But for me, Ken Griffey Jr. will always be represented by his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card.
For people like me who were born in the early '80s and came of age in the late '80s and early '90s, this card was the holy grail of collecting. Everyone wanted one. Or two. Or three. People invested in them thinking they'd be able to retire on them (like they could with Mickey Mantle rookie cards).
Obviously one of the things that make this card stand out is it was the first card of one of the great young players in the game, a player that completely lived up to the hype. But it was also the first card from Upper Deck, and looked nothing like what we'd seen of baseball cards before. It had the sharp graphics (which look SO dated now), it had the bright pictures and it had a hologram on the back. A hologram! It's like it was from the FUTURE!
Well, now that card, which once sold for $1,000, now goes for about $35 on eBay. Which means I can finally get one. That's right, for all these years, including the bulk of the '90s when I was obsessed with card collecting, I never managed to get my hands on one. With Griffey finally retiring, I feel like it's time to end that.
Also, now with that pesky "baseball" thing out of the way, maybe Griffey can focus on his long-in-the-making run for president.