers (Ryan) Seattle Mariners (Griffey), Baltimore Orioles (Ripken)
Positions: First base (Thomas), Pitcher (Ryan), Outfield (Jackson, Griffey), Shortstop (Ripken)
Value of card: 3 ounces of moon rock
Key 1991 stat: Five stars, five descriptions
Five stars in orbit:

Thomasmetrica-35: Found approximately 14 million light years from Earth, Thomasmetrica-35 was a supergiant star, one of the biggest in the universe. It towered over other stars in the American League nebula, its gravitational power hitting its peak in the mid-1990s, before suddenly combusting into a red dwarf star, capable of few of its former feats.

Ryanitoba-5714: One of the oldest stars in the universe, Ryanitoba-5714 is crisscrossed by deep canyons, wrinkle-like, throughout its face. These crevices are actively viewed with the human eye in Texas, but in most other regions its popularity has waned with age.

Bo-hemia-34: This main sequence star is well-known for its fast rotation and the force of its sun bursts. This combination of speed and power has translated into a twofold existence: in the spring and summer, Bo-hemia-34 shrinks and becomes circular, with two endless red ridges; in the fall, it grows and elongates at its poles, sprouts one large white ridge at its center and turns brown. Books have been written about Bo-hemia-34's shape-shifting, only seen in one other major star, Deionistis-7.

Ofgriffey-2: Once a junior star to its closest relative, Ofgriffey-1, Ofgriffey-2 has grown massive, with immense popularity in the field and the ability to send its bursts into orbit. Despite its size, astronomers still refer to it by a nickname, "The Kid."

Ripkenocus-2632: This white dwarf has been counter-rotating at a record pace for 2,632 light years, the longest known counter rotation in the universe. This constant backward rotation has damaged the planets that rely on Ripkenocus-2632, as well as its exoskeleton, but it continues to spin and spin, as if only for assurance the record will never be broken.



Ken Griffey Jr., 1989 Premier Player Gold Edition

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Fuchsia
Key 1988 stat: What? I couldn't hear you over this card!
A ponderous question: At what point does a baseball card cease to be a baseball card and instead become pop art? Sure, Ken Griffey is a baseball player, and he's obviously about to take a pitch, bat in hand. But the rest of this card is grossly devoid of baseball (and taste). Instead, it looks like zombie Andy Warhol climbed out of his grave, threw up flowers on a canvas, pasted a picture of The Kid on top and added some gold leaf for effect. Huzzah!


Kevin Mitchell, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, 1993 Upper Deck Teammates

Names: Kevin Mitchell, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner
Teams: Seattle Mariners, Pacific Sock Exchange
Positions: Left, center and right field
Value of card: Five bats
Key 1992 stat: 490 socks exchanged
It's time for The Matchup, trio-style — 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie:

Round 1: Number of bats (Winner: Tie between Mitchell and Buhner)
Round 2: Stockiness (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 3: Lack of expression (Winner: Griffey)
Round 4: Boyish pranks (Winner: Buhner)
Round 5: Socks (Winner: Inconclusive, as they're constantly being exchanged)
Round 6: Sleeves (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 7: Best use of metal suitcase (Winner: Griffey)
Round 8: Mock turtlenecks: (Winner: Tie between Mitchell and Buhner)
Round 9: Bulge (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 10: Having same name as father (Winner: Griffey)

Final score: Mitchell 8, Griffey 6, Buhner 4


Ken Griffey Sr. & Jr., 1991 Mothers Cookie insert

Names: Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Positions: Left field, center field, respectively
Value of card: One adult magazine
Key 1990 stat: One family financial crisis
Dark days for the Griffey clan: Despite the cancellation of their TV sitcom, "Griffey and Son," the Griffey family seemed to be in good financial shape in 1990. But Junior's uncontrolled taxidermy purchases and growing collection of Russian nesting dolls soon tapped the household's resources. Father and son were forced into desperate measures, including a seedy photo shoot for Butt Fancy magazine. One of the few family-friendly pictures from the session is seen here. The photo spread, titled "King Domes," caused an uproar within the Seattle Mariners community. Team president Jeff Smulyan stepped in, loaning the pair money to live on — under the condition that Junior stop buying so many darned jackalopes.


Ken Griffey Jr., 1989 BaseBall Caramels

Name: Young Archibald Griffey the Kid
Team: Seattle Palestockings
Position: Second fielder
Value of card: Three shillings from the Old Country, good sir
Key 1989 stat: 'Twasn't statistics that were kept in a gentleman's game, 'twas feelings of good cheer
Griffey, circa 1886: In 2009, Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the Seattle Mariners for what could be his last season. This affords an opportunity to look back at "The Kid's" first year as a professional, 1886. Griffey was known as Young Archibald Griffey the Kid before changing his name to "Ken" before the start of the 1891 season. In 1886, Griffey played for the Seattle Palestockings of the Louisiana Purchase League. He hit two home runs, which led the league. As part of Major League Baseball rules in the 19th century, he always had a sandwich in his pants. Young Griffey was known to feast on delightful liverwurst while playing second fielder, one of the era's most important positions. Young Griffey had exceptional seasons in 1886 and 1887, but he lost the Most Valuable Gentleman award both years to his father, Sir Ken of the Griffey Clan, who first won the award in 1779.



Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr., 1989 Bowman

Names: Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Sr.
Teams: Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds
Positions: Outfield, actors
Value of card: Two easy payments of $19.95
Key 1988 stat: Three catch phrases
Previously on "Griffey and Son": While cleaning the house, which doubles as a junk store, Ken Sr. knocks over Jr.'s glass figurine collection. Trying to cover up the fact that he broke them, Sr. makes up a story about how the house was robbed and how he fought off the would-be criminals. In the process, Sr. is labeled a hero, but soon is forced to admit his fib. Ken Jr. threatens to quit baseball, causing Sr. to exclaim, "This one's for real, 'Lizabeth! I'm coming to ya!" A shamed Sr. begins making plans to close the family business and sell the house — until Jr. has a change of heart. "I can't let you give up this place, you old fool," Jr. tells his father. Senior replies, "You darn right you can't, you big dummy," makes a racist comment and hugs his son. Fade to black.


Ken Griffey Jr., 1992 Donruss Triple Play

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Positions: Outfield, Magician
Value of card: The coin behind your ear
Key 1991 stat: 24 assistants sawed in half
The Great Griffey: At the tender age of 21, Ken Griffey Jr. was already becoming a superstar with the Seattle Mariners. His raw talent was spectacular, but a large part of his success came from magic. As shown on this card, when Griffey would get tired of swinging the bat, he could still knock the ball 550 feet by levitating the lumber. His teammate father would at times chide The Kid for linking batting doughnuts together and turning Jay "Bone" Buhner into a sea lion. As Griffey grew older and more powerful on the field, his wizardry also gained strength. In 1996, he outdueled David Copperfield for the right to spend a night with the beautiful Claudia Schiffer. When an up-and-coming illusionist named Teller accused Griffey of using his powers irresponsibly, Junior stole the man's voice and gave it to a mute orphan from Vancouver. Griffey began putting on elaborate stage shows involving pumas and flamethrowers, and started a raging love affair with his mysterious gypsy assistant. But when the slugger was traded to Cincinnati prior to the 2000 season, the scorned woman cursed her lover from the waist down, turning his knees and hamstrings into egg shells and taking the pop out of his "bat." In 2009, Griffey returned to Seattle in an attempt to reverse the jinx, only to learn the gypsy had been mauled to death by a blood-thirsty sea lion with a goatee.

Card contributed by Miranda Everitt Stenger