Your Turn: Which Topps baseball cards (old or new) would you have Ken Griffey Jr. sign?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The biggest hobby news of this week was Topps signing Ken Griffey Jr. to an autograph deal beginning next year, and instantly after hearing that the idea of the card above — an autographed 1989 Topps Traded buyback card — came to my mind.

Griffey’s deal is a notable one for Topps as he’s perhaps the Mickey Mantle of the 30-something generation, the face of an era that forever changed cardboard. He was also, unmistakably, the face of Upper Deck, which had him as an exclusive spokesman for years before this deal.

Beginning in 2012, though, he’s one of Topps’ biggest draws with his first autographed cards from the company set to arrive in Tribute and Gypsy Queen — two of the more-popular brands of this year which will look even stronger with Junior’s ink in tow.

And that got me thinking …

What would you have Griffey sign? His first card? How about a father-son combo featuring both Griffeys?

How about “The Kid” and “The Say Hey Kid,” Willie Mays together?

How about Junior and Hank Aaron, two of the most-beloved home run hitters in the game’s history?

How about a series of Griffey career retrospective buybacks?

Or …

There are a lot of possibilities … let us know what direction you might go. We’ll showcase some of the most creative answers and ideas in the next issue of Beckett Baseball, too.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


I would have him sign for topps tribute and make it on card. That would be nice, and If they decide to produce marquee again he would look good there too! Triple threads and gypsy queen would look nice but not 206.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

Two words: Allen & Ginter

(I forgot that one … )

Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

I would have him sign a dual auto with his brother Craig. He was a prospect for 2.5 seconds in the late 80’s/early 90’s I believe.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

His first BOWMAN RC card. Also definitely include in Allen and Ginter.
I really like the look of Topps Tribute with Griffey Jr.
Topps Triple Threads I am sure will have some nice pieces too.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

A card with Yount, G. Carter, & Griffey? They were also known as “the Kid”, just didn’t stick as long as it did with Griffey.

Just a thought…

Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
RJ Hydorn

1990 Topps. I collect the All Star Rookie Cup cards, so having an autographed version would be cool.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

1991 Stadium Club, 1992 Topps Gold, and maybe 1993 Finest All-star

Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink
Chris H

Definitely Allen & Ginter. Would also love a Gyspy Queen AU. So excited for his autos next year!

Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

I would love to see a MVP’s of the 90’s with Juan Gonzalez and Frank Thomas. Also, to pay tribute to one of the greatest post-season series ever, the 1995 ALDS between the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, a booklet auto card of Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill and Jim Leyritz.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

Griffey doesn’t have an iconic Topps card, unlike many other legends today. A full reprint run of autographs would be a great chase for Griffey fans, but I’m looking forward to autographed Gypsy Queen cards. Topps has plenty of great current sets that could look better than the cards from Junior’s playing days.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
Cincy Scott

I think it would be cool to have my 1989 Bowman Tiffany rookie card signed with the inscription GO MOELLER!

Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

Anything as long as it is hard signed! Anyway kidding aside, how about a triple auto card with Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez in Mariner uni’s.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
Nathan Crandell

Aside from the obvious RC, I would go with a really cool relic I pulled out of an upper deck box from 2001 SP Authentic. There is a nice spot right over the red relic ripe for a autograph.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
Devan James

Ideally i’d like to see a Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Topps Dual Auto. The fact that neither has no/few Topps autos and that they have both been the face of the Mariners for the last 20 years would make that a great card to have. If I had to do an individual auto card, it would be a 2012 Heritage auto. The 1963 set design would really make that autograph pop.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

How bout Bowman Chrome as an insert to his jersey number! Or in Finest.

Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
Tom Waldron

89 BOWMAN , Topps Rc all as buybacks of course #’d to 89 ?? .also I’d like to see a sweet booklet triple threads Ichiro /Griffey. Not that I could afford the chance at buying a box.
I actually had an issue with Upper DECK concerning a redemption of another card and some crap they had sent it was that the UD Black baskbl pack remption card that wasn’t in my Ovation box so after some letters I sent, as a reward for my patience I got a Griffey Buy back and gave it to my son.
Another thought would be Griffey jr/Hank Arron dual outta tribute. Looks like Tribute may sell out quickly this year.
Panini better get moving on getting Jordan away from Ud Before Topps does???

Posted December 1, 2011 at 12:46 am | Permalink

the obvious choice is the iconic 89 upper deck rc. that card changed the entire landscape of the hobby.

but i’d like to see a passing the torch card with griffey jr and pujols. the greatest non-roiders of the past 20 years. (at least we think so)

Posted December 1, 2011 at 4:42 am | Permalink
Linard Cherry

I would have his 1996 Topps Laser Power Cuts insert signed. It has his classic follow-through swing and it is a sweet looking card. It would be even sweeter signed.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink
Greg M.

1999 Topps Gallery Heritage insert. Love the look of 1953 Topps.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 6:47 am | Permalink

They don’t need to be old cards … What would you create?

Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink
card opinionator

All these suggestions are great guys. Well done. A&G & a full run of his Topps Base cards as a chase, each numbered to /24. That could be done in reprint version, and Buy Backs.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

I liked the topps Pristine cards the best whatever happen to them???

Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink
Travis May


Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

What TOPPS cards or creations would you like to see? You know, something Topps could do if they saw the idea …

Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

actually just redo whole bowman 89 set theme.
would be cool for many players.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
Chris Swank

Something with both Ken Griffey Jr and Ken Griffey Sr as an on card autograph would be pretty sweet.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
David Johnson

1989 Bowman both his RC and the Father/Son card with Griffey Sr as a dual autograph.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
David Xiong

I don’t get how EVERYBODY wants to see a Griffey Auto on a Mass Produced Topps Product.

Can we say………1993 Topps Finest Refractor Ken Griffey Jr. BuyBack Auto?

Posted December 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

A Topps Gallery Artist proof or a Stadium club first day production card. Or something like the 1994 Upper Deck Griffey Mantle auto card but have A&G do it.

Posted December 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

A Topps auto picturing Griffey with his hat on backwards would be sweet!

Topps could also create “updates” to their past autograph sets that never included Griffey, like All-Time Fan Favorites, etc.

Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:00 am | Permalink
Robert Braxton

The 1990, regular (with Rookie Cup) or the Debut (or maybe even the 2010, since its his last player card).

Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:36 am | Permalink
Robert Braxton

He is kind of our (X-Gen) “Mickey Mantle”, but that’s because of his 1989 #1 UPPER DECK, not Topps card.

Sorry Topps.

Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:38 am | Permalink

Topps should put together a “My Heroes” set where Griffey chooses some of his baseball heroes and have them both sign on-card. The back could have a short paragraph from Griffey about why he chose who he did.

Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink
david jones

look back to vintage topps with the then and now i think it was and go with a rc year photo and a final year year photo maybe numbered then they can do a auto version numbered to the number of years he played or it would even be pretty cool to do a through the years card like they did with pete rose in 86 i think it was, using some of his iconic poses of topps brand cards

Posted December 3, 2011 at 12:39 am | Permalink

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