Ken Griffey Jr. is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time and one of the most exciting and dynamic players to ever play the game. Throughout his illustrious MLB career from 1989-2010 with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, Griffey dazzled fans with his combination of power, speed, defense and pure baseball joy. It’s no surprise then that Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards from his playing career are some of the most coveted and valuable cards in the hobby. Let’s take a closer look at some of Griffey’s most notable rookie and career cards and analyze their current estimated prices according to Beckett, PSA, and eBay sales data.

One of the holy grails of the baseball card world is Griffey’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card. Considered by many the greatest modern-era rookie card of all time, Griffey’s explosive rookie season and iconic pose staring down at bats made this card an instant classic. The 1989 Upper Deck Griffey rookie card exists in two different serial numbers, #1 and #233. Card #1 is arguably the most valuable modern trading card in existence, with just one ever known to exist in the hands of collector Brent Hueth. No accurate price is publicly listed but experts have estimated it could fetch $5 million or more if ever consigned for auction. Card #233 graded mint condition also brings world-record prices, with a PSA 10 example selling for $340,000 back in 2016. Even well-graded PSA 9 copies can sell for $50,000+. For most collectors, a raw or low-graded 1989 Upper Deck Griffey rookie remains a highly valuable and treasured card in a collection, selling in the $1,000 to $3,000 range depending on condition.


The 1989 Bowman Griffey rookie card is another indispensable part of any collection focused on The Kid’s early career. While not quite as iconic as the Upper Deck issue, the cleanly designed Bowman card was the true “first” in Griffey’s rookie class. High-grade PSA 10 copies have reached up to $20,000 at auction according to PWCC Marketplace data. Most PSA 9s will sell in the $4,000-$8,000 range. For raw or lower-end graded copies, prices fall anywhere from $500 to $2,000 based on condition assessment. The 1989 Bowman Griffey rookie holds up exceptionally well as one of the most important and bankable vintage cards from the Junk Wax Era.

Jumping ahead to Griffey’s early superstar years with Seattle, another seminal card is the 1990 Score Ken Griffey Jr. #130 issue. This ACTION-packed close-up portrait showing The Kid in mid-swing became a fan favorite. PSA 10 examples have reached as high as $5,000 at auction. Most PSA 9 copies sell in the $2,000 area. Condition is everything, as raw or lower-grade copies may only attract $100-300 offers on the online marketplace. Still, the 1990 Score #130 is a classic Griffey issue that remains a core member of any collection honoring his MVP caliber play from this era.

Shifting to the height of Griffey mania in the early 1990s, few cards commanded more attention than his1992 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. Draft Picks card #1. As the definitive Griffey “rookie” in the exploding sports card market of this time, the 1992 Upper Deck Draft Picks #1 became a universally sought-after issue. In pristine PSA 10 condition, Gem Mint examples have sold for record amounts above $25,000. Even well-centered PSA 9s will achieve $4,000-$8,000. This ultra-popular issue remains a strong investment grade card at any certification level due to the limited 1993 reprints. For raw or lower-end graded copies, prices start around $500-700 depending on perceived condition.


Of course, no Griffey collection would be complete without highlights from the peak of his MVP winning career with Seattle in the mid-1990s. The finest representation of this amazing five-year run can be found in Griffey’s Ultra inserts and parallels from 1995 and 1996 Ultra set. The ultrarare 1995 Ultra #15 insert hits astronomical prices above $15,000 in PSA 10. Even the 1996 Ultra Gold Medallion #15 surpasses $5,000 in top condition. Regular Ultra issues like the 1995 #172 reach up to $1,500 as PSA 10 Gems. Many other Griffey Ultras from this time period pull in hundreds to low thousands graded. For raw collector copies, strong visual condition is still rewarded with $100+ valuations on popular 90s Ultra inserts. These encapsulate Griffey at the absolute pinnacle of his elite play.

Fans of Griffey’s later career with Cincinnati can point to treasures like his 2000 Finest Refractor #151 parallel as a true highlight. Numbered to only 100 copies, a pristine PSA 10 example changed hands for an incredible $27,500 back in 2016. Even PSA 9 copies approach $5,000 figures. Regular 2001 Finest inserts also stay remarkably strong, with the #305 reaching $500-1000 PSA 10. These special “refractor” parallels define the booming memorabilia era when Griffey was still one of baseball’s biggest stars. His first Cincinnati Reds regular season issue, the 2000 Topps Traded #T267, also proved an instant collectible – with PSA 10’s reaching the $500 marker.


As Griffey’s career wound down after 2008, items like his 2008 Topps #293 capture a nice “final season” moment. The true epitome though came in 2010, when Upper Deck released their Final Bowman card pack for retiring players. Naturally, the Griffey Legacy #1 parallel out of 10 became the most desired modern retirement card issue on the market. Even raw unsigned examples surpass $1,000 valuation today. A PSA 10 graded signature version would undoubtedly shatter records. These encapsulate The Kid riding off into the sunset as one of baseball’s true goodwill ambassadors.

In the decade since Griffey’s retirement, card values have largely held firm or increased – a testament to his enduring popularity amongst collectors old and new. Flagship parallels of his rookie seasons with Mariners or Reds remain cornerstones. And modern redemptions like Panini’s 2020 Chronicles Football #KR-KG dual Jordan/Griffey autograph are already approaching $4,000 online. All things considered, Ken Griffey Jr. cards offer a unique timeline documenting one of history’s most exciting players. Whether it’s an affordable player issue or high-dollar investment piece – collecting The Kid brings the pure joy he brought to millions of baseball fans. His cards’ staying power and price gains over the decades prove Griffey is a player whose legend remains as fresh as the day he first stepped onto the field.

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