Ken Griffey, Jr: Wikis

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Ken Griffey, Jr.

Griffey with the Seattle Mariners in 2009
Seattle Mariners — No. 24
Outfielder / Designated hitter
Born: November 21, 1969 (1969-11-21) (age 40)
Burgaw, North Carolina
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
April 3, 1989 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through the 2009 season)
Batting average     .285
Home runs     630
Runs batted in     1,829
Hits     2,638
Doubles     522
Runs     1,656
Teams
Career highlights and awards

George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey, Jr. (born November 21, 1969) is a Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter,[1] for the Seattle Mariners.

Griffey is both one of the most prolific home run hitters and best defensive players in baseball history, fifth on the list of most career home runs with the most home runs of any active Major Leaguer, and is tied for the record of most consecutive games with a home run.[2] He has won 10 Gold Glove awards. Griffey has played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox.

During his main tenure with the Mariners in the 1990s, and the last two years back with his original team, Griffey remains a widely popular player and a fan favorite around the league. Griffey is considered to be one of the few elite players of that era to be free of steroid use suspicion, providing further rise to his stature in retrospect.[3] During this period, Griffey was a figure of national prominence, signing lucrative deals with companies of international prominence like Nike and Nintendo, helping MLB restore its image after the 1994 labor dispute.

Contents

Early life

Griffey shares the birthday (November 21) and birthplace (Donora, Pennsylvania), of Hall of Famer Stan Musial.[4] His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where father Ken Griffey, Sr. played for the Cincinnati Reds when Jr. was six. Ken was in the clubhouse during his father's back-to-back championships in the 1975 and 1976 World Series. He attended Archbishop Moeller High School,[5] where he was the baseball player of the year in 1986 and 1987 and played football for three years.[6]

Professional career

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Seattle Mariners

1989–1999 seasons

In 1987, Griffey was selected with the first overall pick of that year's amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners. In his eleven seasons with Seattle (spanning from 1989 to 1999) Griffey established himself as one of the most prolific and exciting players of the era, racking up 1,752 hits, 398 home runs, 1,152 RBIs, and 167 stolen bases. He led the American League in home runs four seasons (1994, 1997, 1998, and 1999), was voted the A.L. MVP in 1997, and maintained a .297 batting average.

His defense in center field was widely considered the standard of elite fielding during the decade. His impressive range allowed frequent spectacular diving plays, and he often dazzled fans with over-the-shoulder basket catches and robbed opposing hitters of home runs by leaping up and pulling them back into the field of play. He was featured on the Wheaties cereal box and had his own signature sneaker line from Nike, Inc.

One of Ken Griffey, Jr. signature sneakers, the Nike Air Griffey Max.

Griffey was a frequent participant in the All-Star Game during the 1990s. He has led his league multiple times in hitting categories and was awarded Gold Gloves for his defensive excellence every year from 1990 to 1999.

In 1990 and 1991, Griffey and his father became the first son and father to play on the same team at the same time. The duo are the only father and son pair to hit back to back home runs. At the MLB Home Run Derby in 1993, which was held at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Griffey hit the warehouse beyond the right field wall on the fly and, through the 2009 season, he is still the only player ever to do so. As with every home run that hits Eutaw St., each feat is honored with a circular plaque, embedded horizontally onto the concourse's walkway, in the exact spot where the home run landed.[7][8] In 1994, he received the most votes for any player as an All Star game selection.[citation needed] In 1997, he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award, hitting .304, with 56 home runs and 147 RBIs.

One of the most memorable moments of Griffey's career with the Mariners came during the 1995 American League Division Series (ALDS) against the New York Yankees. After losing the first two games, the Mariners and Griffey were on the verge of elimination, but came back to win the next two games, setting up a decisive fifth game. In the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 5, with Griffey on first base, teammate Edgar Martínez hit a double. Griffey raced around the bases, slid into home with the winning run, and popped up into the waiting arms of the entire team. Although the Mariners subsequently lost the ALCS to the Cleveland Indians (managed by later Mariners manager Mike Hargrove), that moment remains one of the most memorable in Mariners history, capping a season that "saved baseball in Seattle",[9][10] as it occurred amid speculation that the franchise would move to another city. The play inspired the title of the video game Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run for the Super Nintendo.

The iconic image of Griffey (center) sliding home safely on the "The Double" by Edgar Martínez that "saved baseball in Seattle".

As the Mariners were playing to sellout crowds in the Kingdome, the citizens of Washington State's King County narrowly defeated a ballot proposal to build a new baseball stadium. Following the success of the team that season and the narrowness of the vote, the Governor of Washington at the time, Mike Lowry, called what would be the only special session of the Washington State Legislature during his run as Governor, where a new stadium authority was created and a new tax on hotels and rental cars were added to support the baseball stadium. Today, this facility is known as Safeco Field, and is referred to by some as "The House That Griffey Built".[11][12]

In 1999, he ranked 93rd on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. This list was compiled during the 1998 season, counting only statistics through 1997. It was argued by some that, had the voting been done two or three years later, he would have been ranked several places higher: at age 29 (going on 30), he was easily the youngest player on the list. That same year, Griffey was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. However, when TSN updated their list for a new book in 2005, despite having surpassed 400 and 500 home runs, Griffey remained at Number 93.

While playing with Seattle, Griffey was a 10-time American League Gold Glove winner, the 1992 All-Star Game MVP, 1997 AL MVP, 1998 ESPY co-winner for Male Athlete of the Year, 1999 Players Choice Awards Player of the Decade (by the players), and was named to the All-Century team in 1999.

1999: Departure from Seattle

Griffey used to live in the same neighborhood in Orlando as golfer Payne Stewart. After Stewart's death in a plane crash on October 25, 1999, Griffey started expressing a desire to live closer to his relatives in his hometown of Cincinnati. Not only did Griffey want to live closer but he wanted to be able to raise his kids ,Trey and Taryn(Tevin wasn't born at this time)

After the 1999 season, Griffey's request was granted and he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko, Antonio Pérez, and Jake Meyer. Initially, the future looked extremely bright for him in Cincinnati, where the Reds had just come within one game of a playoff berth. It was the city in which he had grown up, and Griffey was reportedly very pleased to be playing on his father's former team.

Ken Griffey, Jr. was a fan favorite in Seattle since he was a 19-year-old rookie,[13] and was the featured star of the Mariners throughout his tenure. In June 2007, the near-capacity crowd welcomed him back in a Reds' uniform for a three-game series in Seattle. Griffey hit two home runs in the last game of the series. In a TV interview broadcast on the local FSN affiliate following the series finale, Griffey emotionally expressed an interest in returning to the Seattle ballclub in the future should circumstances warrant it.[14]

Cincinnati Reds

2000–2004 seasons

Griffey, batting for the Cincinnati Reds.

The 2000 season began what has generally been seen by the media as a decline in Griffey's superstar status. Although his statistics during this season were respectable, they were far below his previous level of play: in 145 games, Griffey hit .271 with 40 home runs, but his .943 on-base plus slugging was his lowest mark in five years. Griffey wore his father's #30, not #24 as he did in Seattle. The number 24 was already retired in honor of Tony Pérez and it was not brought out of retirement for Griffey. Additionally, from 2001 through 2004, Griffey was plagued by a string of injuries, including season-ending injuries in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Worse yet for Griffey, the cumulative effects of the injuries lowered his bat speed, resulting in less power and fewer home runs (he slugged only .426 before succumbing to injury in 2002, his lowest output in seven years). Injuries forced Griffey to miss 260 out of 486 games from 2002 through 2004, diminishing both his skills and his star reputation. Consequently, Griffey was no longer the ubiquitous presence he once was on cereal boxes, television commercials, and the All-Star Game.

In 2004, Griffey avoided major injury during the first half of the season, and on June 20 became the 20th player to hit 500 career home runs. His 500th home run came on Father's Day in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, with his father in the stands; the homer tied Griffey with his father in career hits with 2,143. However, the injury bug bit again just before the All-Star break; he suffered a partial hamstring tear, knocking him out of the All-Star Game and putting him on the disabled list yet again.

Griffey finished the 2004 season on the disabled list after suffering a rupture of his right hamstring in San Francisco.[15] The play in question occurred at AT&T Park in a game against the San Francisco Giants. Griffey was starting in right field for the first time in his 16-year Major League career when he raced toward the gap to try to cut off a ball before it got to the wall. He slid as he got to the ball, but in the process hyper extended his right leg, tearing the hamstring completely off the bone. He later came out of the game, complaining of "tightness" in the hamstring exacerbated by chilly conditions in San Francisco. However, there was far more to it than anyone realized at the time.

Shortly after this injury, the Reds' team physician, Timothy Kremchek, devised an experimental surgery dubbed "The Junior Operation"[16] that would use three titanium screws to reattach Griffey's hamstring. For several weeks, Griffey's right leg was in a sling that kept it at a 90-degree angle, and he was not able to move the leg until late October. After an intense rehabilitation period, he returned for the 2005 season. In April, he hit .244 with one homer (on April 30) and nine RBIs.[17]

2005–2006 seasons

Ken played in his hometown of Cincinnati from 2000-2008.

Starting May 1, the 2005 season saw the resurgence of a healthy Griffey. The fluid swing, which depends heavily on excellent lower-body strength, returned to its original form now that Griffey's hamstring and calf problems appeared behind him. His 35 home runs were his highest since his first year with the Reds as Griffey slowly moved up the career home run list. He ended the season tied with Mickey Mantle, after having passed Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott, and Eddie Murray.

Early in September, he strained a tendon in his left foot (an injury unrelated to his past hamstring and calf problems), and was listed as day-to-day for several weeks. On September 22, with the Reds out of playoff contention, the team decided to bench him for the rest of the season so he could immediately have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and a separate operation to repair scars from his 2004 hamstring operation. Still, his 128 games in 2005 were the most he has played since 2000. Griffey's resurgence was recognized when he was named National League Comeback Player of the Year. He played in the World Baseball Classic for the American team that off-season with his father as a coach. Griffey batted .524, but the USA failed to reach the semifinals.

During the second game of the 2006 regular season, Griffey hit home run #537, surpassing Mickey Mantle for 12th on the all-time list. He returned on May 11 from a knee injury suffered April 12, and hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Washington Nationals. On June 5, Griffey tied Fred McGriff's record by hitting a home run in his 43rd different ballpark, at the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch Stadium. On June 19, Griffey hit career home run 548, tying him with Mike Schmidt, and then six days later passed Schmidt with 549. On June 27, he hit his 550th career home run against the Kansas City Royals.

On September 25, 2006, Griffey hit his 27th home run of the season against Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Scott Eyre to tie Reggie Jackson for tenth on the all time home run list.

Griffey's injuries continued in the 2006 off-season. While on holiday in the Bahamas with his family, he broke his wrist. He said he was wrestling with his daughter and two younger sons when the oldest jumped in and knocked him off balance; he landed awkwardly on his left hand. Griffey said his hand felt fine and he expected to be ready to go for 2007 spring training.[18]

2007 season

CIN Griffey Jr.jpg

At the beginning of the 2007 Major League Baseball season, Ryan Freel took over center field for the Reds, and Griffey Jr. was moved to right field. Griffey changed his number from 30 to 3 to honor his 3 kids (during the next 2 seasons, Griffey would wear number 42 on April 15 as part of Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day promotion). Reds manager Jerry Narron said that "I've got to do everything I can do to put our best club out there. My feeling is that with Ryan Freel out there, it gives us strong defense up the middle."[19] On May 10, 2007, Griffey hit his sixth home run of the season and the 569th of his career, tying Rafael Palmeiro for ninth place on the career home runs list. He passed Palmeiro on May 13. Griffey tied Harmon Killebrew for eighth on the all-time list hitting his 573rd career home run on May 22. He then surpassed him on May 25.

On June 22, 2007, Griffey made his first return to Seattle after his trade to the Reds. Before the game, the Mariners honored him with a 15-minute presentation which included a highlight reel of his playing career with the Mariners, a presentation of a "The House that Griffey Built" memorial by Mariners hall-of-famers and former teammates Jay Buhner and Edgar Martínez, and a 4 minute standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. Griffey did not expect such a welcome or a turnout by fans when he came back, and a short but emotional speech was given by Griffey afterwards. Many of the fans in attendance made signs professing their gratitude and adoration toward him with quotes such as: "The House that Griffey Built", "Seattle [hearts] Junior", and "Griffey we miss you." Griffey went 1-5 in the game. On June 24, Griffey hit his 583rd and 584th career home runs, tying and passing Mark McGwire for 7th place on the all-time career home run list.

Wow. Never did I imagine that it would be like this coming back. I spent 11 years here, 11 wonderful years here...This place will be [my] home...I didn't realize how much I missed being in Seattle.

-- An excerpt from Griffey's short speech as noted above.[20]

In an interview on an episode of "In My Own Words" with Angie Mentink on FSN Northwest, Griffey stated that he would like to end his career as a Seattle Mariner and that he feels that he owes it to the fans of Seattle: "Would I do it? Yeah. I think for the simple reason that this is the place where I grew up, and I owe it to the people of Seattle and to myself to retire as a Mariner."

Following the Cincinnati Reds versus Seattle Mariners series from June 22-24, 2007, a fan movement emerged petitioning Mariners' management to bring Griffey back. Over 1,900 signatures were collected on a fan vid-blog/petition.[21]

Griffey received the most votes of any player in the National League for the 2007 All-Star balloting and on the July 10 game, he went on to drive in two runs for the National League. On July 16, 2007, Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 587th home run to pass Frank Robinson for 6th place on the all-time home run list. On July 18, 2007, Griffey hit his 2,500th hit, a first inning single off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher John Smoltz.

On September 19, 2007, in a game against the Chicago Cubs, Griffey fielded a Derrek Lee single in right field, then suddenly went down in pain. He was on the ground for several minutes, but eventually walked off under his own power. The injury, first thought to be a lower abdominal strain, was later revealed to be a season-ending groin strain. This marked one of many seasons in Cincinnati in which Griffey had to end the year on the disabled list. Griffey ended the 2007 season with 593 career home runs.

On August 22, 2007, Griffey was selected as an all-time Gold Glove winner, on a list of nine players considered the greatest defensive players in the last fifty years.[22] He finished the season with 78 runs, 146 hits, 24 doubles, one triple, 30 home runs, 93 RBIs, and a .277 batting average.

2008 season

On April 4, 2008, Ken Griffey, Jr. passed Reggie Jackson for 16th on the all-time list after driving in his 1,702nd RBI.[23] Two days later, in an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Griffey hit his 594th career home run and his first of the 2008 season. The two-run homer pushed him closer to becoming the sixth player in history to reach 600 home runs.[24] On April 9, in the 12-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, Griffey batted 2-for-4 with 3 runs and an RBI. On April 15, in the 9-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs, Griffey hit his 595th career home run, batting 1-for-4 on the game with the solo hit being the two-run homer. Two days later on April 17, Griffey hit his 596th career home run while batting 2-for-5 with 3 RBIs in a 9-2 victory by the Cincinnati Reds over the Chicago Cubs. In the April 20 matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers, Griffey batted 1-for-5 with the walk-off RBI in the bottom of the 10th inning for the 4-3 victory. Griffey's walk-off hit came after Edwin Encarnación's and Joey Votto's back-to-back home runs. On May 31, Griffey hit the 599th home run of his career against the Atlanta Braves, needing only 1 more home run to become only the sixth member of the legendary 600 home run club. He reached the plateau on June 9, hitting his 600th home run on a 3-1 pitch from Mark Hendrickson of the Florida Marlins in the first inning at Land Shark Stadium in Miami. Fans of both teams gave him a standing ovation.[25]

Ken Griffey, Jr. in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox.

On June 30, Griffey hit his fifth career walk-off home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two-run pinch-hit shot, his 603rd career home run, came in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Reds to the 4–3 victory. On July 4, Griffey hit career home run 604 as the Reds beat the Washington Nationals, 3–0.

Despite being ranked second in the National League All-Star voting for outfielders for most of the first half of the season, Griffey finished fourth with 2,907,746 ballots and was not selected to his 14th All-Star Game as a reserve, being 87,000 votes away from Kosuke Fukudome in third place. At the All-Star Break, Griffey was batting .239 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs. "I always have a backup plan...If you can't hit a tough lefty, bunt. If you can't hit a tough righty, bunt. If you can't go to the All-Star Game, go to the Bahamas," Griffey said.[26]

On July 30, Griffey hit his 608th career home run in his last game for the Reds.[27] When the 2008 season ended he said he wouldn't retire, saying "I've got things to do."

Chicago White Sox

On July 31, 2008, at the MLB trade deadline, Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar, ending his nine-year tenure in Cincinnati.[28] In his first game against the Royals, he went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, a walk, and a run.[29]

On August 20, 2008, Griffey hit his first home run as a member of the White Sox, off of the Mariners' R. A. Dickey, which moved him into a tie with former Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa for career home runs. [30] He surpassed Sosa on September 23, with one off Minnesota's Matt Guerrier. [31]

On October 30, 2008 the White Sox declined a $16 million option on Griffey, making him a free agent for the first time in his career. Griffey would instead receive a buyout for $4 million, split between the Reds and White Sox. Griffey hit just 18 home runs with the Reds and White Sox in 2008.[32]

Seattle Mariners, second tenure

Griffey, batting against the Chicago Cubs after returning to the Mariners during Spring Training, March 2009.

Griffey accepted a contract offer from the Seattle Mariners on February 18, 2009. After declaring free agency, Griffey was courted by the Mariners and the Atlanta Braves, and ultimately decided with the Mariners after "agonizing" over the decision. Griffey was motivated by sentimental reasons toward Seattle, where he received an overwhelmingly positive reception when he last played there as a Cincinnati Red in June 2007, but was inclined towards Atlanta for its proximity to his home in Orlando, Florida, and his desire to be with his family during the season.[33] Apparently, Griffey was very close to signing with Atlanta; however, a premature report emerged from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that an Atlanta deal was done and a conversation with Willie Mays and his own 13-year-old daughter played a factor in his choice.[34] Griffey once again sports his classic #24 jersey with the Mariners. During the nine seasons (2000-2008) that he was away, the Mariners did not issue the #24 jersey to any player or coaching staff member that passed through (including during spring training), in hopes that Griffey would someday return to the Mariners, and reclaim the #24 jersey that the organization set aside for him.

He started his first spring game in an exhibition against the Australian World Baseball Classic team, going 0-1 with a walk. His Cactus League Debut saw him going 2-2 with 2 singles and 1 run scored.

Ken Griffey, Jr. during his final at-bat of the 2009 season.

Griffey went 1-2 with a home run in his regular season debut against the Minnesota Twins, on April 8.[35] On April 15, 2009, Griffey hit his 400th home run as a Mariner (613th of career) off of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, becoming the first MLB player to hit 400 home runs with one club (Mariners) and 200 home runs with another (Reds).

On June 23, 2009, at Safeco Field, Griffey hit the 5,000th home run in franchise history off of San Diego Padres pitcher Chad Gaudin. This was Griffey's 619th career home run. On July 1, Griffey hits career home run #621 at the new Yankee Stadium off of Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte in the 6th inning. It marked the 44th different ballpark he has hit a home run in. On July 7, Griffey wore a single white batting glove in the 1st inning instead of his usual two black ones as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson.

On October 3rd, 2009, Griffey hit the 630th home run of his career in the 4th inning off Rangers' hurler Tommy Hunter to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead with none on and none out. This was his 19th of the season.

On October 4th, 2009, Griffey went 1-4, with a final at-bat in which he singled into shallow center. At the time, this was thought to be his last Major League hit. Michael Saunders then notably pinch-ran for Griffey, in which he left the field to a huge ovation. After the Mariners' 4-3 win over the Rangers, an emotional Griffey and the Mariners celebrated by hugging each other. Later on in the end, he, along with other Mariners legend and superstar Ichiro, were both seen being carried by their teammates into the locker room.

As of November 11th, 2009, it was announced that Griffey would return to the Mariners for the 2010 campaign with a similar contract to that of 2009. He is looking to make $2 million with an additional $3 million in incentives.

Jersey number

Griffey's jersey number has changed many times throughout his career. He has worn numbers:

24 - Seattle Mariners, 1989-1999, 2009-present (he wore this number for three reasons; he once hit 24 home runs in a season in high school and he wears the number in honor of two of his favorite players, Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson[14])
30 - Cincinnati Reds, 2000-2006 (his father's old number when he was with the Reds)
3 - Cincinnati Reds, 2007-2008 (in honor of his 3 kids)
17 - Chicago White Sox, 2008 (he was drafted when he was 17 years old)
42 - In honor of Jackie Robinson day.

Griffey in popular culture

As a Mariner, Griffey has starred in four Nintendo video games: 1994's Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball and 1996's Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as the Nintendo 64 games Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1998, and Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Slugfest in 1999. He has appeared on the Game Boy in 1997 (a portable version of his 1994 game, with authentic rosters as they were on Opening Day 1997) and 1999's Slugfest, a portable version of the Nintendo 64 game.

In 1996, Nike promoted a "Ken Griffey, Jr. for President" ad campaign, releasing "Griffey in '96" buttons and a TV commercial featuring Penny Hardaway. Of course, Griffey could not take office as he was only 27 at the time; the Constitution requires the President to be at least 35. Thus the first election cycle which would be constitutionally permissible would have been the 2008 election.

Griffey had a memorable guest role on The Simpsons, in episode 52, during the third season episode, "Homer at the Bat", along with fellow stars José Canseco, Wade Boggs, Darryl Strawberry, Don Mattingly, Roger Clemens, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, and Mike Scioscia. In the episode, Griffey overdoses on a nerve tonic given to him by Mr. Burns, causing him to suffer from gigantism.

Griffey was mentioned in an episode of Scrubs. A paramedic, played by Molly Shannon, said she bought her son Griffey's card, and he carried it with him wherever he went.

Griffey had an appearance in "Love Hurts", an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which he insults Will Smith at a local carnival. In 1994, he was featured in the major motion picture Little Big League, directed by Andrew Scheinman. In the 2001 baseball movie, Summer Catch, Griffey makes a brief cameo appearance at the very end of the movie, showcasing him hitting a home run at the now defunct Cinergy Field/Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.

Griffey has appeared in some games in the Backyard Baseball series.

Griffey is a paintball fan and can often be found playing with his wife and children at paintball facilities around Orlando, Florida, his off-season home. At the 2007 PSP World Cup, Planet Eclipse presented Griffey with his own "Private Label" 2008 Ego paintball marker.[36]

Griffey was the first player to ask Bud Selig to wear the number 42 in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. After its approval from the league commissioner, Selig encouraged players across the league to do the same in a temporary suspension of the number being retired to honor the great Jackie Robinson on Jackie Robinson Day celebrated throughout the Major League.

Griffey's 1989 Upper Deck rookie card, numbered 1, was selected as the first ever* printed MLB baseball card for an official set by Upper Deck.

  • Promotional cards of Wally Joyner and De Wayne Buice were printed by the company, prior to the release of the official set. The Buice promo card is numbered 1 on the reverse, but the hologram is rectangular, rather than the diamond shape.

Ken Griffey Jr's 1989 Upper Deck rookie card was mentioned on the Sci-fi television show Eureka in the episode titled "Games People Play" as Sheriff Jack Carter's prized baseball card from his former baseball card collection. The sheriff's ex-wife disposed of the collection.

Griffey was featured (and performed) on Seattle-based rapper Kid Sensation's 1992 album The Power of the Rhyme, in the song "The Way I Swing".

Griffey was featured in ads by Pizza Hut in the mid-late 1990s.

Philanthropy

In 2008, Griffey released a series of charity wines to support The Ken Griffey, Jr. Family Foundation, a fund that supports several causes, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and several children's hospitals across the United States of America. [37]

Personal

In January 1988, Griffey, at the age of 17, attempted to commit suicide by swallowing 277 asprin but wound up in intensive care in Providence Hospital in Mount Airy, Ohio. Griffey being the #1 overall pick in baseball's amateur draft, the son of a great baseball player and everything that comes with being a professional athlete proved to be too much for Griffey. He stated, "It seemed like everyone was yelling at me in baseball, then I came home and everyone was yelling at me there," Griffey recalled. "I got depressed. I got angry. I didn't want to live."[38]

In April 2007, Griffey was diagnosed with pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the cavity surrounding the lungs which can cause painful respiration and other symptoms.

Griffey and his wife Melissa have three children: George Kenneth III ("Trey"), daughter Taryn Kennedy, and adopted son Tevin Kendall. Griffey switched his uniform number in 2006, from 30 to 3, to honor his three kids, but in 2008 when he was traded to Chicago he was given the number 17.

Griffey was named an American Public Diplomacy Envoy by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on November 18, 2008.[39]

Trey Griffey

When Trey was born in 1994, the Mariners' then-General Manager, Woody Woodward, sent him a player's contract dated 2012. Peter Gammons once jokingly wrote in a column that Trey would indeed be the major league's #1 draft pick that year. At age twelve, Trey served as a batboy for the US team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, with his father as a player and his grandfather as a coach. Now fifteen, Trey seems to have more of an interest in football, playing linebacker and running back on a youth-league team that includes Shane Larkin, son of Barry Larkin.[40] He does, however, spend his summers with his father, often being spotted on the field during batting practice and in the dugout during games.

See also

References

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  2. ^ Consecutive Home Run Records by Baseball Almanac
  3. ^ Reds outfielder Griffey rises above steroids cloud
  4. ^ Donora Pennsylvania, borough profile (Washington County) - hotels, festivals, genealogy, newspapers - ePodunk
  5. ^ Ken Griffey Jr.: Biography and Career Highlights | whitesox.com: Players
  6. ^ Ken Griffey Jr. - AskMen.com
  7. ^ "Now Fielder Is Where He Knows He Belongs", The New York Times July 13, 1993
  8. ^ The Official Site of the Baltimore Orioles
  9. ^ "Martinez is beloved by Seattle fans; what about Hall voters?" ESPN.com September 25, 2004
  10. ^ "Legendary broadcaster reflects on 40 years of baseball", National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum" Hall of Fame News May 24, 2008.
  11. ^ Verhovek, S.H. "Seattle Journal; No Joy: Mighty Griffey Has Cut Out", The New York Times November 5, 1999
  12. ^ Bell, G. "Griffey: 'I didn't know how much I missed being in Seattle.'", USAToday.com
  13. ^ Shipnuck, A. "Junior Comes Of Age", Sports Illustrated August 8, 1994.
  14. ^ Sports | This wasn't goodbye -- Griffey will be back | Seattle Times Newspaper
  15. ^ Kinney, T. "Griffey Jr. nabbed by injury again", USAToday.com August 14, 2004.
  16. ^ Castrovince A. "Griffey nominated for Comeback Award", MLB.com August 22, 2005.
  17. ^ The Official Site of The Cincinnati Reds: News: Cincinnati Reds News
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  19. ^ Off center: Griffey moving to right field - Baseball - MSNBC.com
  20. ^ "Griffey honored at Seattle". Major League Baseball. June 22, 2007. http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w=2007/open/tp/archive06/062207_cinsea_griffey_ceremony_tp_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2007/06/22/cinmlb-seamlb-1&mid=200706222043893&cid=mlb&fid=mlb_tp400&v=2&id=579571. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
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  22. ^ Rawlings to Present First-Ever Junior Rawlings Gold Glove Award
  23. ^ ESPN - Phillies vs. Reds - Recap - April 4, 2008
  24. ^ ESPN - Phillies vs. Reds - Recap - April 6, 2008
  25. ^ FOXNews.com - Griffey Hits 600th Career Home Run - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
  26. ^ Volquez named to All-Star staff | reds.com: News
  27. ^ ESPN - Reds vs. Astros - Box Score - July 30, 2008
  28. ^ FOX Sports on MSN - Ken Rosenthal - Griffey accepts trade to White Sox
  29. ^ Griffey moves from Reds to White Sox | MLB.com: News
  30. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080820&content_id=3338798&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
  31. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3605690
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  39. ^ Ken Griffey Jr. goes to Washington, makes us all feel older
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External links


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