"The Kid" Ken Griffey, Jr.: The Greatest Hitter in the 90's Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Saturday, 30 September 2006

The most recent inductee into the 600 Home Run Club, Ken Griffey, Jr. was affectionately dubbed “Junior” by the baseball world, when he became the youngest player to hit 450 career home runs.

Arguably the greatest hitter of the 1990’s, Griffey hit for a high average (batting over .300 for seven of the years of the decade) and with power (slugging 422 home runs during the 90’s). The ultimate streaky player, Griffey tied a major league record by hitting home runs in 8 consecutive games.

By hitting his 600th home run on June 9, 2008, "The Kid" proved he is one heck of a man by becoming only the sixth player in MLB history to knock out 600+ career blasts.  He currently has 606+ home run and is moving up quickly on the 5th spot, which is currently held by Sammy Sosa (609), and has the most of any active player.   

Thanks to his impressive range, Griffey frequently made spectacular diving plays.  He often dazzles fans by making over-the-shoulder basket catches (a la Willie Mays' "the Catch" in the 1954 World Series) and by robbing opposing hitters of home runs by leaping up at the outfield wall and pulling them back into the field of play. For all of these reasons, Ken Griffey Jr. was one of baseball's most respected and well-liked players during the 1990s, and a perennial participant in the All-Star Game.

In 1997, he won the American League Most Valuable Player award, hitting .304, with 56 home runs and 147 runs batted in.   He also led the league in slugging, total bases, and extra-base hits.

Fun Facts about Ken Griffey, Jr.

Despite being allergic to chocolate, Ken Griffey, Jr., had a candy bar named after him in 1989 -- "the Ken Griffey, Jr., Chocolate Bar" -- and more than one million bars were sold.

Griffey's father, Ken Griffey Sr., was a major league outfielder from 1973 through 1991. They were teammates during Ken Jr.'s first three seasons with the Seattle Mariners, becoming the only father-son combination to play in the major leagues at the same time.

Junior won ten consecutive Gold Glove awards, from 1990 through 1999.

He collected 398 homers before his 30th birthday, and shortly thereafter became the first player to hit a pinch-hit homer for his 400th career round-tripper.

During the 1995 League Divisional Series against the Yankees, Griffey smashed five homers, with seven RBI and a .391 average





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