Griffey handles his many bats with loving care
Monday, July 17, 2006
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
CINCINNATI — Ken Griffey Jr. retrieved three new maple bats from the storage area in the Reds’ clubhouse yesterday and carried them to his locker for closer inspection.
He autographed two and set them aside before beginning to tape the handle of the third for use in the game against the Colorado Rockies.
Since bats really do grow on trees, Griffey harvests a forest every season.
"Usually I order a dozen at a time," he said. "At the beginning of the year, I order maybe four dozen to start."
Most never see a game, at least in Griffey’s hands.
"I give away a lot for charities and fund-raisers," he said. "Some of the guys in here want to use them and players on other teams want them, too. I go through a whole lot of bats. But I buy my own."
While Griffey was speaking, Jason LaRue walked up and asked him whether he had autographed a promised bat for a charity event in Texas. Griffey handed him one of the freshly autographed ones and sorted through his locker for another to sign for the son of Rockies pitcher Ray King.
Asked how many hits he might be giving away with each, Griffey smiled.
"I look to see what I’m signing," he said. "I look at the grain. I know the ones I’m going to use."