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20 Years Later: Upper Deck Still Bonding With Griffey

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1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. autographed in blue ink Ah, the nostalgia for today’s young professionals.

The white hot card from their kidhood is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary with some special Ken Griffey Jr. autographs applied.

Upper Deck will salute the player who put the company on the baseball card map as the two celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2009.

The 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. card was the one just about every kid wanted. It featured the budding superstar as card No. 1 in its inaugural set. The card jumped in value with every spectacular defensive play or home run and demand at one time was much greater than supply. Things have quieted down since, but the card still maintains a place in the sports collecting history book.

During his long career, Griffey has earned ten Gold Glove awards, been selected to the American League All-Star team 13 times and currently ranks fifth in career home runs (611). Upper Deck managed to carve a niche, quickly blossoming into a major competitor in the industry and the company would later expand into the memorabilia business, thanks in part to its relationship with Griffey.

To honor the card that started it all, Upper Deck had Griffey sign 89 of his 1989 rookie Autographd 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. (black ink) cards and include the inscription “20 years.” These cards will be randomly inserted into 2009 Upper Deck Series One Baseball which releases in early February. The first 13 cards in black ink and the remaining 76 cards are autographed in blue ink.

“We have enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Ken Griffey Jr. since our company’s inception,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s associate brand manager for baseball. “This is the perfect way to help celebrate our 20th anniversary and the enduring partnership that Upper Deck has enjoyed with one of baseball’s greatest stars."


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About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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