Darren Rovell wrote a great piece on the most popular baseball card of all time, The Ken Griffey Jr, Upper Deck baseball card. Any collector that was around during the Upper Deck era remembers when their card designs came out they blew away all the other manufacturers in terms of cardstock, design, color, gloss, and quality of photo. It was another world.
“From the very beginning, card buffs saw the Upper Deck No. 1 as not just a collectible, but as an investment. Baseball card fans, who had once traded away duplicate cards in a quest to compile a complete set, started hoarding as many Griffeys as they could. Collectors’ hands would shake when they saw Griffey’s face in their pack, confident that this card would be the key to financing a college education.”