A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 61 Ken Griffey Jr. (Number 6 Center Field)

ESPN had a double header of games. I watched the first game. It was kind of late, but I felt good so I thought I would watch the second game. The Mariners played. It was the game Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back to back home runs. The best part was they were shown on the bench. Both had big grins and they were just enjoying the moment, knowing this was an incredibly special moment.

Later I was watching another game with my Dad and we saw a second-generation ball player hit a home run. Only this players Dad had been retired for a while.  He said I must be old as I also seen his Father hit a home run years before. I told him that wasn’t true as I had seen the Griffeys hit back to back homeruns. So, I could have been five and seen a Father and Son hit major league homeruns. It was one of the few times he wasn’t able to argue with me.

Speaking of Father and Son Ken Griffey Senior the right fielder for the Big Red Machine in the 1970s is the 477th player on my list. Barry Bonds father Bobby Bonds is the 200th player on my list, putting the Bond’s ahead of the Griffey’s.

I saw Griffey live in the Kingdom once. Seattle won the game easily. My friend when we are leaving the game said it was neat as they did it without Griffey doing anything. I said he got two hits a double and a single and he was involved in one rally. We did agree that he wasn’t the key player of the game.

I say Griffey years later (2002) playing for the Reds. The game was in Cincinnati.  He was coming off an injury, but pinch hit late in the game in a critical situation with two outs.  Griffey struck out. I had to go to the restroom. One guy in the restroom was shouting about how bad Griffey was and how it was worse as he was making so much money.

When he came to Cincinnati Griffey had a series of injuries that not only caused him to miss a lot of games, but also not play as well when he did play. In 13 years in Seattle he earned 70.6 WAR. In nine years in Cincinnati he earned only 12.8 WAR. According to WAR he was a little over .500 player in Cincinnati. That Is why he was one of the two or three greatest players in the 90s but didn’t make it over the Jackie Robinson line. But he was sure great in Seattle.

 

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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