Guide to Ken Griffey Jr. Cards: Values and Collectability

Posted on 8/23/2022

Which Ken Griffey Jr. cards should you collect? Here's a look at the legendary hitter's most collectible cards and tips on getting your cards graded.

It's impossible to even think of baseball in the 1980s and 1990s without conjuring up images of Ken Griffey Jr. hitting a home run. During his 22 years in Major League Baseball (MLB), Griffey hit 630 home runs, ranking seventh on the list of most-prolific home run hitters in the history of the game. However, how does his incredible career translate to his baseball cards? This guide looks at Griffey’s most popular and expensive cards, while also discussing their current trending values.

From Clubhouse Kid to All-Time Great

As the son of former MLB player Ken Griffey Sr., Griffey Jr. grew up with baseball in his genes. As a child, he was in the clubhouse when his father won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1987, he played for two seasons in the minor leagues before making the jump to the majors in 1989. During his first 11 seasons, all with the Mariners, he earned 1,752 hits, booted 398 home runs, batted in 1,152 runs and stole 167 bases. As a rare five-tool player who could impact every part of a game, Griffey became the face of the league and was adored by baseball fans across the nation.

Honors and Awards for a Baseball Legend

Considered by many to be the greatest MLB player to never play in a World Series, Griffey was awarded many of baseball's greatest honors throughout his career. During his years in Seattle, Griffey was named the 1992 All-Star Game MVP, the 1997 American League MVP and the 1998 ESPY Male Athlete of the Year. In 1999, he was named to the MLB's All-Century Team. He was also a seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a 10-time AL Golden Glove winner and was chosen for the All-Star game 13 times.

After playing for the Mariners, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox, he retired in 2010. Griffey finished his career with 630 home runs, 2,781 hits, 1,662 runs, 1,836 RBIs and a .284 batting average. In 2016, Griffey Jr. was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, breaking the institution’s record for the highest percentage of votes ever received with 99.32% of the vote.

Are Ken Griffey Jr. Cards Valuable?

As one of baseball's most legendary players, Ken Griffey Jr. has a huge fan base among sports and memorabilia collectors. Although he played during a time when baseball cards were notoriously overproduced in the “Junk Wax” era, many of his cards continue to hold high collector interest, especially cards issued during his career.

Investment Potential for Ken Griffey Jr. Cards

Since Ken Griffey Jr. has a large fan base and is a Hall of Famer, coupled with collector demand for memorabilia from the Mariners, Red Sox and White Sox fans, his cards continue to show healthy prices on the sports card market.

Sites like SportsCardsPro, Sports Card Investor and PriceGuide.Cards track ongoing sales from online auctions and can provide you with valuable information about trending prices and fair market values.

Top Ken Griffey Jr. Cards for Collectors

Here are 10 of the most popular Ken Griffey Jr. cards available for collectors:

1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr. ($35,100)

This iconic rookie card was included as the first card in Upper Deck's debut official baseball card set. Its historical value sets it apart from other cards, making it a highly sought-after favorite for card collectors. The image features an appealing headshot of Griffey smiling straight at the camera, bat slung over his shoulder, looking every bit like a future Hall of Famer. As icing on the sports card cake, there's a "Rookie" logo on a gold star at the lower right-hand corner.

At PriceGuide.Cards, average prices trend at $45 for Ungraded examples, with a top price of $19,100. For Graded, average prices trend at $196, with a top price of $35,100 (grades not specified).

SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $41, Grade 7 at $46, Grade 8 at $67 and Grade 9 at $181. Grade 9.5 trends at $631, and Gem Mint at $1,877.

Sports Card Investor shows low prices tracking at $64 and a top price of $4,963.

1994 Upper Deck #GM1 Ken Griffey Jr./Mickey Mantle - Dual Autograph #’d/1,000 ($29,500)

A fan favorite, this card was issued back when autograph cards were still a novelty. So, for Upper Deck, it seemed like the perfect time to release a dual autograph card with two of baseball's greatest ever hitters, and fans rejoiced. Limited to just 1,000 copies, the card features impressive artist renderings of Griffey and Mantle side by side, each with an autograph below.

PriceGuide.Cards shows an average price of $1,223 for Ungraded examples, with a top price of $18,750. As for Graded cards, the card grading site shows an average of $2,815, with a top price of $29,500 (grades unspecified).

1989 Bowman Tiffany #220 Ken Griffey Jr. #’d/6,000 ($23,799)

This slightly oversized card features Griffey facing the camera while kneeling with an intense look on his face. Graphics include a simple red and black striped frame, white edging and Griffey's signature across the bottom. Considered one of the classic baseball cards from the 1980s, collectors hunt for the limited edition, premium-quality Tiffany version, which features a glossier image with sharper focus.

At PriceGuide.Cards, average Ungraded prices trend at $326, with a top price of $15,400. For Graded, the price is $709, while the top is $23,799.

SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $203, $289 for Grade 7, $434 for Grade 8 and $1,068 for Grade 9. Grade 9.5 trends at $2,878, and Gem Mint skyrockets to $6,700.

1993 Topps Finest Refractor #110 Ken Griffey Jr. ($12,100)

Fans of Refractor cards will want to take advantage of this gem. Produced as a limited edition insert card, it features a striking action shot of Griffey running the bases, set against a colorful reflective background. In addition, "Baseball's Finest Stars" is highlighted at the top with shooting stars.

PriceGuide.Cards show an average price of $561 for Ungraded, with a top price of $11,355. Graded cards average $1,395, with a top price of $12,100 (grades unspecified).

1989 Fleer Glossy #548 Ken Griffey Jr. ($9,747)

Popular with fans, this appealing card shows a great image of Griffey looking straight at the camera, bat slung over his shoulder, with a determined expression on his face. The graphics feature white and gray striping, with the Mariner's logo inside a baseball on the top right.

PriceGuide.Cards show an average price of $50 for Ungraded, with a top price of $3,606. As for Graded examples, they average around $303, with a top price of $9,747 (grades unspecified).

SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $30, Grade 7 at $21, Grade 8 at $100 and Grade 9 at $277. Grade 9.5 trends for $420, and Gem Mint for $4,572.

1989 Topps Traded Tiffany #41T Ken Griffey Jr. ($9,700)

With a limited print run (thought to be around 15,000 copies), this Tiffany version of Griffey's iconic rookie card features a sharp, glossy image of the young outfielder with his bat slung over his shoulder, looking pensively away from the camera. The Mariner's logo, along with Griffey's name, is at the bottom in bright yellow.

Tiffany versions were printed on high-quality card stock, with a glossier, sharper image that made them a cut above the standard versions. For their sheer visual appeal, Tiffany versions sell for much higher prices than their base card counterparts.

PriceGuide.Cards tracks Ungraded versions at an average of $128, with a top price of $2,850. As for Graded examples, they average around $273, with a top price of $9,700 (grade unspecified).

At Sports Card Investor, the lowest price is $350, and the top price is $7,000 (grades unspecified).

SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending for $155, Grade 7 for $140, Grade 8 for $196 and Grade 9 for $393. Grade 9.5 soars up to $1,500, while Gem Mint trends for $3,410.

1989 Topps Heads Up Test #5 Ken Griffey Jr. ($8,000)

This unique die-cut image of Ken Griffey Jr.'s head is part baseball card, part wall sticker. If you look closely, you'll see a hole in Ken Griffey's cap. This was meant to hold a small suction cup, suitable for sticking to a wall or a window. While it's an oddball card, it's a huge collector favorite.

At PriceGuide.Cards, the tracking site shows average prices for Ungraded examples for $1,026G, with a top price of $8,000. Graded examples trend on average from $1,725, with a top price of $4,652 (grades unspecified).

1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey #GJ1 Ken Griffey Jr. ($7,877)

During the heyday of sports card overproduction in the 1990s, Upper Deck got the idea to produce a limited run of insert cards containing tiny swatches of used gameday jerseys. Of the three issues — for Tony Gwynn, Rey Ordonez and Ken Griffey Jr. — Griffey's is the fan favorite. It features a likable headshot of Griffey grinning at the camera, with a swatch of jersey fabric embedded below, framed by the words "Game Jersey." Unfortunately, this rare card can be challenging to find, and since it's always in demand, trends show that prices can be high.

PriceGuide.Cards shows average prices of $338 for Ungraded, with a top price of $2,894. Graded cards go for an average of $1,786, with a top price of $7,877 (grades unspecified).

1987 Bellingham Mariners #15 Ken Griffey Jr. ($2,499)

Considered by collectors to be the earliest Ken Griffey Jr. card, this historic issue shows the young outfielder suited up for the Single-A Bellingham Mariners, his first professional team. The card has bright yellow edging, with Griffey's and the team's names on the bottom.

At Sports Card Investor, this early card trends at an average price of $500, with a low price of $149 and a top price of $2,499 (grades unspecified).

2005 Upper Deck Reflections Dual Signatures #KGKG Ken Griffey Jr./Ken Griffey Sr. #’d/199 ($292)

This classy card features images of the famous father-son duo of Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. in their respective uniforms, with bold signatures alongside each image. While it may not be worth as much as some of the other Griffey cards, its historical value is priceless, as it arguably celebrates the greatest family combo in baseball.

PriceGuide.Cards show an average of $98 for Ungraded examples, with top prices of $189. For Graded cards, the site tracks average Graded examples at $140, with a top price of $292 (grades unspecified).

Where Can I Find Ken Griffey Jr. Cards?

You can find Ken Griffey Jr. cards for sale at a wide range of online auction sites, including:

You can also look for Ken Griffey Jr. cards at sports card and memorabilia shows. You'll find lots of information about upcoming shows scheduled for your area by searching Google, sports forums and social media sites.

How Are Ken Griffey Jr. Cards Graded?

Sports cards are graded according to a recognized numeric grading system, ranging from Ungraded to Perfect 10. Here is how it works:

Perfect 10: These are Gem Mint in all four criteria: surface, edges, corners and centering. Even at 10x magnification, they're flawless.

Gem Mint: A perfect card with no fading, damage, wear or manufacturing flaws.

Grade 9.5: A Near-Mint card with only one minor flaw.

Grade 9: Excellent condition, with a few minor flaws.

Grades 8 and below: Cards with these grades have production flaws or condition issues and are priced accordingly.

Raw or Ungraded: Raw cards have just been removed from their original packs and are brand new to the market. Ungraded cards have never been graded.

Three factors drive sports card prices: condition, rarity and collector demand. Of the three, collector demand is the most variable. For example, a card may be rare and in Gem Mint condition, but if it is not in demand, it may sell for much less than a more common card in lesser-grade condition. And with the popularity of online auctions, collectors regularly get into bidding wars, which can also drive prices up.

Should I Get My Cards Graded?

Even if you don't plan on selling your cards, getting them graded can give them an established quality that's immediately recognized throughout the sports card industry. With grading, your cards will be authenticated by a certified professional and assigned a condition number that's kept on file in an international database. This authenticates your card collection for future generations.

Whether you decide to keep your cards or pass them to someone else, you can take pride in owning a professionally graded and authenticated collection, so people will recognize its quality for generations to come. For further information on CSG's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit

*Any mention of "investment potential" is for entertainment only and should not be construed as investment advice. The Certified Collectibles Group does not provide investment advice and is not liable for any buy, sell or trade decisions made by any parties.

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