Thirty seasons after it became a national sensation, we’re getting a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card bobblehead…sort of.
The Seattle Mariners have partnered with a manufacturer to create an ode to Griffey’s iconic 1989 Upper Deck card and will give 20,000 of them away to fans on May 18. That’s a Saturday night game against the Minnesota Twins. (Update 5/19: Some fans have listed theirs on eBay here).
Wednesday marked the anniversary of Junior’s MLB debut on April 3, 1989.
One of the best baseball cards of all time becomes one of the best bobbleheads of all time.
Ken Griffey Jr. “Rookie Year” Bobblehead Night is set for May 18—the first 20,000 fans take one home.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 3, 2019
There won’t be any Upper Deck or baseball card markings on it and it’s being labeled the “Rookie Year Bobblehead” rather than “rookie card” but the M’s added their own touch on social media to shout out to the famous card.
Here’s what the bobblehead looks like…
Including his card in their inaugural set helped launch Upper Deck as a major force in the trading card industry after the 19-year-old outfielder quickly showed he was going to become a major star. The photo used on the card was actually taken when he was playing for the Mariners’ minor league affiliate in San Bernardino, CA in 1988. Upper Deck did some graphic editing to make it appear as if he was wearing a Mariners cap.
Griffey has been the subject of numerous bobbleheads through the years, including another Mariners giveaway in 2016 when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. A check of eBay reveals just how many have been issued but the ’89 rookie model should have pretty large collector appeal, even if the likeness seems more 1984 Michael Jackson than 1989 Ken Griffey. Wouldn’t it be nice if they wrapped them in a foil pack?