Ken Griffey Jr. has decided to head back to Seattle this season, agreeing Wednesday night to a one-year contract to play where he became a star.
Now, obviously, “The Kid” is all grown up — and he’s got 611 home runs this time around, good for fifth-place on the career list — but there’s bound to be a resurgence of interest in Griffey’s key cards and memorabilia as the nostalgia kick of him in a Mariners uniform once again draws upon memories from a lifetime ago (or so it seems) in the hobby.
After all, the 1989 Upper Deck Griffey really is the ’52 Mantle of this generation — a card that’s iconic, symbolizes a shift in the industry, and, ironically, was so overproduced that it’s not too tough for many collectors to own one.
Just a thought … it also doesn’t hurt the hobby that Upper Deck has autographed buyback cards in its 2009 packs, noting “20 years” for the company’s anniversary — but something that also now notes his return to Seattle — does it? (By the way, two of those cards have hit eBay — but neither auction actually closed. One ended early when bidding had already topped $1,000.)
We want to know … do you think this career-capping season in Seattle will spark interest in the hobby as a whole — or just spark interest in Junior?
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 email@example.com.