Ken Griffey, Jr.: Crimestopper

For many 9-year-olds the country over, the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey card was distinctly an Item of Interest. It was the No. 1 card in the company’s inaugural set, and it featured Griffey, who quickly became not only really good at baseball, but also the sport’s symbol of youthful joy — a trait he exhibited most conspicuously by, for example, managing to wear his hat backwards in a way that somehow wasn’t douchey.

With regard to the card itself, like I say, it was in the highest of demands. Would I, personally, have killed for it? No. That’s ridiculous, of course. But maimed someone badly? You know, it’s hard to say. All these hypotheticals, right?

In any case, beyond its other charms, the Griffey card is now also fighting crime!

Reader Steven brings this news story to our attention, courtesy of Albany’s WNYT (which, I’m told, offers “coverage you can trust”):

ALBANY – Ken Griffey Jr.’s rookie baseball card has led to the arrest of two men by Albany Police as detectives connect them to two burglaries last fall on Madison Ave. and Broadway in the city.
Gregory Amyot, 35, and Robert Spraker are charged with one count each Burglary (2nd and 3rd Degree) and Grand Larceny (3rd and 4th Degree).

Back on Nov. 4, 2010, Amyot and Spraker were arrested for possessing a stolen credit card, police said. Surveillance cameras inside the Price Chopper at 40 Delaware Avenue caught them attempting to use the stolen credit card in the early morning hours of November 1, according to Det. James Miller. At that time, officers found they had a valuable stolen baseball card – Griffey’s – that was taken during a burglary of 498 Madison Avenue.

Detectives investigating that incident, as well as a burglary of an architecture firm’s office on Broadway, were able to connect Amyot and Spraker to both. They were both charged late Friday afternoon and arraigned in Albany City Criminal Court on Saturday. Both men were remanded to the county jail without bail, Miller said.

Since that story ran, the NotGraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team has also learned that the Albany Police have, in fact, hired the Griffey card to help solve other difficult cases. “We don’t know exactly how we plan on utilizing the card,” said Police Chief Steven Krokoff, “but it obviously helped us in this one instance. Why not others?”

Krokoff also noted that, while he’s totally willing to keep an open mind about things, there’s no way he’s trading with Rochester for their dumb Canseco Rated Rookie card, so they better just stop asking.

Biggest of hat tips to reader Steven, who, again, alerted us to this very important thing via our hot hotline: not+tip [at] fangraphs [dot] com.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Navin V.

That Griffey Jr. card better not fall asleep on the job.