Friday, January 05, 2007

Classic card of the week




*Special Friday edition
Ken Griffey, Sr. 1989 Score Co.

I am only including this card to pay homage to the absolute worst thing that could happen to a kid opening a pack of baseball cards back in the late 80’s and early 90’s: getting a friggin Ken Griffey, Sr. card. Seriously…just the worst experience ever. The roller coaster of emotions that came with opening a pack of cards was quite a ride as it was, but to flip through your fresh new batch of cards, slowly see the “Ken,” notice that - yes, he’s a left-handed African American! – and then watch in slow motion as the “Griffey” gradually emerged – the ultimate natural high for an 11 year-old baseball card dork (besides glue) – only to ultimately crash violently back down to earth as the “Sr.” is revealed…I mean, really though…just the worst. In one fell swoop you go from being the envy of every kid in the neighborhood, to the laughingstock of the entire baseball card community. Smug, overweight card dealers would burst out into evil laughter when unfortunate kids like myself got a Ken Griffey, Sr. The weird part was, even when you were opening a pack of cards from a set that you knew contained no Juniors – this particular Score set is a good example – just seeing the “Ken Griffey” in print immediately dissolved all rationale thought. “Oh my gosh…Did they make a mistake? Could it be? I’m shaking…SHIT! Gosh darn it! How could I fall for that? I should have known better…” And why card companies ever added the “Sr.” in the first place was beyond me. Pure evil on their part. To see the “Ken Griffey,” and then the comma…I mean, all bets are off at that point. For crying out loud, he was “Ken Griffey” for the past 80 years, and NOW you’re adding a suffix – are you trying to kill me? Seriously, are you? At least this card was before father and son were reunited in Seattle, making the pack-opening process that much more sadistic. So anyways, that sucked. But one last thought on this entire debacle. It’s pretty much set in stone now, but a few years ago there was actually some debate as to whether or not Ken Griffey, Jr. belonged in the Hall of Fame. So, let’s throw all stats out the window for a second and consider this as a voting mechanism: If a given player had a father who was ending his career at the same time said player was starting his, and you opened a pack of cards and got the father’s card, how pissed would you be? In the case of the Griffey’s, on a scale of 1-10 – with 10 being the most annoyed - my “pissed-off” level was a 38. I’m not so sure I would have felt that way if I ever came across a Ryan Sandberg, Sr. card. I’m just saying…

Did you know?
I once offered my younger sister in a trade for a 1989 Ken Griffey, Jr. card.

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