Monday, June 9, 2008

Griffey Jr. joins 600 club

The Kid is in some manly territory now. Ken Griffey Jr. surpassed a high-altitude mark with his 600th home run on Monday in Miami vs. the Florida Marlins.

I saw Griffey play in person only once and was treated to a home run. It was in Milwaukee when he was still with the Seattle Mariners. The ball took off like a meteor down the right field line, banged off the foul pole (which is in fair territory - shouldn't it be called fair pole?) and caromed close to center field. The force of the shot had the pole wobbling for several seconds.

At one time, it was assumed Junior would not only get to 600, but probably 700 and perhaps be the person to top Hank Aaron's career mark. Injuries slowed the former Seattle Mariner and current Cincinnati Red on his quest.

Griffey, 38, has been a class act in baseball ever since stepping on field at the young age of 19. His dad had been a member of the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine of the 1970s, and the younger Griffey grew up around the park.

A durable, acrobatic player earlier in his career, Griffey joined the Reds after 11 years with the Mariners. His first year in Cincinnati, in 2000, Griffey belted 40 home runs. He would hit only 63 more the next four seasons, as injuries took their toll, and Griffey limped into the 500 HR club.

A resurgence put Griffey back on track from 2005-07 as he hit 35, 27, and 30 HR.

Ahead of Griffey on the list are Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660) and Sammy Sosa (609).

The good folks at Major League Baseball have a nice tribute page to Griffey reaching the 600 milestone.

No comments:

Custom Search

Subscribe in a reader