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Thirty-three years after the release of his iconic 1989 Upper Deck rookie card, Ken Griffey Jr. has taken it upon himself to replicate the original photo.
Griffey did a solid job of capturing even the smallest details.
He’s got the chain and turtleneck combo down. The old-school Mariners lid and the hair complete the look.
Sure, there are a few grey hairs in the beard these days for the 52-year-old Hall of Fame. Otherwise, it doesn’t really look like it’s been more than 30 years since Upper Deck snapped Griffey’s picture.
There’s a story behind the card, which became one of Upper Deck’s most iconic. In the original photo, Griffey wasn’t wearing a Mariners uniform.
1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card Photo Manipulated Originally
Griffey told The Sporting News in 2014 about how the Upper Deck team pulled a fast one on the baseball card-buying public.
“That baseball card was me in a San Bernardino uniform, they just Photoshopped it.”
Photoshop was only released in 1990, but the principles are the same. The Upper Deck team altered the photo of Griffey in his San Bernardino Spirit duds. That’s another reason they use a tight shot, it hid the fact that Griffey wasn’t wearing a Mariners jersey.
At least for the most part.
“If you notice, the Mariners had the blue stripe down the center of the shirt. That one doesn’t have it,” Griffey pointed out. “And if you look at the hat closely enough, you’ll see the trim of the red where the yellow is.”
Griffey mentioned in the same interview that he had around 100 copies of the 1989 Upper Deck rookie card, plus several oversized versions.
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One CommentLeave a Reply
Love this story. Thanks.