Upper Deck confirms 20 variations on Ken Griffey Jr.'s card in Series 2

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Upper Deck confirmed on Wednesday that there are 20 versions of card No. 855 in its 2009 baseball set as a form of a tribute to the player that started it all for the company’s first card set in 1989 — Ken Griffey Jr.

Each version of card No. 855 depicts an image of Griffey during a corresponding year of his MLB career — as do the stats and text on the back.

“It’s important for us to continue to look at ways to make the regular base card interesting to collectors,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s associate baseball brand manager, in a news release. “By creating different versions of Griffey’s card to commemorate his illustrious career, we hope to have people go back through their collections to see which versions they have and to hopefully put together the entire 20-card set.”

None of the short-printed cards are more limited than another, according to the company.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

One Comment

  1. Posted June 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Cool idea for the variation on Junior’s card for the base set (even though it’ll drive his collectors crazy) but I’m disappointed in UD this year when it comes to typography.

    Last year’s set was very sexy; the all-caps foil stamped names and teams on each base card were kerned properly and tracked out tastefully. Granted this is Graphic Design 1 stuff, but it’s surprising how much bad typography makes it nationally. For instance; I’m looking at Topps ’09 basecards now; the names on the front are in caps and foil-stamped like the UD basecards from ’08, except the letters aren’t tracked out, so readability suffers. Also the names on the backs feature a muddy drop shadow and are black regardless of the team’s color’s saturation and brightness. Black-and-a-drop-shadow works well on Pirates-yellow, but not so much on Yankees-blue or A’s-green.

    Anyways, UD’s ’09 features foil stamped names on the fronts again, but this time they’re not tracked out. I can forgive that because the design of the card severely limits space for the name and names like ‘Edwin Encarnacion’ simply won’t fit if tracked. But, and correct me if I’m wrong, I’m fairly certain that the names are in faux-small-caps, which is a major typographic faux-pas that cannot be forgiven. I also can’t forgive the tracking out of the sentence-case positions either.

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