A Rocky Return

May 20, 2002
May 20, 2002

Table of Contents
May 20, 2002

A Rocky Return

A chronicle of Ken Griffey Jr.'s time with the Reds

FEB. 10, 2000: Per his wishes, is traded from Mariners to hometown Reds (left); Seattle gets outfielder Mike Cameron, righthander Brett Tomko and two minor leaguers.

This is an article from the May 20, 2002 issue Original Layout

APRIL 7: After a slow start, asks to change from uniform number 30 to 24, the number he wore for 11 years in Seattle; Tony Perez, the Hall of Famer-elect whose 24 the Reds had planned to retire the following month, refuses to go along.

APRIL 10: With a fourth-inning blast off Rockies righthander Rolando Arrojo, becomes youngest player (30 years, 141 days) to hit 400 home runs.

JUNE 4: On Ken Griffey Jr. Growth Chart Day at Cinergy Field, swings at a pitch and accidentally releases bat into stands, striking and injuring granddaughter of Reds owner Carl Lindner.

JULY 1: Twists right knee while chasing fly ball against the Diamondbacks and, upon being removed from game, has heated dugout exchange about it with father, Reds coach Ken Griffey Sr.

JULY 4: Fans ignore his .243 batting average (but not his 26 homers) and vote him onto National League All-Star team; one week later, sits out the Midsummer Classic because of sore knee.

JULY 5: St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz writes that Griffey called ESPN to complain that network was running too many highlights of Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds; Griffey and network deny report.

JULY 8: Drives in eight runs to power 14-5 victory over Indians. Sept. 11 In 7-6 win over Cubs, partially tears upper left hamstring in a collision at home; is limited to three pinch-hit appearances the rest of the season.

SEPT. 24: One year after tying for the NL wild card, Cincinnati is eliminated from postseason contention despite 4-3 win over Astros.

NOV. 3: After Ron Oester and Willie Randolph reject the Reds' lowball offers, Cincinnati hires as manager Bob Boone--and not Griffey Sr., who also interviewed for job--to replace the fired Jack McKeon.

MARCH 26, 2001: Partially tears lower left hamstring while rounding third base in spring training game.

APRIL 29: Placed on disabled list a day after aggravating injured hamstring in pinch-hit appearance; used solely as pinch hitter during April, goes 0 for 12.

JUNE 15: In first start of season, gets one single in three at bats.

JULY 3: Finishes fifth among NL outfielders in All-Star voting, ending string of 11 straight All-Star Game selections.

JULY 27: Suggests to The Cincinnati Enquirer that he might consider retirement if Reds continue to dump salary.

AUG. 9: First-inning round-tripper off Giants righthander Russ Ortiz makes Griffey youngest player (31 years, 261 days) to reach
450-home-run mark.

AUG. 20: With hamstring still sore, hits 11th-inning, game-winning, inside-the-park home run to beat Cardinals.

OCT. 6: Mariners win 116th regular-season game, tying 1906 Cubs for most alltime.

FEB. 20, 2002: Former Reds teammate Pokey Reese, now with the Pirates, tells the Enquirer that Griffey wasn't a leader and that he demanded special treatment, which hurt team chemistry; two days later another former Red, Dmitri Young, now with the Tigers, echoes those sentiments, saying, "There were guys who kissed [Griffey's] butt and guys who didn't care to hear about all that
materialistic stuff."

FEB. 22: Griffey Sr. tenders his resignation as first base coach,
claiming he was "being treated like dirt"; becomes special
consultant and scout for the club.

APRIL 7: Griffey dislocates right kneecap and tears patellar
tendon in same knee during rundown against Expos (below).

MAY 6: Blasts Cincinnati fans after 74% of respondents to TV station poll say he should remain on bench even after knee is
healthy enough for him to return.