The History of Topps, as told by Ken Griffey Jr.

Griffey

Between regular base cards, Heritage designs, Throwback Thursdays, and Baseball Cards Magazine’s Replicards, Ken Griffey Jr. has appeared on nearly every Topps baseball card design in some form or fashion. The Junior Junkie covered the 1950s way back in 2013, but I never saw a part 2 for the 1960s. I decided to revisit the 1950s and then continued all the way through 2019. Out of sixty-nine years, there are only thirteen years missing. There are a few designs, such as 1962, in which the base design is missing but there is something to represent the release. Here’s a complete rundown of all the Juniors I have found so far, licensed and non-licensed, not including reprints and parallels. Please let me know of others, especially for the “missing” years.

1951: 2003 Topps Blue Backs #KGRJ (Reds)
1952: 2001 Topps Heritage #200 (Reds); 2007 Topps ’52 Debut Flashbacks #DF2 (Mariners); online CSD’s Custom Cards (White Sox)
1953: 1999 Topps Gallery Heritage #TH8 (Mariners); 2002 Topps Heritage #386 (Reds); 2019 Topps Living Set #193 (Mariners)
1954: 2000 Fleer Tradition #222 (Mariners); 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U23 (Reds); 2000 Topps Gallery Heritage #TGH14 (Reds); 2003 Topps Heritage #375 (Reds)
1955: 2001 Fleer Tradition #140 (Reds); 2004 Topps Heritage #455 (Reds)
1956: 2005 Topps Heritage #70 (Reds)
1957: 1990 SCD #44; 2015 Topps Archives #50 (Mariners)
1958: 2007 Topps Heritage #285 (Reds)
1959: 2008 Topps Heritage #50 (Reds), 1989 BBCM #63 (Rookie Stars) (Mariners); 1991 non-licensed NNO (Mariners)
1960: 2009 Topps Heritage #200 (White Sox); #704 (Mariners)
1961: 2010 Topps Heritage #430 (Mariners)
1962: 2016 Topps TBT #1,3,5 “Babe Ruth Special” style (Mariners); online Lanny Ribes (Mariners)
1963: 2001 Upper Deck Vintage #319 (Reds); 2001 Upper Deck Vintage Sample #30 (Reds)
1964: 1989 SCD #3 (Mariners)
1965: 2001 Topps Gallery Heritage #GH6 (Reds); 2003 Upper Deck Vintage #168 (Reds); 2019 Topps TBT #51 (Mariners)
1966: 1991 BBCM #37 (Mariners); 2008 Topps Trading Card History #TCH30 (Reds)
1967: online 2019 TWJ (Mariners) (posted above!); online Lynn Phelps (Reds)
1968: 1993 BBCM #37 (Mariners)
1969: 1990 BBCM #37 (Mariners); 2013 Topps Archives 1969 4-in-1 Stickers #69S-CMGT (Mariners); https://whitesoxcards.blogspot.com/2010/10/wsc-birth-years-ken-griffey-jr.html” target=”resource window”>online White Sox Cards “Birth Year Cards” (White Sox)
1970: 1992 BBCM #36 (Mariners)
1971: 1991 BBCM #45 (Mariners); 2002 Upper Deck Vintage #253 (Reds); 2013 Topps Update 1971 Topps Minis #TM-5 (Mariners)
1972: 2013 Topps 1972 Mini #TM-51 (Mariners)
1973: online Lanny Ribes (White Sox)
1974: 1992 BBC/SCPGM #27 (Mariners)
1975: 1991 BBCM “Superstars & Rookies” #10; non-licensed NNO (Mariners); online Lynn Phelps (Reds); online Maxwell Moore (Mariners AS)
1976: online Lanny Ribes (Reds)
1977: online Lanny Ribes (Mariners)
1978: online Lanny Ribes (Mariners); online Beny Levy (Mariners)
1979: 2016 Topps Archives #128 (Mariners), 2019 Topps TBT #155
1980: 1990 BBCM “Beginner’s Guide” #5 (Mariners); 2014 Topps Archives #75 (Mariners)
1981: online Lanny Ribes (Reds)
1982: 2012 Topps Archives 1982 In Action #82IA-KG (Mariners); 2013 Topps Archives #92 (Mariners)
1983: online Lanny Ribes (Mariners)
1984: 2019 Topps Silver Pack Series 2 1984 #T84-2 (Mariners)
1985: 2016 Topps Archives 1985 Father/Son #FS-GG (Father/Son) (Mariners); 2016 Topps Archives 1985 #1 Draft Picks #85DP-KG (Mariners); online CSD’s Custom Cards (Mariners); online CSD’s Custom Cards (White Sox); online CSD’s Custom Cards (Father/Son White Sox); online CSD’s Custom Cards (#1 Draft Pick, White Sox)
1986: online Lanny Ribes (White Sox)
1987: 2012 Topps 1987 Topps Minis #TM-97 (Mariners); 2017 Topps 1987 Design #87-59 (Mariners); 2017 Topps Baseball Continuity Program Chrome 1987 Design Refractor #87-KG (Mariners); 2017 Topps Mini 1987 Design #87-125 (AS); 2017 Topps National Convention 1987 Anniversary VIP #87VIP-3 (Mariners); non-licensed Future Stars #KG (Mariners); online Lynn Phelps (Moeller); online CSD’s Custom Cards (White Sox)
1988: non-licensed Future Stars NNO (Mariners); online Topps Cards That Never Were
1989: 1989 Topps Traded #41T (Mariners); 2002 Topps Gallery Heritage #GH-KG (Mariners); 2012 Topps Archives #220 (Mariners); 2014 Topps 1989 Die-Cut Minis #TM-51 (Mariners); 2014 Topps Chrome 1989 Design #89TC-KGJ (Mariners)
1990: 1989-90 Topps MLB Debut #46 (Mariners); 1990 Topps #336
1991: 1991 Topps #790; #392 (AS)
1992: 1992 Topps #50 (Mariners)
1993: 1993 Topps #179 (Mariners); #405 (AS)
1994: 1994 Topps #400 (Mariners); #388 (AS)
1995: 1995 Topps #397 (Mariners); 388 (AS); 1995 Topps Pre-Production #PP6 (Mariners)
1996: 1996 Topps #205 (Mariners); #230 (AS)
1997: 1997 Topps #300 (Mariners)
1998: 1998 Topps #321 (Mariners)
1999: 1999 Topps #100 (Mariners)
2000: 2000 Topps #400 (Reds)
2001: 2001 Topps #593 (Reds)
2002: 2002 Topps #550 (Reds)
2003: 2003 Topps #390 (Reds)
2004: 2004 Topps #510 (Reds)
2005: 2005 Topps #440 (Reds)
2006: 2006 Topps #387 (Reds)
2007: 2007 Topps #450 (Reds)
2008: 2008 Topps #580 (Reds); 2008 Topps Update #UH324 (White Sox)
2009: 2009 Topps #30 (White Sox); 2009 Topps Update #UH190 (Mariners); #UH330 (Mariners)
2010: 2010 Topps #85 (Mariners)
2011: online Lanny Ribes (Mariners)
2012: online Lynn Phelps (White Sox)
2013: 2013 Topps Update #US119 (Mariners)
2014: online Lynn Phelps (White Sox)
2015: online Beny Levy (Mariners); online TWJ (Reds)
2016: online Beny Levy (Mariners); online Lanny Ribes (White Sox)
2017: 2017 Topps Update #US152 (Mariners)
2018: online Lanny Ribes (Mariners)
2019: 2019 Topps #488 (Mariners)

I may try to fill in a few of the other missing years. If you take a stab at any of them, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail and I’ll update the list and link to your creations!

If you want to buy the licensed stuff, I recommend Card Barrel above all others, but COMC and Sportlots are good sites too. For the unlicensed cards, the Supercollector Catalog is definitely the way to go. If all else fails, turn to eBay.

About JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on July 29, 2019, in baseball, baseball cards and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I can’t for the life of me remember ur twitter handle…but which ones u wanna knock out? I’ll do a couple this evening in wind down mode…

  2. Jason Carter…just came to me LOL

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