Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ken Griffey Junior and Senior

image source: Seattle Times
Ken Griffey, Junior (L) and Ken Griffey, Senior (R)

As we reach the end of Father's Day, there have been many sweet, touching pictures and stories of fathers and sons. Anyone who's been a regular reader on my blog for the past year has probably wondered which father and son I'd feature from baseball or bowling.

Bowling, without a doubt, hands down, it's Pete Weber and his dad, Dick Weber. I'm a big admirer of the elder Weber. As for Pete, let's just say I respect his accomplishments tremendously and leave it at that.

In baseball, it'd be easy for me to pick the most well-known father and son in the San Francisco Giants organization, Bobby and Barry Bonds. They both wore the same number, 25. I've got a lot respect for both of them, but I don't have an emotional connection with either of them.

So why Ken Griffey Junior and Senior? I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan at the height of their Big Red Machine days in the 1970's. The number 2 batter and right fielder in that lineup was Ken Griffey (not yet known as senior until his son came up to play in the majors). He was fast, strong, and played his position well. To me, Senior looked more like a running back in football than he did an outfielder in baseball.

When Junior made his sensational start for the Seattle Mariners, it was so easy to like him. I rarely saw him play without a smile. He looked like the grown up little leaguer out there having fun. His home run power AND his extraordinary ability to shag flies must have made opposing teams cringe.

In the 1990 and 1991 seasons, Junior and Senior played together for the Mariners. They fulfilled the dreams many fathers and sons have - to play next to each other in Major League Baseball. They hold the MLB record for father-son career hits, at 4,926. It's my guess this record will hold up for awhile.

Here's a YouTube video clip highlighting some of their time together, which includes a back-to-back home run for father and son.

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