Ken Griffey Jr. Biography
After three seasons of injuries Ken Griffey Jr. and his sweet homerun swing are finally back. Will that be enough to lead the Cincinnati Reds to the playoffs? Kidzworld checks out the latest member of baseball's 500 homerun club.
Ken Griffey Jr. - The Kid
Ken Griffey Jr. was born on November 12, 1969 in Donora, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Cincinnati where his dad, Ken Griffey Jr. played baseball for the Reds. Griffey Sr. and the Reds were known as the Big Red Machine and the team won back-to-back World Series' in 1975-76. Ken Griffey Jr. was in the Reds' clubhouse during those World Series' victories and he learned about the thrill and excitement a team gets from winning. When the Reds won, Griffey would get bubble gum and red soda pop from his dad and other players on the team.
Ken Griffey Jr. - Like Father, Like Son
In 1987, Ken Griffey Jr. graduated from Moeller High School in Cincinnati and was drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners. He moved to Bellingham, Washington in 1988 to play Class A baseball for Seattle's farm team but had trouble adjusting to being away from home. After a bad game and a fight with his dad, Griffey attempted suicide by swallowing over 200 aspirins. Fortunately, Griffey survived and in 1989 he joined the Seattle Mariners and became the youngest player in the majors at age 19. The following season, Griffey Jr.'s dad also joined the Mariners and the two became the first father and son in history to play on the same Major League team at the same time.
Ken Griffey Jr. - The Best All Around Player
During his nine years with the Seattle Mariners, Ken Griffey Jr. became one of baseball's best all around hitters and fielders. He hit 40 or more homers six times, was named the American League MVP in 1997 and won 10 straight Gold Gloves. Ken Griffey Jr. also led the Mariners to their first two playoff appearances and scored the winning run in Seattle's five-game victory over the New York Yankees in the 1995 American League Division Series.
Ken Griffey Jr. Leaves Seattle
Despite having great success in Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr. wanted to be closer to his family in Cincinnati. In 2000, he told the Mariners he didn't want to play for them anymore and asked the team to trade him to the Reds. The Mariners obviously didn't want to lose Ken Griffey Jr. but they agreed to the trade and in February 2000, Griffey returned to the team he grew up watching as a kid. Since his arrival in Cincinnati, Ken Griffey Jr.'s career has taken a bit of a nosedive. He's had several injuries over the past three seasons, has struggled at the plate and has frequently been booed by Reds' fans. In 2004, Griffey has managed to stay fairly healthy and has once again become one of the top power hitters in baseball. On June 20th, 2004, Ken Griffey Jr. became just the 20th player to hit 500 career homeruns.
Ken Griffey Jr. - Did U Know