Take a look at the 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection dual relic below. It features two future Hall of Famers, plain swatches, and is serial numbered to 25. While the card’s design is pretty neat, it’s not exactly rare and both players have lots of other memorabilia cards, especially “The Kid”.
I did a quick search through eBay’s Completed Auctions and found that the most recent relic of Johnson sold for $2.35 while Griffey Jr.’s most recent sold for $5.50. Given those two prices, how much do you think this 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection dual relic sold for?
A. No bids
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While there were many great baseball cards produced from 1990-1999, not many reached the level of Upper Deck’s Mickey Mantle / Ken Griffey Jr. dual on-card autographs of 1994. While Mantle was known to sign just about anything he could get his hands on, just a few card companies had the smarts to include them in their product.
So while Mantle has only appeared in a few select Upper Deck & Score products from the 90’s, Ken Griffey Jr. has had a much different fate. Much like cards were overproduced during the late-80’s and early-90’s, not many have signed more autographs for card companies than The Kid which means the market is completely flooded with his certified autographs.
It doesn’t help that Junior is likely playing his final season (.219 avg.) and has already tarnished his legacy by hanging on for much too long. Not even a broken down Mantle put up such miserable numbers in his final season in 1968. So if there is some way the dual autograph has lost a bit of mystique, it’s certainly not because of Mickey Mantle.
Need further proof? Check out this Mantle-only version of the card that sold for $375 dollars. The very same card minus the Mantle auto with Griffey Jr.’s signature didn’t even crack $100 dollars on September 10th. With just two days remaining, the dual autograph version is closing in on $500 dollars with ten bids.
According to “book value”, the card is worth $1,150.
The smile is still there and despite the extra few pounds around the mid-section, Ken Griffey Jr. still looks the same after 21 years of Major League service. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to comprehend that “The Kid” is just a former shell of himself in 2009.
The guy who so effortlessly hit 56 home runs in back to back seasons in the 90’s is hitting a career-low .211 with ten home runs for the Seattle Mariners. To put this into proper perspective, Barry Bonds blasted 45 home runs and hit .362 at the age of 39. I think you know where I’m going.
So while the Juiced up Bonds managed to play another three years, I cannot imagine Ken Griffey Jr. will be awarded the same opportunity, even in Seattle. So while he may ultimately finish his career short of the single-season and/or career home run record we all were sure he’d own by now, he is still a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Athletes hanging on too long is nothing new. The immortal Michael Jordan averaged a career-low 20 points per game in his final season, while Mike Tyson was knocked out in three of his last four fights. Hell, add Babe Ruth’s, Willie Mays’, and Hank Aaron’s final season HR totals and they don’t even come close to what Albert Pujols had by the All-Star break.
Not even the great Ken Griffey Jr. can fight off old age…
Micah Owings, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, Kei Igawa.
Cole Hamels, Jeremy Bonderman, even Cameron Maybin all make sense.
I have seen many different dual autographs from both Topps & Upper Deck featuring Andrew Miller but this 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite card #’d to just 3 copies has me stumped. What exactly do these two guys have in common that would make U.D. team them up for a dual autograph?
This is the kind of card that has no value for Griffey Jr. collectors who want nothing to do with an unknown to many Marlins pitcher and has the few Miller collectors scratching their head. Ultimately, this card will likely sell for close to $100 dollars due to its low serial number and the 500 Home Run slugger opposite Andrew.
I just know I’d rather spend my money on something else.
…and you can thank Upper Deck for that.
It has been announced on Beckett’s blog that in the next issue of Beckett Baseball they will be giving away a 2009 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. autographed buyback.
This of course was not pulled from a box but delivered to Texas. It might also be Beckett’s saving grace as card sales are down, print media is near death, and they just lost their last, great public employee, Eric Jahnke.
If it’s one thing I know it’s that collectors love free cards. As an example, just look at the last big giveaway at Wax Heaven a few months back. There were over 100 contestants and the site received over 4,000 page views that day.
Now just imagine what will happen when Beckett does this with a card that last sold for over $4,000 dollars and has a one of a kind inscription. You are looking at the card of 2009 being given away by a company, Beckett Media, that has completely lost its touch with collectors.
Details of how to win will be in the April issue of Beckett Baseball.