Topps Cardboard Icons – Ken Griffey 5×7

27 04 2015

Griffey Topps Icon - Header

Topps has been coming out with various online-only products for quite a while now.  One of their best ideas is the Cardboard Icon series.  They take a Hall-of-Fame caliber player, blow up 5×7 reprints of their full run of Topps cards, throw a black border on each card, number it out of 199, and sell it on their website for 50 bucks a set.  You can also get gold border versions for $100.  The numbering is in the black border at the bottom of the card.  When you order a set – every card is numbered the same.  The set I bought is numbered 48/99.

This isn’t really in my collection wheelhouse, but I love Ken Griffey Jr.  He’s pretty much always been my favorite baseball player, and while I’ll never get too crazy collecting his cards, this seemed like a great way to get something showing off each of his Topps cards.  So I’ll scan each of these cards below and give the initial thought that I associate with that card.

1989 Topps Traded – Cool rookie card, but not as iconic as the Upper Deck card.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1989

1990 Topps – Similar photo, All-Star Rookie Cup, signature taped black bat.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1990

1991 Topps – Topps 40th.  Great photo – like many other cards in this set.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1991_0001

1992 Topps – Horizontal, asymmetrical – but still phenomenal.  Has a gold parallel.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1992

1993 Topps – Photo fits well with the underrated design.  What happened to the black bat!

Griffey Topps Icon - 1993

1994 Topps – First really glossy Topps set.  And Griffey sure makes it look good!  The black bat is back.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1994

1995 Topps – Going to the opposite field!  One of Topps’ worst designs.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1995

1996 Topps – Photo that fits with the eccentric “duplicate face” Topps design.  Where’s the fielder?

Griffey Topps Icon - 1996

1997 Topps – Classic Griffey follow-through. Definitely one of his 49 homers from the previous season.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1997

1998 Topps – Another classic follow-through.  This time on a pretty crummy design.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1998

1999 Topps – Even Griffey can make a crappy gold border look good.  This won best card of the set in the prestigious Lifetime Topps awards.

Griffey Topps Icon - 1999

2000 Topps – I was in college when Griffey was traded to the Reds.  It made me feel like I was 10 years old again. This was clearly a spring training shot.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2000

2001 Topps – Topps 50th. The Reds’ sleeveless uniforms were excellent.  Not sure why they added the HTA logo.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2001

2002 Topps – Orange border = gross.  Same photo, different uniform as 1995 Topps.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2002

2003 Topps – Another great Griffey card.  Blue border > Orange/Gold Borders.  I love when Topps has lineage in their design (1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 2003 and sort of 2013).

Griffey Topps Icon - 2003

2004 Topps – Probably my favorite Griffey card.  I can’t wait to bust open the boxes for this set.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2004

2005 Topps – Not sure why they did the first edition parallel.  Interesting photo – I wonder why there is an American League logo in the back.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2005

2006 Topps – Nice card – most Griffey cards are.  This looks like a sacrifice fly.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2006

2007 Topps – I sometimes forget his first name is George.  Black dice border.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2007

2008 Topps – Last Reds card.  New Era.  I wish Topps still did photos like this.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2008

2009 Topps – Junior with the White Sox just looks weird.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2009

2010 Topps – Back with the Mariners.  As it probably should have been.  Griffey’s last card.

Griffey Topps Icon - 2010




4 responses

28 04 2015

I would like these a lot more if they didn’t have the black border. I guess black is better than gold, but I would have rather seen them just blown up with no additional border.

I find it interesting that Topps never pictured Griffey in a home Seattle uniform on a base card.

28 04 2015

I kind of like the border – differentiates the card. Though so does the 5×7 size 🙂 It also gives it something of a framed feel.
I’d have never caught the road uniform thing. I’d bet it has to do with travel. Seattle is so far from any other MLB park. Maybe the photographers rarely made it out there. It would be interesting to see if this holds for other Mariners from the 90s

29 04 2015

I think this is a really cool idea, although I’ve yet to pony up for one. I might do the Ryan set, although Griffey is tempting.

I only got to see him play in person once, but fortunately he did hit a home run that night (#555, against the Rockies in the first game back after the 2006 All-Star Break). I had the best seats I ever had at a game that night, too, only about 7-8 rows back directly behind home plate. Also, Adam Dunn actually stole a base that game!

29 04 2015

I’ve seen quite a few Griffey homers – I had season tickets in 2006.

I would love to get the Rickey Henderson one, too – but $50 is too much to get a second set of these.

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