Photo Tribute to Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken Griffey Jr. Through the Years
Ken Griffey Jr. had to grapple with following in the footsteps of his three-time All-Star father of the same name, but it wasn't long before the younger Griffey made a name for himself, starting with being the No. 1 pick in the 1987 draft.
Ken Griffey Jr. reaches the majors in 1989, and a year later appears on the first of his many Sports Illustrated covers on May 7, 1990.
Ken Jr. plays while his father's career is winding down in Cincinnati, making them the first father-son duo to play in the big leagues at the same time. In Aug. 1990, Ken Sr. joins his son on the Mariners and one month later, on Sept. 14 the Griffeys hit back-to-back home runs off California Angel Kirk McCaskill.
While his father was mostly a singles and doubles hitter, Ken Griffey Jr. is a power hitter from almost the moment he sets foot in Seattle. In 1993, he wins the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Baltimore, and becomes the only person ever to hit a ball off the warehouse beyond the right field fence. Here, Griffey clowns around with Barry Larkin before the Derby.
Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the April 4, 1994 Baseball Preview issue of Sports Illustrated with Mike Piazza in the foldout.
Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the June 6, 1994 cover of Sports Illustrated, after hitting 29 home runs in the first two months of the season. The MLB season ended prematurely on Aug. 12 due to a labor dispute, although Griffey had cooled off a bit at that point with 40 home runs on the year.
Ken Griffey Jr. poses with fellow slugger Frank Thomas for the Aug. 8, 1994 Sports Illustrated cover.
Ken Griffey Jr. quickly became one of the best defensive players in the game, winning 10 consecutive AL Gold Glove awards from 1990 to '99. On this catch in May 1995, Griffey broke his wrist and missed 73 games.
In 1995, the Mariners looked like they may be headed out of Seattle, until an electrifying playoff run, keyed by Ken Griffey Jr., helped land them approval for a new ballpark. In the division series against the Yankees, Griffey hit five home runs and scored the series-winning run in the 12th-inning of a do-or-die Game 5. He was mobbed by his delirious teammates.
Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the Oct. 16, 1995 cover of Sports Illustrated, following the Mariners ALDS victory over the Yankees.
In 1997, Ken Griffey Jr. won his only MVP award to date with a monster season: .304 average, 56 HRs, 147 RBI, .646 slugging for the AL West champion Mariners.
Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the May 17, 1999 cover of Sports Illustrated.
In 1999, still in the prime of his career, Ken Griffey Jr. was voted to major league baseball's 30-man All-Century Team along with Willie Mays, another fun-loving star who was as talented in the field as he was at the plate.
After the 1999 season, Ken Griffey Jr. asked to be traded back to his hometown Cincinnati Reds. The Reds acquired Griffey for four players, but the trade did not have the desired effect for Griffey or the Reds. While Seattle made the playoffs the next two years, Griffey suffered through numerous injuries and the Reds do not reach the postseason in his nine years with the team.
After playing 145 games in his debut season in Cincinnati in 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. was felled by a string of injuries to his hamstrings, knees, ankles and shoulder. Over the next six seasons, he made eight appearances on the disabled list and never played more than 128 games in a season. Here, Griffey is helped off the field by teammates Deion Sanders and Jaosn LaRue after injuring his left hamstring on March 26, 2001.
Ken Griffey Jr. opened the 2004 season healthy, appearing on the June 14, 2004 cover of Sports Illustrated.
On June 20, 2004, Ken Griffey Jr. joined the 500-home run club with a blast off the Cardinals' Matt Morris in St. Louis, and later shared a hug with his dad at the game. It couldn't have come on a better day — Father's Day.
In 2006, Ken Griffey Jr. played for Team USA, and his father joined him as a coach, at the inaugural World Baseball Classic. While Griffey starred, batting .524 and being named to the All-WBC team, the U.S. was a huge disappointment, failing to reach the semifinals.
It took seven years, but Ken Griffey Jr. finally returned to Seattle in June 2007 for his first games in the Emerald City since being traded away. Ichiro was the new star in town, but Griffey earned plenty of cheers, especially after hitting a pair of home runs in the series finale.
Ken Griffey Jr. would finish his 22-season career where he started, in Seattle. His numbers faltered with the Mariners, however, and the 40-year-old Junior retired on June 2, 2010. Griffey became a lock for the Hall of Fame in 2016. When Junior does enter Cooperstown, though, he will be among an even more select, if less fortunate, fraternity: inductees who never won a World Series.
Ken Griffey Jr. and Ferguson Jenkins throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 2013 World Baseball Classic first round game between the USA and Canada at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the cover of SI's 2016 "Where Are They Now?" Summer Double Issue.
Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. pose with their plaques after the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 24, 2016 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Thirteen-time All-Star and 1997 AL MVP Ken Griffey Jr. turned 45 today. To mark this important day, we collected our favorite Ken Griffey Jr. photos from his days as a 19-year-old minor leaguer all the way to his final season in Seattle.
Mama McDaniels is Not Happy With the 76ers Tanking the Season
Sixers rookie K.J. McDaniels may be happy just to be on an NBA roster, but that doesn't mean his mom is pleased with the Sixers tanking this season. In a Twitter reply to a 76ers blog asking whether the team is tanking this year, she responded, "Hi im kj mcdaniels mom, yes they are tanking the season f--g over my son and yes i and kj fans are livid." She then chimed in on some other Sixers-related tweets and now appears to have deleted her account since I just went there and received an error message.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
The NBA is selling officially licensed ugly sweaters this year ... I actually have a few sitting next to me right now for a post-Thanksgiving giveaway. The Sacramento Kings are so excited about the sweaters they made the players try them on for a bizarre and must-see photo shoot.
P.M. Lovely Lady of the Day
Desiree Estrada is taking cleavage to a whole different level with this dress she wore to the Latin Grammy Awards last night. The least I can do is give her P.M. LLOD honors (click here for full-size gallery) ... Rosanna Arkle is a former Zoo model who was awarded the high honor of Best Bum in 2011 ... The 101 hottest celebrity Instagram pics of the week ... The 50 sexiest photo shoots of 2014 ... The 40 hottest NFL cheerleaders to follow on Twitter.
Denim Fight of the Week
The manager of an upper-crust Massachusetts golf club (with a $45,000 initiation fee) took a one-month suspension and eventually resigned when he got into a shouting match with a guest who was wearing denim. As anyone who's ever been to a fancypants golf club knows, denim is a no-no. The club investigated the matter and suspended the guest and his wife three months for wearing jeans and other dress-code violations. The lesson, as always, stick to mini-golf.
The Bills Travel to Detroit
R.I.P. - Career of RG3
Maryland's Future New Locker Room
Mad Magazine's "20 Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2014" issue hits newsstands Dec. 16 and will be available Digitally via iPad on Dec. 5. The magazine was nice enough to give us an exclusive look at the cover, and as you can tell from the photo, the NFL made this year's list! For more information, visit madmagazine.com.
Odds & Ends
Week 12 NFL preview using real-life mascots ... More photos of Maryland's $155 million renovation of its athletic facilities ... Good job, good effort by the social media department at Food Lion. But execution was poor ... Eight things you didn't know about the Harvard-Yale rivalry ... Pretty crummy move by the Mississippi State football team ... The Bills sent out an email with a number fans can call for ticket refunds. The only problem is the number they gave is for an Ohio domestic violence crisis hotline ... Derek Rose did not steal this little kid's jersey ... A U.S. map showing the best-selling musical artist for each state ... Meet Daisy, a cancer-sniffing dog who received the Blue Cross Medal for successfully detecting over 550 cases of cancer ... A ranking of every Queen song.
Charles Barkley Sings UGA Fight Song
The Auburn alum was forced to sing after losing a bet to Ernie Johnson, who attended Georgia.
Celebs Read Mean Tweets
This almost makes you like Gwyneth Paltrow.
Bill Burr Rules
My favorite comedian is a guest on the latest episode of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. If you're not familiar with Burr, listen to his Monday Morning Podcast.
One More Jack Johnson Video
In yesterday's Clicks, we mentioned NHL player Jack Johnson and singer Jack Johnson. Here's boxer Jack Johnson and his band performing the jazz song Tiger Rag.