Upper Deck's 1989 inaugural set turns 25 this week. Ken Griffey Jr. reveals the truth behind the no. 1 card of the set.
Baseball card collectors know that the T206 Honus Wagner is the rarest and most expensive card in the world. One card was sold for over $2 million in 2008. These cards are known to drive men crazy.
Fans also know that Upper Deck's 1989 card of then-rookie Ken Griffey Jr. is the world's most popular, continuing to sell between $15 to $300 on eBay and other stores. Well, that card has just turned 25 this week.
Upper Deck made more than 1 million Griffey cards. But what is interesting is that 25-years ago, Griffey wasn't really that popular. Apparently he was chosen to be on card number one by an Upper Deck employee named Tom Geideman.
Gregg Jefferies, Sandy Alomar Jr., Gary Sheffield, were also candidates. But, for some reason, Geideman picked "The Kid."
In an interview with SportingNews on Tuesday, Griffey said that the coveted card was faked or, in his words, "photoshopped."
"That baseball card was me in a San Bernardino uniform, they just Photoshopped it," he told SportingNews.
Griffey pointed out that the picture of him on the card didn't have the trademark blue strip of the Mariners.
"If you notice, the Mariners had the blue stripe down the center of the shirt. That one doesn't have it. And if you look at the hat closely enough, you'll see the trim of the red where the yellow is," he added.
Griffey also revealed that he has around 100 copies of that card. He also has a bigger version of the classic card, albeit just a couple of them. It is, without a doubt, his favorite card.
Ken Griffey, Jr., now retired, is a 13-time All-Star. He is also one of the best home run hitters in baseball history, making 630 home runs in his career. Griffey also won 10 Gold Glove Awards.