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Mario-Rijo
01-10-2007, 09:29 PM
Not really me just the title of the story. It goes to the heart of remembering just how a lot of these guys are just like you and me, and are not simply adult size imaginary G.I. Joes who happen to play sports.

It certainly reminded me! I definitely have this tendency to forget I am writing about real people and not objects.

http://brssports.blogspot.com/2006/12/my-encounter-with-kid.html



Monday, January 01, 2007
My Encounter with "The Kid"


Last evening I returned to the States from a 5-day Christmas vacation in the Bahamas full of rolling an excessive amount of 7s, tearing up the rough at the Ocean Club golf course, and laying out by the beach sipping on Bahama Mamas. Meanwhile, the amount of celebrity sightings was beyond ridiculous, to the point where I believe Nassau is either a celebrity safe house or the host of this year's annual Scientology convention. The celebrities included Jessica Alba, Wesley Snipes, James Gandolfini (aka Tony Soprano), Shane McMahon, and Mayor Giuliani.

But the most memorable experience of the vacation was without a doubt meeting Ken Griffey Jr, who was also vacationing the island. Not only did I meet "The Kid", but I spoke for thirty minutes with the player most believed would one day break Hank Aaron's home run record. After admiring a boat parked in the marina adjacent to the Atlantis hotel property, suddenly Ken Griffey Jr. himself appeared from the interior of the boat, armed with a cast on his left hand, he introduced himself to me as "Ken...Griffey".

Beginning by asking about his 115 foot boat, Griffey predominately carried a half an hour conversation with me, discussing a myriad of topics. Griffey told me that he comes to the Bahamas about 3 or 4 times a year, and usually travels to Nassau during the all-star break. In fact, he even told me that while he used to get excited about participating in the all-star game, he no longer cares for the event as the players are so busy it isn't even a break at all. He also stated that each team should have 40 players in order to prevent another All-Star game tie.

Griffey then discussed steroids and the fact that the tests were not random at all. He said he was tested five times last season, and eight the season before. In fact, Griffey said he had to inform Major League Baseball that he was vacationing in the Bahamas, in case they decided they wanted to administer another random test on him. My father, who was also there, discussed the fact that he and I are from Texas and he remembered Sosa being so skinny on Texas but then in Chicago his body suddenly mirrored the Hulk. Griffey responded by saying, "Yea I remember when he was this big...(and held up his index finger)."

Griffey then reminisced on what it was like to play with his father during the 1991 season in Seattle. While he said it was an amazing time, it was also a little bit stressful. He said things were hard at times though especially during the beginning of the season when he would curse and then awkwardly turn his head over and see his father watching and listening.

Griffey discussed umpires, and the fact that umpires that make bad calls aren't trying to send a message and show up the players, but simply many umpires aren't that good. Griffey said he doesn't bother wasting too much energy arguing with umpires but instead just stares at them for a few seconds after a bad strike call. Griffey informed me that he has only been ejected in three games in his baseball career, including once during a spring training game after the umpire made two atrocious strike three calls, one of which almost hit Griffey. After being ejected that day, Ken said he left the ballpark to play golf with Mark O'Meara and Payne Stewart, not a bad day if you ask me.

Griffey also discussed pitchers and how to distinguish between if the pitcher is going to throw a curve ball or fast ball. He said Pedro cuts his sleeves in a way so that the flap on his sleeve hides his hand which makes it more difficult to determine what he is about to throw. he also advised if I go to a high speed batting cage, not to move my feet to much but swing a short swing if I wanted to try to make contact with the ball.

Griffey also seems like a great family man. He said he enjoys going to the Bahamas so he can spend time fishing with his children. He said each of his children, as well as his wife, have a boat named after them, while he does not own a boat named after himself! He said none of his children are too interested in playing baseball, but prefer basketball and football.

Overall, there is not a doubt in my mind that Ken Griffey Jr. is the nicest celebrity or athlete I have ever met. It wasn't as if I were pestering him with questions, but rather he seemed to enjoy sharing his stories with me, a fan of his, yet a complete stranger. With this, Ken Griffey Jr. is now one of my favorite players and I will cheer for him for as long as he continues to play baseball in the Major Leagues.


Wow it looks like MLB has finally gotten the point about testing for roids, but that is a bit ridiculous. We oughta re-name them the KGB!

Willy
01-10-2007, 09:35 PM
Great story!

Team Clark
01-10-2007, 09:37 PM
Great story. I wish more like that were shared.

Patpacillosjock
01-10-2007, 09:39 PM
great story. god this makes me feel so terrible about him being injured..with this kind of personality, had he stayed healthy his entire career, he would be considered one of the top 3 players ever.

marcshoe
01-10-2007, 09:49 PM
That was the most interesting post I've read in a while. Very nice.

redsfan30
01-10-2007, 09:57 PM
Good stuff!

Cedric
01-10-2007, 10:18 PM
My fiancee and sister met Griffey at Kings Island in 2001 and they said he was one of the nicest people they have ever met. They asked for a photo and instead Griffey took the camera from them and handed it to his bodyguard and posed with them. We know Chief Bender from Hamilton and he was able to get Griffey to autograph the picture for us.

Special guy and one amazing ballplayer.

AccordinglyReds
01-10-2007, 10:45 PM
Great story. It's always nice to read stories of players like that outside of the sport.

He has always been and will always be my favorite baseball player. :)

Shaknb8k
01-10-2007, 10:55 PM
I feel awful for Griffey's injurys the past few years. But in a way its going to add to the legend of Jr. years down the road. Kinda like how some people talk about Mantle. For someone to have still have a Hall of Fame career but not live up to the expectations set for him i personally believe it speaks volumes about how great the player was when he was on top of his game. The what-might-have-been Griffey debate will go on for decades.

Ive said it many times on Redszone... THE modern day Babe Ruth playing on my favorite team is a dream come true.

reds44
01-10-2007, 11:19 PM
I feel awful for Griffey's injurys the past few years. But in a way its going to add to the legend of Jr. years down the road. Kinda like how some people talk about Mantle. For someone to have still have a Hall of Fame career but not live up to the expectations set for him i personally believe it speaks volumes about how great the player was when he was on top of his game. The what-might-have-been Griffey debate will go on for decades.

Ive said it many times on Redszone... THE modern day Babe Ruth playing on my favorite team is a dream come true.
I'll always love Junior. No matter how many injuries, and how little range he has. I'll still love him.

redsfan4445
01-11-2007, 06:08 AM
I'll always love Junior. No matter how many injuries, and how little range he has. I'll still love him.

AMEN!! I being a man had tears in my eyes the day he was traded for.. he is my favorite modern day player. As a kid Johnny Bench was my favorite back then.

I want nothing but the best For JR!! A world Series Win in a REDS uniform would be the sweetest thing!!

RANDY IN INDY
01-11-2007, 07:02 AM
Real nice story about a really great man.:beerme:

MrCinatit
01-11-2007, 07:30 AM
There were a couple of points that really had me chuckling and a couple where I about had tears coming out of my eyes. Great story.
Griffey is one of the few living people I would really like to meet (McCartney, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Hawking) - mainly because he strikes me as a regular, painfully shy guy who happens to be very good at what he does. But, if you happen to click with him, it looks like the conversation can be fullfilling.

bounty37h
01-11-2007, 10:52 AM
I am very envious of that experience, great story, thanks for sharing!!

justincredible
01-11-2007, 11:29 AM
Awesome read! I even named my dog Griffey and Jr was still with Seattle at the time.

BoydsOfSummer
01-11-2007, 02:41 PM
Truly nice guys move to RF. :D

jimbo
01-11-2007, 04:43 PM
What a great story and thread. I still think that Griffey is one of the most misunderstood stars in the game. He's always been one of my favorite players and I am still glad he is a Red.

gm
01-11-2007, 05:18 PM
Awesome read! I even named my dog Griffey and Jr was still with Seattle at the time.

My in-laws (Tacoma) still have a dog named Griffey.

goreds2
01-11-2007, 07:57 PM
Truly nice guys move to RF. :D:pray:

Willy
01-11-2007, 08:16 PM
Awesome read! I even named my dog Griffey and Jr was still with Seattle at the time.

Four of my friends have a dog named Griffey.

I wanted to but I was too late:laugh:

justincredible
01-12-2007, 12:02 AM
Four of my friends have a dog named Griffey.

I wanted to but I was too late:laugh:

Man, seems like a ton of people went that route. I knew at the time I should have went with "Taubensee". I'm pretty sure he'd have been the only one.

Newman4
01-14-2007, 11:06 AM
Four of my friends have a dog named Griffey.

I wanted to but I was too late:laugh:

My dog is named Griffey as well! :thumbup:

I thought it was unique at the time. Guess not.

I think it would be pretty cool to name a son Griffey some way or another as well. Then again, when my little girl on my avatar came along I was a strong proponent for the name "Satchel Paige" but my wife vetoed that one. :D

paulrichjr
01-14-2007, 11:40 AM
My dog is named Griffey as well! :thumbup:

I thought it was unique at the time. Guess not.

I think it would be pretty cool to name a son Griffey some way or another as well. Then again, when my little girl on my avatar came along I was a strong proponent for the name "Satchel Paige" but my wife vetoed that one. :D

I named my son Austin the year after Kearns was drafted. I didn't tell my wife where the name came from until I was discussing it 6 months later with a friend and she overheard it. She was not happy.

TeamBoone
01-14-2007, 12:03 PM
I like Griffin/Griffyn, and it could be shortened to Griff/Griffey as a nickname.

Great story, BTW. I wish something like that would happen to me. Very nice read.