The Most Expensive Ken Griffey Jr. Cards of All-Time

Ken Griffey Jr Cards mobile
Jason Koeppel // ONE37PM

What are most expensive Ken Griffey Jr. cards of all-time? Let's dive in to it!

If we asked you to picture the smoothest baseball swing ever, you probably would think of Ken Griffey Jr. A 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, “The Kid” put his immaculate play style on display for 22 MLB seasons. In turn, he became one of the most beloved and iconic players in the history of the game.

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When it comes to the hobby, few cards have reached the craze of Griffey’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie. It has been slabbed over 96,000 times by PSA, making it one of the most graded trading cards ever. Despite the lack of rarity, this highly recognizable piece of cardboard is still sought after to this day.

Griffey’s prime coincided with the launch of many popular card sets, such as Skybox PMGs and Topps Finest Refractors. Nearly three decades later, these cards have retained their value and serve as cornerstones for many Ken Griffey collectors. 

Today, we are highlighting the 10 biggest Ken Griffey Jr. card sales of all time.  To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing an individual card to appear once.  Let’s jump right in and show off the most expensive Ken Griffey Jr. cards of all-time!

1. Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 Upper Deck A Piece Of Action Patch Auto /24 BGS 8.5 - $84,000

1998 Upper Deck A Piece Of Action 3 Ken Griffey Jr

To get this list started off, we have one of The Kid’s first-ever patch autograph. Pack-issued inserts were not commonplace in the late 90s, and pulling one was no easy feat. Seeing this card maintained well with a BGS 8.5 grade and a perfect autograph grade is impressive in its own right. But this is a Griffey card that rarely appears at a Goldin or PWCC auction, so it’s no surprise that it stands atop our list with a final sale price of $84,000 in October 2022. 

2. Ken Griffey Jr. / Mickey Mantle 1994 Upper Deck Dual Signed Card BGS 9.5/AUTO 10 - $57,600

1994 UpperDeck Ken Griffey Jr Mickey Mantle

For us, this is one of the coolest baseball cards to ever exist. Two titans of America’s pastime. Two of the hobby’s most heralded players. Two on-card signatures. This is the highest-graded copy to ever sell at auction, reaching a sale price of $57,600.  We will never see a card like this produced again, so this remained a grail for many Mickey Mantle or Ken Griffey Jr. collectors.

3. Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Autograph PSA 10/AUTO 10 - $55,201

1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr Auto

We referenced Jr.’s Star Rookie earlier; however, it’s not often that this card receives both a PSA 10 card and autograph grade. As we mentioned earlier, pack-issued autographs did not really exist in 1989. There is an intrinsic value to junk wax era cards that have been autographed and slabbed, which is evident in this stunner. Griffey’s Upper Deck ‘89 Auto has sold for as high as $55,000, and this is still a big chase for any high-end collector.

4. Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 Skybox Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems (PMG) /50 BGS 8 - $46,800

1998 Skybox Metal Universe PMG Ken Griffey Jr

We’ve talked extensively about how influential Precious Metal Gems (PMGs) are in the hobby. Pair that with one of the most influential players in sports cards and you have an iconic card on your hands. Given their design, PMGs are susceptible to wear and tear over time. Nevertheless, this 1998 copy still managed a BGS 8 grade, making it the biggest Griffey PMG sale of all time.

5. Ken Griffey Jr. 1999 Upper Deck Game Jersey Patch Auto /24 BGS 8.5 - $42,000

1999 Upper Deck Game Jersey Ken Griffey Jr PATCH AUTO

Much like the ‘98 patch auto from earlier, this set features a clean game-worn patch and signature of the Swingman. A card like this reminds collectors of Griffey’s flawless penmanship, which may contribute to his consistent autographed market. This BGS 8.5 copy last sold for $42,000, so it will be intriguing to see if any higher-graded versions appear at auction anytime soon.

6. Ken Griffey Jr. 1997 Donruss Crusade Red Refractor Sample #XX/25 - $33,100

1997 Donruss Crusade Ken Griffey Jr Red Refractor Sample

At #6, we have the one and only ungraded card on the list. The Crusade insert has become very popular across all major sports. This sample red refractor is from the first year of the medieval-inspired Crusade set, and it is limited to just 25 copies.  If a graded version were to surface, we could see this one jumping a few spots on our list in the years to come.

7. Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 Skybox E-X2001 Essential Credentials Future /91 BGS 9.5 - $27,300

1998 SkyBox E X2001 Essential Credentials Future Ken Griffey Jr

Next up, we have another fabled set from the late 90s, the EX-2001 Credentials. The acetate finish and bright neon colors were unheard of for cards when this set came out. It was fresh and innovative, becoming an immediate hit for sports card collectors. This Griffey received an astonishing 9.5 grade, which is nearly unheard of for an older acetate card. It last sold for $27,300 in November 2022.

T-8. Ken Griffey Jr. 1999 Fleer Brilliants 24KT Gold /24 PSA 5 - $26,400

1999 Fleer Brilliants 24KT Gold Ken Griffey Jr

This card checks all the boxes. It’s gold, it’s numbered and it features an action shot of one of the best to ever do it. When you have a rarer insert like this one, the grade of the card really does not matter. While Fleer has since discontinued their trading card production, we still see many modern sets utilize gold finishes on their cards to make them pop like this one.

T-8. Ken Griffey Jr. 1993 Topps Finest Refractor MBA PSA 10 - $26,400

1993 Finest Refractor Ken Griffey Jr

1993 was the first year of Topps Finest, a revolutionary optichrome trading card. Early Finest designs have held up very well throughout the hobby’s history, and many modern sets draw inspiration from them. This ‘93 Griffey refractor is visually striking and a must-have for any high-end 90s baseball collector. You can also notice the MBA sticker on the label, which distinguishes the stunner as one of the best-looking PSA 10s you will find. It sold for as high as $26,400 in May 2022.

10. Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Donruss Rated Rookie Autograph PSA 10/AUTO 10 - $25,101

1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr Auto

To round the list off, we have another iconic card in the hobby’s lore. This is The Kid’s first Donruss Rated Rookie, and it received a perfect 10 grade on the card and the autograph. While Griffey still signs in many modern high-end releases like Topps Dynasty and Panini Flawless, there is something special about getting ink on his iconic rookies. 

Which of the most expensive Ken Griffey Jr. cards of all-time was your favorite? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter

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