Thursday, March 19, 2009

Interview with Jim Campanis

Jim Campanis, who played six years of pro ball, mainly in the Mariners organization, and who now runs a successful ad agency, graciously responded to my questions with some great stories, including one about a rare Ken Griffey collectible.

Bo Rosny: Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?
Jim Campanis: 1. My first card was when I was in the 1988 TEAM USA set from Topps. We had a 6am photo shoot and I look like I just woke up! They gave us a $5 check for the use of our photos but we could not cash it or it would have ruined our amateur status.
2. I played with the Mariners during the 1992 Spring Training when the Griffeys were on the team. Ken Sr. showed me a prototype card Upper Deck was to make with a "Father and Son" theme. Ken Jr. didn't like his picture and wouldn't allow it to be mass produced. I asked if I could have it and had both of them sign it. I wonder if it has any value?

[Note: here is the card that ended up being in the regular set]

BR: Do you collect baseball cards?
JC: No, but have some cool memories from my travels like my jersey from Mexican Winter Ball, bats, jackets...etc."

BR: Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?
JC: Upper Deck caught me in an action shot throwing a runner out from my knees. They even used it in their print ads to push the set...of course I didn't get a nickel from it!

I couldn't find a picture of an Upper Deck card with that pose, but here he is doing the same thing on his 1993 Classic Best card.

Thanks for the great stories, Jim! I bet a lot of Griffey fans would love to get their hands on that prototype card. And now we know why players don't always look their best in baseball card pictures. If taken at 6am your picture was, look as good you would not.


  1. Very cool interview! I wish we could get a scan of that prototype - they would be neat.

  2. Wow. That Griffey Father and Son card he has is absolutely priceless. It wasn't released, so it's the only card like it out there and it's signed. I love how he says "I wonder if it has any value".