Overproduction ('89 Upper Deck Card #1: Griffey Jr.)
Original baseball card art
In 1989, Upper Deck arrived as a premium brand with foil-wrapped packs, high-gloss white card stock and holographics. They chose 19-year old Ken Griffey Jr. as the face for their launch, making him card #1 of their inaugural set. It was huge a gamble. Griffey had only reached AA and was injured the year before… they even had to edit a minor league photo to outfit him with a Seattle Mariners cap. However, Griffey made the opening day line-up and this card became a sensation.
As it's popularity soared, it began selling for over $100 at hobby stores. Boxes of cards were flying off the shelf, and rumors were Upper Deck kept printing them... with experts estimating at least 1 million in circulation. It marked the height of the card boom... which would all come crashing down a few years after.
This piece is made with one original card and holographic paper underneath a layer of painted plexiglass. The circled #1 resembles the numbering on the back of the card. Photographs don't do it any justice, as it's absolutely stunning in person as the colors change with different lighting and viewing angle.
More about my 34" diamond baseball card artworks
- My paintings are done on plywood as homage to the game's wooden bats, and shaped like diamonds... a reference to the infield.
- Each diamond is made from a 24" plywood square (1/2" thick), which measures 34" x 34" when hung on a wall.
- Some of my artworks also incorporate the use of spray-painted plexiglass.
- Each painting ships ready to hang, with hardware already installed.
- A printed and signed description of the artwork will be attached to the back prior to shipping.
- All pieces are original artwork by yours truly, Matthew Lee Rosen.