PDA

View Full Version : Griffey hits number 600



OnBaseMachine
06-09-2008, 07:22 PM
I'm kind of disappointed that he hit it tonight in Florida. Part of me was hoping Dusty would give him the night off and give him the chance to hit it in Cincy. That was almost embarrassing. There may be 15,000 people in attendance at most and it just felt like any other homerun because of where he's playing. With that said, a huge congrats to Ken Griffey Jr.! He's one of my favorite players of all-time and seeing him hit #600 as a Red is something special. Thank you for all the great memories Junior!

guttle11
06-09-2008, 07:25 PM
Awesome, just awesome.

flyer85
06-09-2008, 07:25 PM
a beautiful swing on a hanging curve ... a no doubter

reds44
06-09-2008, 07:25 PM
Still the same swing and pose.

Congrats Junior.

Phhhl
06-09-2008, 07:31 PM
Congratulations Ken! That is a ton of homers.

RichRed
06-09-2008, 07:37 PM
Awesome. I can't believe the guy whose DAD was one of my favorite players now has 600 career homers. The time does fly.

Congrats, Junior!

UKFlounder
06-09-2008, 07:47 PM
Congrats to him - what a great accomplishment.

SirFelixCat
06-09-2008, 07:55 PM
Just a classic swing on that shot. Congrats to the one of our generation in which there is NO DOUBT he did it the RIGHT way!

mth123
06-09-2008, 07:57 PM
Congrats to JR.

15fan
06-09-2008, 08:03 PM
:clap:

redsfan30
06-09-2008, 08:08 PM
Does anyone know how Marty's call was?

redsmetz
06-09-2008, 08:17 PM
A bit of controversy surrounding the ball - this from CNN


Controversy ensued in the stands following the home run. Justin Kimball, a 25-year-old from Miami, said he caught the home run ball, put it in a wool cap and then had the cap ripped from his hands. Kimball said someone ran off with the ball.

Police said they had found the fan with the baseball and would look at video tape to see if Kimball's claims could be supported.

Cyclone792
06-09-2008, 08:29 PM
Congrats to Junior for a heckuva accomplishment. I was in attendance when he hit #599 and was hoping he could hit #600 tomorrow when I'll be down there again, but I'll take it tonight if it helps the Reds pull out a win.


A bit of controversy surrounding the ball - this from CNN

If I caught any type of valuable ball like that, I'd head straight to ball park security.

Joseph
06-09-2008, 08:31 PM
Junior, Mays, Ruth, Aaron.....think about that.

KYRedsFan
06-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Great to see Junior! Congrats.

redsrule2500
06-09-2008, 08:34 PM
Awesome. Except the lack of people lol. Looked like a minor league game!

paintmered
06-09-2008, 08:38 PM
And there will be 50,000 people who claim they were there...

Congrats to Junior. He's been through so much and overshadowed by lesser men over the years. Junior can finally enjoy his rightful place in history now.

deltachi8
06-09-2008, 08:51 PM
Congrats to Junior. He's been through so much and overshadowed by lesser men over the years. Junior can finally enjoy his rightful place in history now.

well said.

well done ken, well done.

KittyDuran
06-09-2008, 08:52 PM
From Fay...


From the Reds:

In time for Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Cardinals, the Reds will hang a 54-foot banner at the Crosley Terrace entrance of Great American Ball Park saluting Ken Griffey Jr.’s 600th career home run.

All fans attending the Tuesday, June 17 game against the Dodgers (7:10 p.m. ET) will receive a poster, presented by Toyota, commemorating the historic homer.

The Reds will honor Griffey during pregame ceremonies at a date to be announced.

Now comes the BIG question... if this enough to satisfy some fans/players? :confused:

GAC
06-09-2008, 09:02 PM
From Fay...

Now comes the BIG question... if this enough to satisfy some fans/players? :confused:

??

We all knew he was going to hit it sooner or later. He's one of the greats, a first ballot HOFer, and congratulations to him on the milestone. But it's a personal milestone (accomplishment). Nothing more.

But it doesn't overshadow the fact he, like so many before him, is an aging ballplayer whose deteriorating skills are showing and not really currently helping the team. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just a fact.

KittyDuran
06-09-2008, 09:06 PM
??

We all knew he was going to hit it sooner or later. He's one of the greats, a first ballot HOFer, and congratulations to him on the milestone. But it's a personal milestone (accomplishment). Nothing more.

But it doesn't overshadow the fact he, like so many before him, is an aging ballplayer whose deteriorating skills are showing and not really currently helping the team. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just a fact.
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68499

jojo
06-09-2008, 09:13 PM
Congrats for Jr.

I hope he gets his ball.

Reds Fanatic
06-09-2008, 09:25 PM
Congrats to Junior. A great accomplishment. I was kind of hoping he was going to do it tomorrow since I will be there but it is a great accomplishment. I like what Adam said when he hit 599 "One more to 600 then we start on 700".

fearofpopvol1
06-09-2008, 09:53 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=frontpage&pollId=56069

rotnoid
06-09-2008, 10:02 PM
Congrats, Kid.

Now the count down to Corky!

Reds Fanatic
06-09-2008, 10:05 PM
Junior's press conference after the game is going to be on ESPNews.

MWM
06-09-2008, 10:21 PM
Congrats to one of the all time greats. And to an even better person than he is ballplayer.

I'm sure as hell going to miss Ken Griffey Junior when he's gone. And while it hasn't turned out like he or the fans wanted it to, I'm honored that he played for my hometown team for 9 years.

11larkin11
06-09-2008, 10:44 PM
Anyone have a link to Martys call? The one on Reds.com is the Marlins guy and the sound cuts out right after he hit it.

paintmered
06-09-2008, 10:48 PM
The video on mlb.com has Marty's call.

Danny Serafini
06-09-2008, 11:03 PM
"Controversy ensued in the stands following the home run. Justin Kimball, a 25-year-old from Miami, said he caught the home run ball, put it in a wool cap and then had the cap ripped from his hands. Kimball said someone ran off with the ball.

Police said they had found the fan with the baseball and would look at video tape to see if Kimball's claims could be supported. "

I wonder if that guy got the fake ball. The guy who caught it brought a ball with him, and he tossed that ball a few rows down to creative a diversion so he could walk away cleanly with the home run ball. Seemed a bit odd, but then again the guy was wearing a Sergio Mitre jersey, so that might say something about his judgment.

Reds1
06-09-2008, 11:09 PM
My wife and I were watching and we really don't know why the crowds are so bad in FL. Is something going on or are people just not supporting? I was going next week so a little bitter sweet, but I know he wanted to hit it. Nice presentation on Real Reds after the game.

redsfan4445
06-09-2008, 11:45 PM
i am happy for Jr.. I missed the homerun as i was outside talking to the neighbor. i am going to tomorrows game and had a feeling it would be hit tomorrow, but i will stand and applaud him loud for being a genuine non-cheating homerun hitter and i hope he can stay and hit 700 and win a world series here.. I honestly feel Dunn's days are numbered.. but we shall see..

oregonred
06-10-2008, 12:00 AM
Just back home... Well , picked the right night of the series to head down to Dolphion Stadium :)

First game in person for my little 6-year old girl and we got to see Griffey's historic hit in the first inning. No doubt as soon as it left the bat. I really do wish he would have hit it at home as he deserved the ovation in Cincinnati.

I was there and I'm telling you that there weren't but 3000-4000 people in the stands to witness history. The ovation was nice but a shame to see such history made and witnessed by so few. I haven't seen a stadium so empty since the old Cleveland Stadium days (I almost forgot, last year's Reds/Marlins Thursday night game)

George Anderson
06-10-2008, 12:09 AM
Manager Dusty Baker has managed the last three players to achieve the milestone: Bonds in San Francisco, Sosa in Chicago and now Griffey. He was there for Bonds' 600th, on Aug. 9, 2002

Mario-Rijo
06-10-2008, 12:12 AM
Manager Dusty Baker has managed the last three players to achieve the milestone: Bonds in San Francisco, Sosa in Chicago and now Griffey. He was there for Bonds' 600th, on Aug. 9, 2002

I guess that means he will be taking over for Girardi soon, hopefully real soon. :thumbup:

Mario-Rijo
06-10-2008, 12:13 AM
BTW Congratulations Ken Griffey Jr on an outstanding personal achievement. :beerme: :thumbup:

Hooligan
06-10-2008, 12:16 AM
THat was great. I love watching #3 hit homers. Such a sweet swing.

Caveat Emperor
06-10-2008, 12:28 AM
Congratulations to one Mr. George Kenneth Griffey Jr.

He played a kid's game the way it was meant to be played: with the energy and enthusiasm of a kid...

...and I couldn't be happier he played the game for my team.

Congratulations for getting to 600 the right way.

WVRedsFan
06-10-2008, 12:58 AM
Thaks to whoever posted and to whoever stickied this thread. It's very appropriate for such an accomplishment--something I doubt we'll ever see again in a Cincinnati uniform. Just awesome.

I have been so disgusted lately that I sign on to the game threads and then just give up. So many just want to crucify Junior. And we've seen it here even in this thread. I could be in a better mood about all of this if the man was no longer productive, but he is productive. Not one player outside of Dunn and Bruce can produce his .365 OBP or his .781 OPS. And it will get better as it always does.

As a Red, he has 200 HR's. How many can say that when he's only played an average of 105 games a year through no fault of his own. No, he can't run as fast as he could, but should the team give up an average of 22 HR and 83 RBI over his career here for good defense and no bat? I don't think so.

I'm sensitive about this because I'm in my 50's (though no longer an athlete) and my manager asked me recently when I was going to retire. i laughed. I'm still productive to the max, and pull my weight, much like Griffey. A young buck could come in and match my numbers, but with a lot more mistakes, but I make too much money and I feel this is the issue here as it is with Dunn and most every other player. Yes, he needs to go where he can win a championship, which apparently is not here, but how do you replace the productivity? How many games are decided on defense and how many are decided on runs? More on runs than defense I would guess. That's the name of the game, but I'm getting off topic here.

Congratualtions to Junior. May he play a lot longer in a place where more people appreciate him, his legacy and his accomplishments. I just hope we don't have to face him as an opposing player. Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross have proven that the vengance former Reds display for their former club is brutal.

Big Klu
06-10-2008, 12:58 AM
Updated Reds HR list (players in italics are active):

Reds All-Time Home Run Leaders
1. Johnny Bench - 389
2. Frank Robinson - 324
3. Tony Perez - 287
4. Adam Dunn - 254
5. Ted Kluszewski - 251
6. George Foster - 244
7. Eric Davis - 203
8. Ken Griffey, Jr. - 202
9. Barry Larkin - 198
10. Vada Pinson - 186
11. Wally Post - 172
12. Gus Bell - 160
13. Joe Morgan - 152
13. Pete Rose - 152
15. Lee May - 147
16. Dan Driessen - 133
17. Reggie Sanders - 125
18. Ernie Lombardi - 120
19. Sean Casey - 118
20. Frank McCormick - 110
21. Dave Parker - 107
22. Chris Sabo - 104
23. Dave Concepcion - 101
24. Gordy Coleman - 98
25. Paul O'Neill - 96

penantboundreds
06-10-2008, 01:01 AM
Congratulations to Kenneth, I truly believe he is the best player I have ever seen play the game in person, either him or A-Rod I think. I was at the game in Cleveland when Jr. went for 9 in a row, I guess I was bad luck because he stopped at 8? I also dressed up as Griffey for Halloween, just some Griffey stories I think about when I think of his career.....

And that catch he broke his wrist on, when he jumped into the wall in a spider fashion.

You truly are a joy to watch play and thank you for all you have done for the game.

Mario-Rijo
06-10-2008, 01:18 AM
I think this is the appropriate place for this.



Junior's dignified 600th stroll

Ken Griffey Jr. became the sixth major leaguer to reach the milestone
Unlike Bonds and Sosa, Junior's journey to 600 was controversy-free
This should be the highlight of Griffey's disappointing run with the Reds

In the annals of Junior Achievement, this milestone looms large, even on his considerable, Cooperstown-bound résumé. It's not every night that someone hits home run No. 600, even in these pharmaceutically enhanced times.

It happened for just the sixth time in major league history Monday evening. If only the setting had been more apt. It's OK to hit No. 600 on the road, as long as that road isn't an exit off the Florida Turnpike. But there was Ken Griffey Jr., in the left-hand batter's box at godforsaken Dolphins Stadium, a fine setting for football, an abomination for baseball.

Before a gathering of 16,003 -- a smattering of whom congregated near the right-field foul pole, all seeking a piece of history -- Griffey joined a most exclusive big league club. He became the sixth player to reach the 600-homer plateau. On a 3-1 pitch in the bottom of the first inning, Griffey got the best of Mark Hendrickson. The Marlins' 6-foot-9 left-hander hung the most tantalizing curve this side of Jessica Biel, and Griffey smacked it into the dying sunlight of a South Florida night.

Or as George Grande, the Cincinnati Reds' longtime play-by-play man, put it so nicely: "The 3-1 to Junior ... That's going back! ... Yessirree! That's gonna be ... gone!! One more step up the ladder to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame for Ken Griffey Jr.!

"Celebrate, Griffey family. You deserve it!" Grande continued, as TV zeroed in on Griffey's wife and their two youngest children, sitting in the stands, his wife, Melissa, wiping away a tear. Too bad it didn't occur in Griffey's hometown, Cincinnati, where he grew up the namesake of a Big Red Machine icon, starred himself at Moeller High and returned home in 2000 after spending 11 stellar seasons in Seattle.

One, two, three steps out of the box, Junior finally went into his home run trot Monday. He'd just joined five other men in baseball's exclusive 600-homer fraternity. Of course, only three of those five -- Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays -- are untainted. Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa? Please.

"Griffey's clean. If anybody in baseball is clean, I'm pretty sure he is," said Jeff Herzenach, 39, who grew up a Twins fan in Minnesota and is now a bartender in Atlanta at the Brewhouse Café and an astute observer of the sporting scene. "He's one of the only ones."

On Herzenach's current reading list? Vindicated, by former All-Star-turned-tell-all author Jose Canseco. "I wanted to hate Jose Canseco so bad, that [jerk]. But now, I'm reading it and he didn't even mention Ken Griffey Jr. once." Indeed, few -- if any -- people have used the words "steroids" and "Junior" in the same sentence.

"If he didn't get injured," Herzenach said, "I bet he'd be going for 700. Now that 500's been wrecked [Rafael Palmeiro, come on down!], you're gonna have to hit 600 to get into the Hall of Fame. Bonds is juiced. Sosa?" He smiled. "Babe was a drunk," he said, laughing. Prohibition be damned. "Hank Aaron was clean-cut. And Willie Mays was Willie Mays."

At 7:51 p.m. EDT Monday, less than a half-hour after Griffey went deep and into posterity, this was posted on the Cincinnati Enquirer Web site by Justin M. Gibson of Taylor Mill, Ky.: "I am a Cleveland native and have been a Junior fan since I was 12. I couldn't have been more prouder [sic] of him than if he was my dad! Only three players in history [have] done it clean, with him being the fourth. I wish Cincinnati would have been a more gracious city for him, but the fans here are terrible. Go back to Seattle, Griff, where a true legend like you is appreciated. But I will miss seeing you play!"

If South Florida was no country for old men to make home run history, Griffey's hometown hasn't exactly enveloped him in a warm, welcome-back embrace. Since a second-place finish in 2000, the Reds have had seven straight losing seasons and are well on their way to an eighth. Griffey, who belted 40 homers in his 2000 return, has had just two 30-homer seasons since. He's been chronically injured, hamstrung by hamstring woes in particular. Blessed by good genes and bad legs. "General soreness" is how the Reds' recent pre-game notes describe his physical condition.

Yet he's rarely alibied, and never honked his own horn. Never had to. When Griffey hit his 600th, his was a dignified, major-league loll around the basepaths. Not too slow, not too fast, not showy in the least, before hugging his oldest son, Trey, in the dugout. It was the antithesis of Bonds' preening, look-at-me sashay after his 756th dinger.

Give Hendrickson credit for pitching to Junior, who was 5-for-8 lifetime off the elongated lefty, with one homer. Since hitting his 599th homer, Griffey was 7-for-17 (.412) with nine walks (think they were pitching around him?) during that seven-game stretch. It's a pity Griffey didn't wait until Tuesday, when the Reds begin a nine-game homestand in the bandbox that is the Great American Ballpark, to hit No. 600. He deserved to do so at home, literally home, even if he and his family now live in gated-community, sequestered splendor in Orlando in the offseason.

He's still a Cincy kid at heart, a Skyline Chili-fed son of a key cog in the Big Red Machine. Yet the Queen City has never really warmed to Junior. Not as you'd expect, or he and the club hoped. The team has a 21st-century stench to it, Griffey hasn't been the Kid who smote 398 homers in 11 seasons in Seattle (209 in his last four seasons alone), and this may well be another endless summer for the last-place Reds.

Come late July, the question may be this: Will Griffey, the sixth man to belt 600 homers, become the first to be traded in the same season? The eight-year extension he signed in 2000 has a club option for 2009. Whatever the Reds decide, Griffey, at 38, still has aspirations to join the 700 club. Who knows how high they'd have been had he not been injured so often this decade? Say, 800? The one 800 club member? Who'll know?

Know this: Junior's achievement was not only extraordinary, but untainted. Welcome him home properly, Cincinnati.



Like Nos. 200, 300, 400 and 500, Ken Griffey Jr.'s 600th home run came on the road.

Griffey's Milestone Home Runs
No. Date Pitcher
1 4/10/89 Eric King (vs. CWS)
100 6/15/93 Billy Brewer (vs. KC)
200 4/21/96 Vaughn Eshelman (at BOS)
300 4/13/98 Jose Mesa (at CLE)
400 4/10/00 Rolando Arrojo (at COL)
500 6/20/04 Matt Morris (at STL)
600 6/9/08 Mark Hendrickson (at FLA)



Related Links
GALLERY: Members of the 600-HR club
WILKINSON: Junior's dignified 600th stroll
GALLERY: Ken Griffey Jr. through the years
SI VAULT: Bringing up Junior (05.07.90)
GALLERY: Griffey's Sports Illustrated covers


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jack_wilkinson/06/09/griffey.600/index.html?eref=sircrc

reds44
06-10-2008, 01:37 AM
Griffey best friend on the team Adam Dunn on the moment: “It was very cool. But it would have been a lot cooler if it was in front of packed house like it should have been. It was kind of like hitting it at Ed Smith.”
Ouch.

KronoRed
06-10-2008, 01:55 AM
I'm actually glad JR hit it tonight, he's top story on all the sports shows because not much else was going on, Tomorrow he'd have been competing with the NBA and other junk, he deserves top story status.

MrCinatit
06-10-2008, 02:04 AM
Congratulations, Junior. That swing was a thing of beauty.

fearofpopvol1
06-10-2008, 03:12 AM
I thought this was an interesting survey about Griffey and his legacy...

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/polling?event_id=3465

Ron Madden
06-10-2008, 05:02 AM
Well done Ken Griffey Jr. :thumbup:

cumberlandreds
06-10-2008, 07:16 AM
Congratulations to Griffey on this historic mark. He truly is one of the best of all time. IMO,he did it the right way too. With no help from local steriod supplier like a couple of others did that are ahead of him.

icehole3
06-10-2008, 07:56 AM
congrats to Jr and his hot wife


http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Happy/HappyWave.gif

bucksfan2
06-10-2008, 08:11 AM
Congrats to Jr. What an accomplishment.

On a side not it is an absolute shame it had to happen in Florida. What else does baseball need to see in order to prove that Florida doesn't deserve a team. In Philly the Reds sold out the games for the entire series, in Florida they had 18000 people there. This is a team that has been near the top of the NL east for the entire year yet they can't draw more than 20,000 people. I almost feel bad for Jr that his historic HR happened in a place where they don't give a rats about baseball.

Dan
06-10-2008, 08:16 AM
Just wanted to pop in to say Congrats to Junior. He's been my favorite player for a long, long time and it's great to see him in such rarified company.

Roy Tucker
06-10-2008, 08:32 AM
Congratulations to Junior. A class guy and a class act.

When Junior first came up with the Mariners, I figured him more for a high BA guy (like Tony Gwynn or Roberto Clemente) and not so much for power. I couldn't figure how so much power came from such a skinny kid. I was shocked when he started to knock the ball out of the park consistently.

Matt700wlw
06-10-2008, 09:09 AM
Congratulations to Griffey on another great accomplishment.

He has truely done it the right way.

KittyDuran
06-10-2008, 09:27 AM
http://borgman.enquirer.com/cartoons/2008/06/100076tn590.jpg

nate
06-10-2008, 09:28 AM
Congrats to Jr. Regardless of "what could've been," the accomplishment we are "settling for" is still pretty darn impressive.

Mario-Rijo
06-10-2008, 09:37 AM
http://borgman.enquirer.com/cartoons/2008/06/100076tn590.jpg

Oh that's awesome! Good find Kitty. :thumbup:

Matt700wlw
06-10-2008, 01:05 PM
Griffey hit #s 400, 500, and 600 as a Red.

Nuxhall had the call for #400.

oregonred
06-10-2008, 01:06 PM
Congrats to Jr. What an accomplishment.

On a side not it is an absolute shame it had to happen in Florida. What else does baseball need to see in order to prove that Florida doesn't deserve a team. In Philly the Reds sold out the games for the entire series, in Florida they had 18000 people there. This is a team that has been near the top of the NL east for the entire year yet they can't draw more than 20,000 people. I almost feel bad for Jr that his historic HR happened in a place where they don't give a rats about baseball.

Announced attendance was 16,003 last night, but being at the game, at no point were there more than 6000 people in the house (and 3-4K at most for the historic hit). I was on the cell back to Cinci at the start of the first and was commenting in disbelief how there couldn't be but 3-4K people in the park and 25% of them were Reds fans. Half of the crowd at the time was in right field (Fish Tank = cheapest seats in the house) so it probably looked like a bit more actually saw the game.

I was trying to post a few pictures of KGJ where you could see the ridiculously sparse crowd between first and third baselines before and after the hit but file size is too large... Weather was actually ideal for South Florida in June -- much more comfortable than normal. Mid 80's and not quite as humid as normal. Kids are out of school. South Florida and specifically Miami-Dade County and Broward County just couldn't care any less about this team unless its the Mets or a Saturday Spectacular post game concert in town featuring a Latino performer.

Dunn said it best because it really felt like a spring training atmosphere. Which is pretty much the feel you get anytime you go to a Marlins game from Sunday-Thursday nights. I wish he would have done it at home as it would have been a good moment for KGJ to get a warm reception in Cinci, but I felt lucky to have the opportunity to see history.

As a side note, my dad reminded me that I am probably one of the very few that witnessed in person perhaps the two greatest career milestones reached by a player in a Reds uniform (#4256 and #600) :beerme:

Matt700wlw
06-10-2008, 02:08 PM
1990

http://images.onesite.com/thelotd.com/user/lance/0507_large.jpg

NJReds
06-10-2008, 02:38 PM
Good idea, Matt. Here's another:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1999/0517_large.jpg

NJReds
06-10-2008, 02:39 PM
... and of course ... this one:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/2000/0221_large.jpg

Reds Fanatic
06-10-2008, 02:41 PM
And this cover too:

http://i.cnn.net/si/si_online/covers/images/2004/0614_large.jpg

Cyclone792
06-10-2008, 03:01 PM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008/06/09/600-words-for-junior/


There’s an old baseball man I knew who saw Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson and Albert Pujols all hit home runs. He loved baseball with an intensity that never stopped surprising people around him. Wherever he went, people would ask him to name his favorite, and he never could do that. He loved too many of them. He would talk about Ted Williams’ swing, and he would talk about the way Roberto Clemente threw, and the way Willie Mays’ cap flew off, and the way Cool Papa Bell ran around the bases.

“But your favorite,” the people would say, coaxing him, and he would smile, and he would say, “Well, I sure like that Ken Griffey Jr.”

“Why’s that?” people asked.

“Because,” Buck O’Neill said. “He’s having so much fun.”

OnBaseMachine
06-10-2008, 03:38 PM
While I was always a Reds fan growing up, Ken Griffey Jr. was always my favorite player. I always hoped he would one day play for the Reds and I finally got that wish on February 10th, 2000. That was one of the best days of my life and I'll never forget it. On that day I pictured him breaking Hank Aaron's homerun record as a Red somewhere down the road. I figured he would have a world series ring or two by now but that hasn't happened, though it's no fault of his. Unfortunately things haven't worked out as well as we hoped but I would still do that deal 10 times out of 10. He's still left me with plenty of memories in a Reds uniform, like his 400th, 500th, and 600th homeruns. His walkoff inside-the-park-homerun against the Cardinals in Riverfront Stadium. I had the privilege of being in attendance to see his first homerun as a Red, which came in a big comeback victory against the Cubs. I just love the guy. Nothing would make me happier than to see him stay healthy and go for 700 homeruns now.

Matt700wlw
06-10-2008, 03:40 PM
What a great day this was....The Kid came home.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/02/10/griffey_trade_ap/index.html

Degenerate39
06-10-2008, 03:41 PM
Good idea, Matt. Here's another:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1999/0517_large.jpg

I have this magazine autographed by Griffey. If it's legit or not I don't know but it's still pretty cool.

OnBaseMachine
06-10-2008, 03:42 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/02/10/griffey_trade_ap/index.html

Thanks for posting that. Every now and then when I'm bored I like to go back and read some of the old Enquirer articles of the day the Reds acquired Griffey.

OnBaseMachine
06-10-2008, 04:38 PM
Griffey simply breathtaking in his prime
Kurkjian

By Tim Kurkjian
ESPN The Magazine
(Archive)

We knew 20 years ago, when he was 19 and skinny, that an achievement of this magnitude was possible. The signs were everywhere. Ken Griffey Jr. was the son of a major leaguer, he was from Stan Musial's hometown, Donora, Pa., he says he never struck out in a high school game and he was the Seattle Mariners' No. 1 pick in the June 1987 draft.

Now he is 38 and thick, he wears Babe Ruth's No. 3, not Willie Mays' No. 24 as he did in those early seasons. He plays right field now, not center field. He doesn't scale fences like he used to and he doesn't smile as often as he used to. But nonetheless, in the first inning Monday night at Florida against Mark Hendrickson, he joined Ruth, Mays, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Sammy Sosa in the most exclusive and prestigious club in sports, the 600 Home Run Club.

"I was there in his prime," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who managed Griffey in Seattle. "He was special. And he was fun to watch."

It was clear right away that he was special. Only days after Griffey signed with the Mariners, he came to Seattle and took batting practice with the major league club before a game.

"I've seen it before when a No. 1 draft pick comes to the big club right after he's drafted, and the kid is nervous, he gets in the cage, pops up a bunch of balls, swings and misses at a couple because he's trying to hit it so high and so far because he doesn't feel like he belongs," said Scott Bradley, who is Princeton's baseball coach, and a former teammate of Griffey during 1989-92. "That wasn't the case with Junior. He got in the cage, and he was kind of carrying on a conversation with the media while he was hitting. The first 25 swings, he just hit line drives to left field. He didn't overswing one time. Then he hit balls up the middle. Then he took a break, came back loose, and started hitting balls into the seats. I looked at [veteran Mariners] Harold Reynolds and Alvin Davis and said, 'It looks like he belongs.'"

After two seasons in the minor leagues, none above the Double-A level, another clear sign came.

"When he came to camp in 1989, he had no chance to make the team," Bradley said. "But he got a lot of at-bats early that spring because a lot of veterans don't like to play a lot early. After 20 games, he wasn't just the best player on our team, he was the best player in the league that spring. The Mariners basically said, 'We don't want this to happen, we don't want to rush him, we don't want him to make the team.' So they started running him out there against every elite pitcher, against all the nastiest left-handers they could find in hopes that he would stop hitting, and they could send him out. It never happened."

He made the club as a 19-year-old, the youngest player on an Opening Day roster that season. In his first at-bat at the Seattle Kingdome, he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from the White Sox's Eric King. Griffey went on to hit 16 home runs that season -- in baseball history, only Tony Conigliaro and Mel Ott hit more homers as teenagers.

Griffey started the All-Star Game in his second season, then the third youngest player ever to do that. Almost as memorable in 1990 were the back-to-back home runs that he and his father hit against the Angels' Kirk McCaskill, a first in baseball history, and likely to also be the last. In 1993, Griffey hit a home run in eight consecutive games, tying the record held by Dale Long and Don Mattingly. During 1997-98, he joined Babe Ruth as then the only American League players (Alex Rodriguez has joined that club) to hit 50 home runs in back-to-back seasons. When he hit 50 for the first time, he joined Mays as then the only players ever to win a Gold Glove in a season in which they hit 50. In 1999, he became the first American League player since Harmon Killebrew to lead the league in home runs three seasons in a row.

"His swing," former Oriole Brady Anderson said, "is absolutely perfect."

Griffey had the amazing ability for a young hitter to see, react and hit the breaking ball if it stayed in the strike zone for too long. As he grew as a hitter by developing his opposite field power and still maintaining his pull power, the huge home run seasons came. He was then the youngest player to reach 300, 350, 400 and 450 home runs. He was named to the All-Century team when he was 29 and he was named the Player of the Decade for the 1990s. When he was 31, he was a legitimate threat to break Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. The projections were for 800 home runs, nothing could stop him.

"The first time I saw him was in Arizona for spring training," Piniella said. "He would hit these towering fly balls that would carry and carry, and go out of the ballpark. I just figured it was the thin air in Arizona. Then he kept hitting those towering fly balls wherever we went, and I realized it wasn't the thin air, it was him. And it was so effortless."

When the Reds traded for Griffey before the 2000 season, bringing him home to Cincinnati in a trade that left Mariners fans wanting and angry, it seemed inevitable that Griffey would break Aaron's record as a member of the Reds. On the day of the trade, then Reds general manager Jim Bowden called Griffey "the Michael Jordan of baseball." That first season in Cincinnati, he hit 40 home runs and drove in 118 runs.

Then the story began to change. Four seasons in a row, Griffey suffered a major injury, limiting him to 111, 70, 53 and 83 games played, respectively. When he finally got to 500 home runs in 2004, everyone knew, that without the injuries, 500 might have been 600. The following three seasons, he missed another 105 games. We all realize that with better health, the 600 he just reached would have been 700.

But Griffey is far from done as a power hitter. There are still homers to hit, and milestones to reach. He could become the third player ever, joining Ty Cobb and Rusty Staub, to hit a home run as a teenager and as a 40-year-old. He could join Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson and Willie McCovey as the only players to hit home runs in four different decades and he could become the first player to hit 300 home runs for two different teams.

It is easy to look at 600 and wonder what might have been with improved health. But it is easier and more fun to remember Griffey at his best, a wondrous athlete who streaked through the outfield, climbed an outfield wall and made a catch that only Mays could make, then the next inning, hit a ball to places that very few players could reach. Six hundred home runs is a tremendous milestone, but Griffey at 100, 200, 300 and 400 was simply breathtaking.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=3377636

letsgojunior
06-10-2008, 11:16 PM
Junior has been my first and only favorite baseball player. As I've gotten older I always thought someone else would come along that I would love as much, but it's never happened. I have a lot of other players I like, but none on the same level.

It'd odd, but all the hamstring pulls, dislocated shoulders, broken hands have made me like him even more than I already did. He won't break the all-time home run record and may not be a fantastic player anymore, but he has truly been a joy for me to watch for a long, long time.

Puffy
06-10-2008, 11:19 PM
Junior has been my first and only favorite baseball player. As I've gotten older I always thought someone else would come along that I would love as much, but it's never happened. I have a lot of other players I like, but none on the same level.

It'd odd, but all the hamstring pulls, dislocated shoulders, broken hands have made me like him even more than I already did. He won't break the all-time home run record and may not be a fantastic player anymore, but he has truly been a joy for me to watch for a long, long time.

Liar!

We know Jim Coombs is higher on your list than even Junior.....

Chip R
06-10-2008, 11:22 PM
Liar!

We know Jim Coombs is higher on your list than even Junior.....


Coombs is a deity. Jr. is just a mere mortal.

Mario-Rijo
06-11-2008, 02:22 AM
While I was always a Reds fan growing up, Ken Griffey Jr. was always my favorite player. I always hoped he would one day play for the Reds and I finally got that wish on February 10th, 2000. That was one of the best days of my life and I'll never forget it. On that day I pictured him breaking Hank Aaron's homerun record as a Red somewhere down the road. I figured he would have a world series ring or two by now but that hasn't happened, though it's no fault of his. Unfortunately things haven't worked out as well as we hoped but I would still do that deal 10 times out of 10. He's still left me with plenty of memories in a Reds uniform, like his 400th, 500th, and 600th homeruns. His walkoff inside-the-park-homerun against the Cardinals in Riverfront Stadium. I had the privilege of being in attendance to see his first homerun as a Red, which came in a big comeback victory against the Cubs. I just love the guy. Nothing would make me happier than to see him stay healthy and go for 700 homeruns now.

Ya know what OBM after reading this (and many other posts) I have finally figured out why so many want to keep Jr around. I don't know why I didn't put it together before, guess just stubborness. Jr wasn't close to my favorite player, yeah I knew about him and knew how good he was but didn't watch him much in his prime. I watched Reds ball and that's all I had the time for back then and really for the most part still do (but I watch alot more of the favs now).

My favorite was/is/and likely will always be Barry Larkin and to this day I am still upset he didn't come back that one final year. Yet when I look back I knew then (his last few years) that he wasn't the Barry Larkin I watched dazzle me on the field with his graceful and inspiring play. He was old, brokedown and quite frankly was dragging us down, competitively speaking.

But it didn't matter too me I just didn't want the ride to end. I watched every moment he was out on that field for one last glimpse of his once beautiful play, ignoring everything else. Not completely mind you I saw the demise but too me he gave us all so much that I felt he was owed the right to go out when and how he wanted (and maybe how I wanted to some extent) and by gum whoever didn't like it could just live with it until he felt fulfilled. Even that last big contract that so many didn't want him to get I was and still am all for it. Heck I even wrote a letter to the front office threatening to stop my season ticket purchases (which I never had in the 1st place) if he were traded to the Mets, I signed it anonymous w/o a return address so they couldn't verify I was a season ticket holder. :D

So I guessed (it appears inaccurately) that Jr couldn't have/didn't deserve that following/respect because he wasn't a lifelong Red. I didn't realize that he was so many Reds fans "Barry Larkin" until just today. I may have become a little less compassionate to these players/sport since then because of how #11 (one of the very few #'s I even remember in all of sports off the top of my head) was treated. Or more likely because I didn't get to finish the last go around on the 'ole Larkin express.

So with all that said, sorry to those of you who I know I have offended by constantly ranting about the disappointing parts of his Reds Career. And for everyone who still enjoy watching the "Kid", enjoy the ride while it lasts and try not to fall into the same trap as I.

KittyDuran
06-11-2008, 06:20 AM
Ya know what OBM after reading this (and many other posts) I have finally figured out why so many want to keep Jr around. I don't know why I didn't put it together before, guess just stubborness. Jr wasn't close to my favorite player, yeah I knew about him and knew how good he was but didn't watch him much in his prime. I watched Reds ball and that's all I had the time for back then and really for the most part still do (but I watch alot more of the favs now).

My favorite was/is/and likely will always be Barry Larkin and to this day I am still upset he didn't come back that one final year. Yet when I look back I knew then (his last few years) that he wasn't the Barry Larkin I watched dazzle me on the field with his graceful and inspiring play. He was old, brokedown and quite frankly was dragging us down, competitively speaking.

But it didn't matter too me I just didn't want the ride to end. I watched every moment he was out on that field for one last glimpse of his once beautiful play, ignoring everything else. Not completely mind you I saw the demise but too me he gave us all so much that I felt he was owed the right to go out when and how he wanted (and maybe how I wanted to some extent) and by gum whoever didn't like it could just live with it until he felt fulfilled. Even that last big contract that so many didn't want him to get I was and still am all for it. Heck I even wrote a letter to the front office threatening to stop my season ticket purchases (which I never had in the 1st place) if he were traded to the Mets, I signed it anonymous w/o a return address so they couldn't verify I was a season ticket holder. :D

So I guessed (it appears inaccurately) that Jr couldn't have/didn't deserve that following/respect because he wasn't a lifelong Red. I didn't realize that he was so many Reds fans "Barry Larkin" until just today. I may have become a little less compassionate to these players/sport since then because of how #11 (one of the very few #'s I even remember in all of sports off the top of my head) was treated. Or more likely because I didn't get to finish the last go around on the 'ole Larkin express.

So with all that said, sorry to those of you who I know I have offended by constantly ranting about the disappointing parts of his Reds Career. And for everyone who still enjoy watching the "Kid", enjoy the ride while it lasts and try not to fall into the same trap as I.Excellent post! Pretty much my feelings as well though my player was Bench (another lifelong Red who was also drafted by the team). Bench had his retirement day but the last few playing years were very painful to watch - he was at his twilight. What kept me going was the memories.

For myself, I'm not a Junior fan and even though I knew of his accomplishments as a Mariner I wasn't that interested (until, of course, he became a Red). Unfortunately, the Reds got Junior but in a way not "The Kid". He was older and the years of playing on astroturf in Seattle wore down his body - the breakdowns started in the first year here. It was tough, and added to the fact that the FO did not build a team around him has left a bitter taste - even McKeon said after they signed Junior... we still need pitching. Sigh, still true. :(

Mario-Rijo
06-11-2008, 09:58 AM
Excellent post! Pretty much my feelings as well though my player was Bench (another lifelong Red who was also drafted by the team). Bench had his retirement day but the last few playing years were very painful to watch - he was at his twilight. What kept me going was the memories.

For myself, I'm not a Junior fan and even though I knew of his accomplishments as a Mariner I wasn't that interested (until, of course, he became a Red). Unfortunately, the Reds got Junior but in a way not "The Kid". He was older and the years of playing on astroturf in Seattle wore down his body - the breakdowns started in the first year here. It was tough, and added to the fact that the FO did not build a team around him has left a bitter taste - even McKeon said after they signed Junior... we still need pitching. Sigh, still true. :(

Absolutely and here we still sit at the end of his contract still waiting for anything resembling a real team. I have even sat and wondered how Jr must feel getting bamboozled like that. He came here to compete for a championship and ended up with nightmare after nightmare after nightmare and I'm not even talking about his individual issues. What a shame!