I threw this one together for a fellow custom card aficionado on Facebook. Paul Molitor served as hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2004 before returning to the Twins organization in 2005. The 2004 design is a bit beyond my skill level, so I opted for the “yearbook approach” of documenting the previous year’s roster.
Topps loves the 1987 design so much they used it in 1962! The woodgrain borders are a little darker on the precursor to one of the most overproduced sets in history, and I actually prefer the 1962 version a little better. Lanny Ribes used a fantastic photo of Ken Griffey Jr. in this recreation. Griffey previously appeared on a “Babe Ruth Special” style a few years ago in Topps TBT, but I have never seen a base card version of The Kid on this design.
We are getting very close to seeing Griffey on every Topps design! Thank you Lanny for all the contributions so far!
Lanny comes through again with a fantastic Ken Griffey Jr. “fun card” on the 1978 design. I love the 1978 Topps design. It’s simple and clean but at the same time not the easiest to replicate. I’ve used the ’78 design at times for non-baseball cards, and it can be difficult getting the right letters for the team name. I have no idea what font is actually being used there.
I was surprised when I made the list of Ken Griffey Jr. cards and which Topps designs he had appeared on, the largest chunk of missing years was the last nine. From 2011-2019, he was only in the 2013, 2017, and 2019 official sets. There may be some other customs out there, but I did not come across any during my sparse research for my post. Lanny Ribes hits us with a 2018 Topps design today, so you can check that one of the list.
I will go back and update that initial post every few days with links to online custom cards. If you know of any, even if there is another card in existence, let me know so I can add it to the list!
Lanny Ribes (@DOCBZ17 on Twitter) started with an easy one, but I hope that didn’t fool you into thinking that he wasn’t a great custom card maker. His second Ken Griffey Jr. submission uses one of my favorite designs, and one that is not the easiest in the world to replicate: 1983 Topps.
Another great submission…can’t wait to see what’s next!
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.
Paul Molitor played second base for the Milwaukee Brewers on July 9, the Saturday before the All-Star Game, because he hadn’t played the position all year. He was on the ballot at 2B, but Jim Gantner was the primary second sacker for the Brew Crew.
Johnny Ray and Harold Reynolds were chosen as backups for Molitor. Both were the lone representatives from their teams at the All-Star Game. The players’ choices would have changed all three second basemen on the roster:
- Julio Franco 41
- Frank White 37
- Marty Barrett 32
- Lou Whitaker 29
- Harold Reynolds 14
- Paul Molitor 8
- Willie Randolph 1
- Jim Gantner 1
- Luis Salazar 1
- Curt Wilkerson 1
- Glenn Hubbard 1
- Tony Fernandez 1
- Johnny Ray 1
Mike Leake‘s career started pretty well with the Reds. He won his first five major league decisions, and in his first six seasons he put up a 62-47 record with a 3.87 ERA. He was not quite as successful in San Francisco or St. Louis, and was traded near the end of the 2017 season to Seattle. So far in 2019, he is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA. He did not get a decision in his most recent start as the Mariners lost in Cleveland on Star Wars day.