1993 Topps (Pre-Production Sample) #179 - Ken Griffey, Jr.
In the early '90s, there were a handful of baseball players it was practically impossible for collectors and fans not to like. In my opinion I'd put Cal Ripken Jr., maybe Nolan Ryan and certainly Ken Griffey, Jr. firmly into that category. From his debut in 1989 (and the iconic Upper Deck card that accompanied it), and through the entire decade of the '90s, Junior was arguably the biggest name in baseball.
The Kid is certainly a player I'd been looking to add to my franken-set since its inception almost two years ago now, so when this 2016 buyback of his 1993 Topps release popped up on COMC this past summer I was all over it. Griffey had a typical fantastic year in '93, his fifth season in the Majors. It was the season where he truly exploded power-wise as well, with 45 home runs (he had 49 in his previous two seasons combined). He was named an All-Star for the fourth straight year, won a Gold Glove in center for the fourth straight year, and picked up his second Silver Slugger Award while also finishing 5th in AL MVP voting. Just an awesome card.
So, does this buyback make the binder in slot 179?
Next up, buyback number 1,000 at long last. It's a real whopper, featuring a guy with better career numbers than even Griffey, Jr. Oh, and it's from the early '60s as well! See you then!
Franken-set Progress: 545/792 (68%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 454
Total Buybacks in Collection: 999