Big League Stew

Ken Griffey Jr.’s famous 1989 Upper Deck rookie card was Photoshopped

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Back when I was a 10-year-old kid opening packs of 1989 Upper Deck baseball cards hoping to pull one of the prized Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards, you could have told me the card was Photoshopped and, well, I wouldn't have cared. I wouldn't have known what Photoshop was. I would have just wanted the card.

Twenty-five years later, I know what Photoshop is and I realize it's used in creating baseball cards. Because there wouldn't be a Russell Wilson baseball card in a Texas Rangers uniform otherwise.

Thanks to The Sporting News, which interviewed Griffey for a 25-year retrospective about the card, we now know his iconic Upper Deck rookie was indeed 'shopped.

Compared to the other huge revelations about my childhood baseball heroes —*ahem* Jose Canseco *ahem — a little digital remastering of a photo isn't earth-shattering. It is, however, a fun factoid you can impress your friends with during your opening day TV marathon.

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(Hall of Fame Memorabilia)

Griffey told The Sporting News' Chris Littmann:

"That baseball card was me in a San Bernardino uniform, they just Photoshopped it. If you notice, the Mariners had the blue stripe down the center of the shirt. That one doesn't have it. And if you look at the hat closely enough, you'll see the trim of the red where the yellow is."

For more of Griffey's take on his famous card, go read The Sporting News piece.

As a kid, I never did get a 1989 Upper Deck Griffey, even though I opened many packs. That's the way it goes sometimes. If you're like me and still want one, you can get a pristine version on eBay for $170 or an ungraded version for less than $10. Or you can try your luck by buying an unopened box of 1989 Upper Deck for $110.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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