Ken Griffey Jr. Owns Over 100 Copies of His Rookie Card
Ken Griffey Jr. recently shared with The Sporting News that he owns over a hundred copies of his own rookie card.
Griffey also gave some insight into the iconic card, which can fetch over $200 on eBay, saying that he was not actually wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform in the picture.
“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.”
Sports Illustrated dug deeper into the backstory of the card a few years ago and unearthed the story of the original photo that was showcased on the card.
“The image of Griffey that became part of collecting lore, with his blue turtleneck and ‘fro-mullet tucked beneath his cap, was doctored. In his home office in Corona, Calif., 75 miles north of Upper Deck’s headquarters, Tom Geideman hands me a Polaroid that had been sitting atop a binder of Griffey cards and says, ‘This—it’s cut off a little bit—but this is the original photo.’ Griffey’s wearing the navy-blue hat of Seattle’s Class A affiliate, the San Bernardino Spirit, whose logo is a silver S over a red star. The picture was taken by the late V.J. Lovero, an Angels team photographer who shot Griffey and his father for a Sports Illustrated feature in 1988. Lovero sold one of his extras to Upper Deck, which airbrushed the hat royal blue, erased the star, made the S yellow and—ta-da!—completed the makeover.”
Too bad we can’t see the knob of the bat, a fertile ground for card errors.