26 years ago Ken Griffey Sr. & Jr. make baseball history

14 Sep

It was 26 years ago today, Sept 14, that fans at Anaheim Stadium witnessed a feat that has never been seen before or since in baseball. It was that day that the father and son duo of Ken Griffey Sr. & Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back home runs. The two home runs gave the Seattle Mariners a 3-0 lead in the first inning of a game that they would end up losing 7-5.

It was the second game of a short road trip that would see the Seattle Mariners play four games against the California Angels. Since the Mariners were the visiting team they started off on offense. Second baseman Harold Reynolds stepped up to the plate first and drew a walk from Kirk McCaskill. Left-fielder Ken Griffey Sr. was up next to the plate. Kirk McCaskill had him 0-2 before the senior Griffey hit a home-run to left-center field to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Center-fielder Ken Griffey Jr. was the third player up to face Mr. McCaskill. The pitch count was 3-0 and Griffey was given the green light to swing. In what would become a familiar sight to Mariners fans, he connected with the ball hitting the sweet-spot of the bat. It was a high fly ball that seemed to just keep picking up momentum as it traveled over the left-center field wall in almost the exact spot that his dad’s home-run just cleared. The Mariners would only have two more runs in that game and lose to the Angels.

It was mid-August when Ken Griffey Sr. was let go by the Cincinnati Reds’ manager Lou Piniella, who would become the Mariners manager in 1993. In what was seen by many as a publicity stunt the Mariners signed the senior Griffey to play next to his son as the first father and son duo in baseball. Then on Aug 31in a game against the Kansas City Royals he made his debut in the line in the number two spot. The move turned out to be much more that just a mere stunt as Mr. Griffey would finish the season hitting .377 for the Mariners. He retired the following yer after playing 30 games for Mariners where he had a .282 batting average.

Ken Griffey Jr. debuted in 1989 for the Seattle Mariners as a 19 year-old. He would go on to play a total of 22 years for three teams (13 years with the Mariner, 8+ years with Cincinnati, and part of a season with the Chicago Whitesox). In his career he played in more than 2600 games racking up 2781 hits,630 home runs, 1836 RBI’s, and a .284 batting average. He also won 10 gold gloves and appeared in a dozen all-star games. 5 years after he retired Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the baseball hall of fame with the highest percent in history.

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