600 and Counting

Earlier tonight, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th homerun against the Florida Marlins. Griffey is the sixth player to hit 600 homers and only the fourth to do so without the heavy steroid speculation. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the greatest homerun hitter of this generation. If you ask any fan who is in the 20-30 year old range, one of their favorite players growing up was Ken Griffey Jr., so this is a collective hat tip to the sweet swinging center fielder. Barring injuries, he’d probably be pushing Aaron’s Bonds’ record, but I guess we’ll never know. I’d love to see him get to 700, or at least 660, but I really just don’t think he’s got enough in the tank to do it. I guess we’ll see.

I was lucky enough to see him hit two homers in person. The first was at Dodger Stadium in 2001; he crushed the ball to left center and it landed about two rows in front of me. I was unable to kindly ask the lady in front of me to move so I could dive over the bleachers in time to get the ball, so I barely missed out. It wasn’t hard to find me on Sportscenter that night, however. The kid who ended up with the ball sold it to a little Reds fan for $20 and then proceeded to buy his two friends some ice cream with the money.

The second one was on Father’s Day in 2005 in Cincinnati. I decided to use the video on my digital camera for one pitch of that entire series and it happened to be when Griffey laced a 3-run homer to right field. I’d post the video up here, but it’s only on the computer back home. The only problem with the whole thing was that it came against my Braves and gave the Reds an 11-8 victory. Still, it was a pretty neat thing to see.

On a completely unrelated side note about that last game, I had my greatest brush with fame that I’ve ever had. I got to use a urinal between 300 game winner and Hall-Of-Famer Don Sutton and the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. Sutton was announcing the Braves game, while Gretzky was in town for charity work. I’ll spare all the details, but it was pretty nerve racking experience. What do you say to Wayne Gretzky when you’re washing your hands next to him in a bathroom? The best I came up with was a choked out, “Afternoon, Mr. Gretzky.” He nodded and said hello back. All in all, I think it went well.

Anyway, enough with the bathroom stories and once again, congratulations to Ken Griffey Jr.

5 Responses

  1. Ahhh……..unfortunately I will never have that opportunity.

  2. I love Ken Griffey Jr. When I was a kid he and Don Mattingly were my two favorite baseball players. The time my father took me to meet him in person is one of my fondest childhood memories. When we buy a house, and I finally have a place to display all my sports memorabilia, the bat he signed for me that day will be one of the pieces I’m most proud to show off.

  3. griffey hit 500 in st louis not cincinnati. just so ya know

  4. You are right, it came on Father’s Day in 2004 in St. Louis. I saw Griffey on Father’s Day in 2005 in Cincinnati. Thanks for the comment though!

  5. Growing up in the lates 80s early 90s there was no one better than Junior. Even though I lived on the east coast and I am a die-hard Mets fan he was still my favorite player. And Even with all the injuries Griffey just hit his 600 HR Steriod Free, so in my book that makes him # 4 on the all time HR list. I hope he goes to a contender in the near future and gets his shot at a ring and maybe come back into the spotlight

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