Griffey Jr among MLB dads of sons playing college football
Ken Griffey Jr. has a different game to watch during the World Series.
The newly inducted member of the Baseball Hall of Fame can certainly be forgiven for having his attention elsewhere Saturday night. His son is a starting receiver for the Arizona Wildcats.
Junior's son Trey isn't the only Pac-12 receiver whose dad played Major League Baseball. And there are three starting quarterbacks in the Big 12 Conference who are the sons of former MLB players.
While the World Series is being played, here are some MLB connections to college football:
- SHANE BUECHELE, Texas, freshman quarterback.
Son of STEVE BUECHELE, who played for three teams over 11 MLB seasons (1985-95).
Shane is the only true freshman quarterback ever to start the first two games of a season for the Longhorns. When he made his college debut Sept. 4 against Notre Dame, his dad, the bench coach for the Texas Rangers, was excused from a game to be there.
Steve, a third baseman who roomed with John Elway at Stanford, played 889 of his 1,334 MLB games with the Rangers (1985-91 and 1995). He got traded to Pittsburgh in 1991 and played in the NLCS that fall with the Pirates. He also played four years for the Cubs.
- TREY GRIFFEY, Arizona, senior wide receiver.
Son of KEN GRIFFEY JR., who played for three teams over 22 MLB seasons (1989-2010).
Instead of highlight catches in the outfield, Trey has 17 receptions for 305 yards and a touchdown this season. His 17.9 yards per catch leads the Wildcats.
Junior, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year, was a 13-time All-Star center fielder who won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves (1990-99). He hit 630 home runs in his career, including a game in September 1990 when he and his father hit back-to-back homers while playing together for Seattle.
- KENNY HILL, TCU, junior quarterback.
Son of KEN HILL, who played for seven teams over 14 MLB seasons (1988-2001).
The younger Hill succeeded Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M and had a single-game school record 511 yards passing in his first start. He later transferred to TCU, where after having to sit out last season he is now second in the Big 12 with 357 total yards a game.
Ken Hill was a National League All-Star in 1994 with the Montreal Expos, when the right-handed pitcher had 16 wins in the strike-shortened season the year his son was born. Hill pitched in the 1995 World Series for the Cleveland Indians, then threw seven complete games for the Rangers the next season when they won their first AL West title.
- TORII HUNTER JR., Notre Dame, senior wide receiver.
Son of TORII HUNTER, who played for three teams over 19 MLB seasons (1997-2015).
Hunter, who has also played baseball at Notre Dame, has 25 catches for 360 yards and a touchdown in six games this season for the Fighting Irish. A team captain, he missed a game after a concussion suffered on a helmet-to-helmet hit during the season opener at Texas.
The elder Hunter, who retired from baseball only a year ago, was a five-time All-Star outfielder who won nine Gold Gloves. He went to the playoffs eight times with three teams (Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers). He was a .277 career hitter and had 353 homers.
- PATRICK MAHOMES, Texas Tech, junior quarterback.
Son of PAT MAHOMES, who played for six teams over 11 MLB seasons (1992-97, 1999-2003).
Mahomes was an eye-popping 52-of-88 passing in his last game against No. 16 Oklahoma, matching the FBS record with 734 yards passing and breaking the total offense mark with 819. He is the national leader with 473 yards passing a game, nearly 100 more than the next-closest player. He gave up baseball last spring to concentrate solely on football.
Right-hander Pat Mahomes was 42-39 with a 5.47 ERA in 308 career games (63 starts) for the Twins, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. He was part of the 1999 NL playoffs with the Mets.
- DANTE PETTIS, Washington, junior wide receiver/punt returner.
Son of GARY PETTIS, who played for four teams over 11 MLB seasons (1982-92).
Dante shares Washington's career record with four punt returns for touchdowns. He has 27 catches for 457 yards this season for the fourth-ranked and undefeated Huskies, and his eight receiving touchdowns are tied for second in the Pac 12.
Gary, now the third base coach for the Houston Astros, was a five-time Gold Glove outfielder with 354 career stolen bases.
AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org