Ken Griffey Jr. and the Baseball Card Hall of Fame

In March, 2012 I wrote a post about a hypothetical “Baseball Card Hall of Fame” where I nominated the 5 cards that should be in the inaugural class as “inner-circle” Hall of Famers.

The Baseball Card Hall of Fame Inner Circle, as I see it

The Baseball Card Hall of Fame Inner Circle, as I see it

Here is the list:

  1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
  2. 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr.
  3. 1909 T206 Honus Wagner
  4. 1933 Goudey Gum Babe Ruth
  5. 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb

In 2016, Griffey will be appearing on the BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame ballot (that’s the real deal, in Cooperstown) for the first time. There has been some speculation that he could become the first player unanimously elected to the institution.

This got me thinking…would Griffey’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card (card #1 of the set that redefined the hobby and ushered in the new era of card collecting) be a unanimous pick to the card hall of fame if one did exist?

Obviously I can only speculate, but it seems to me that as our collective perception of the 1990s is tainted by the inflated statistics of The Steroid Era, so too has our collective perception of the baseball card industry’s unfettered growth and the professionalization of collecting in the 1990s tainted our memory of the hobby during those years.

So I ask you, if a hypothetical Baseball Card Hall of Fame were to exist and you had the opportunity to nominate 5 cards for the inaugural class, would 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr be elected to that Hall of Fame?

Which five cards would you nominate?

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One Comment

  1. I think that looks like a pretty good top five! The Griffey RC should definitely be there…one of the iconic cards of my childhood. If I were using that as a key criterion, I’d probably also nominate the 1990 Score Bo Jackson football/baseball card, the ’89 Fleer Billy Ripken “error”/obscenity,the ’91 Upper Deck Michael Jordan, and either the ’85 Topps McGwire in his USA uniform or the ’86 Donruss Canseco Rated Rookie (depending upon which shamed Bash Brother I’m remembering more fondly that day).

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