Ken Griffey Jr.
Related Biography: Baseball Player Ken Griffey, Sr.
Ken Griffey, Sr., was born April 10, 1950, in Donora, Pennsylvania, the same city Stan Musial hailed from. Like other Donora children of that time, Griffey grew up playing baseball and dreamed of following in Musial's footsteps.
In 1969, the Cincinnati Reds drafted Griffey in the 29th round. He spent four years in the minors and in 1973 was called up to play in the Reds outfield. As Griffey heated up, so did the Reds, and he became a part of the legendary "Big Red Machine," which won the 1975 and 1976 World Series.
Griffey Sr. made the All-Star team in 1976, 1977, and 1980, and was named All-Star MVP in 1980. In 1982, he was traded to the New York Yankees. The trade was hard on the family, which stayed behind in Cincinnati. Junior Griffey was just coming into his own as a baseball star when his father left. When he needed help-or was in big trouble-he flew to New York for a consultation with his dad. Under Yankee stadium, the elder Griffey spent many hours coaching- and lecturing-his son.
By 1990, Griffey Sr. had spent eighteen years in the majors when he was released by the Cincinnati Reds partway through the season. He signed with the Seattle Mariners and hit .377 for the remainder of the season, proving the move was more than a publicity stunt to unite the father and son.
Though the two are often compared, they know they are different people. As Griffey Sr. wrote in Sports Illustrated, "I don't feel overshadowed by him. He had shortcuts-like my teaching him how to hit, how to turn on the ball, how to stay out of slumps-and while my career may not get me into the Hall of Fame, how many guys can say they hit .296 over 19 years and played on two World Series winners?"
After retiring in 1991, Griffey Sr. became a Reds coach. When Junior Griffey was traded to the Reds in 2000, he got to coach his son. By 2002, the elder Griffey was working as a scouting consultant for the team.
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