FRED MCGRIFF BASEBALL CARDS

Fred McGriff, nicknamed “Crime Dog”, had a long and distinguished MLB career spanning 19 seasons from 1986-2004. The powerful left-handed slugger amassed 493 home runs and 1927 RBIs while playing for several teams, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves. McGriff’s consistent offense and reliability made him a fan favorite throughout his career. Not surprisingly, he has many valuable and sought after baseball cards that are prized by collectors to this day.

One of McGriff’s earliest and most notable rookie cards is his 1986 Topps card (#613). That rookie season he split time between the Yankees and Blue Jays organizations. The 1986 Topps set featured McGriff sporting his Yankees uniform even though he did not appear in a single game for them that year. Despite not debuting in the majors until 1987 with the Blue Jays, the 1986 Topps card is still considered his true rookie card since it was from his first year in Topps’s set. In high graded Gem Mint condition, McGriff’s 1986 Topps rookie fetches upwards of $150 due to its scarcity and significance as documenting his rookie status in cardboard form.

Once McGriff emerged as an impact player for the Blue Jays in 1987-92, his cards from that Toronto era gained prominence. His flagship 1987-1992 Topps cards are evocative of McGriff in his prime and were pulled from packs by thousands of collectors at the time. Of those, the 1987 and ’88 Topps issues stand out because they were McGriff’s first true documenting his MLB career stats and skills. The ’87 sells for around $20-30 graded while the ’88 has regained value in the $40-50 range for top condition copies. His 1989 Topps Traded and 1990 Topps Traded variants that showed McGriff in an opposing team’s uniform also entertain higher prices than base issues.

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When McGriff was traded to the Padres in 1992, it shifted the coverage of his success to another fanbase. The ensuing 1992-93 Padres cards remain affordable starting pieces for McGriff collectors, typically $5-10 each. But it was his 1993 season in San Diego, hitting .278 with 36 home runs and 106 RBI, which made that year’s cardboard particularly collectible. Both the 1993 Upper Deck (#375) and Topps (#519) highlights McGriff’s offensive breakout and have steadily increased to $15-25 in top condition over the decades.

McGriff signing with the Braves as a free agent in 1994 sparked the best years of his career and made Atlanta the primary sponsor of his baseball cards for several subsequent series. Collectors cherish McGriff’s decade-defining 1994-95 Fleer Ultra Refractors (#256, #301), showcasing impressive 3D photo technology of the time. PSA/BGS Gem Mint 10 versions can bring in $125-150 given their rarity and condition sensitivity. Meanwhile, McGriff’s regular issue 1994 Topps (#443), 1995 Leaf (#285), and 1995 Fleer (#497) cards gained prestige tracking his All-Star and Silver Slugger seasons with the Braves, staying in the $10-20 range.

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As McGriff aged but continued raking home runs for Atlanta into the late 1990s, the inserts and parallels telling that second chapter gained their own intrigue. Highlights include the 1995 Ultra Gold Medallion parallel (#256G), 1996 SP Authentic Bat Kings Autographs parallel, 1998 Ultra Gold Medallion Refractors parallel, 1999 Fleer Tradition Gold Medallions parallel, and 2000 Topps Gold Medallion parallel. These short print variations showcase McGriff in splendid color or with on-card autographs. Grading has preserved the best specimens at $50-150 each depending on the exact issue and condition.

Fred McGriff concluded his career with the Devil Rays in 2001-02, rounding out collectors’ team sets from that Tampa Bay period. But it was with the Braves where he cemented his legacy, so cards like his 1998 Topps (#626) and 2000 Topps (#667) finest moments remained best loved for depicting Crime Dog in his dominant Atlanta form. In the years since McGriff retired, appreciation for his cardboard keeps growing as fans and collectors commemorate one of baseball’s most consistent power hitters. With 493 lifetime home runs across 19 durable seasons, Fred McGriff’s cards continue delivering nostalgia and value focused on one of baseball’s great sluggers.

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In summary, Fred McGriff racked up impressive baseball statistics over nearly two decades in the major leagues. As a result, his baseball cards spanning the late 1980s through early 2000s track the key chapters of his storied career. From rookie gems to award-winning parallels, McGriff cards elicit nostalgia for fans and offer tangible collectibles documenting one of baseball’s steadiest sluggers. Whether affordably obtainable commons or high-grade treasures, Crime Dog’s cardboard reliably brings back fond memories of his solid contributions to the game.

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