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Saw this article on mlb.com about the first homer Ken Griffey Jr. hit in his professional baseball career 28 years ago and I was reminded about how great his swing was.
For such a slender guy, Griffey Jr. used his smooth swing to drive the ball and when all was said and done, he hit 630 homeruns from 1989 to 2010.
I tried to copy his swing as much as possible when I played ball despite Griffey Jr. being a tall lefty and me being a short right-handed bat.
Click the link in the first paragraph to see a clip of his first homerun, which he hit opposite field by the way.
In the card collecting world, Griffey Jr. also holds a special place as his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card is well known.
It was card number 1 in the inaugural set of Upper Deck Baseball consisting of high gloss cards wrapped in tamper-evident packs.
The interesting story can be found in this Beckett.com article that goes into detail how Griffey Jr. was ultimately selected as the face of the rookie card subset (especially when Gregg Jefferies seemed to be the most hyped rookie at the time.)
Hindsight is 20-20, but man, Upper Deck sure made the right choice.
While there’s plenty of his Upper Deck rookie cards on the market as it was an over-produced set, Griffey Jr.’s card that’s rated a PSA 10 Gem Mt currently commands $450.