Ken Griffey Jr: Welcome to the Hall of Fame

Josh McCain

Hi my name is Josh, first off, fuck you, secondly I'm a die hard DC sports fan except for baseball. There was no DC baseball team for the first 24 years of my life so I adopted the Red Sox --because fuck the O's and Yankees. I hate things because pain is life, life is pain and fuck your happiness. Also, fuck autocorrect!

Very few things can actually make a man feel old, usually, we measure how old we are (or feel) by watching our children grow up right before our eyes.  My son Shawn just turned eight years old and by all accounts, it really did feel like yesterday that he was just a wee babe in my arms.

However, in spite of him seemingly growing up at a rate of 2 to 1, getting out there and playing football and baseball with him (not to mention wrestling around for our ever-changing WWE Title).  This weekend I was hit with something that I never expected would make me feel old, a player going into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

This weekend, my all-time favorite baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr., was inducted into Cooperstown (had I not had previous engagements for my other website Clash of the Nerds I would have been there).  This surprisingly made me feel ancient, because, as far as I know, this is the first player I followed from the second he got into the league until his retirement and now to his induction into the Hall.

The year was 1989, I was six years old and just beginning to start my love for the game of baseball.  I was signed up for Tee-Ball and because of that I was trying to watch as much baseball as I could, and since I grew up in the DC area (with no baseball) I mostly turned to Sports Center and a young man was dominating the top 10 during the summer, his name Ken Griffey Jr., aka the Kid, aka Junior.

A couple things (besides his talent) made me fall head over heels for Junior, the first was his nickname “The Kid”, after all I was a kid so that nickname made me feel a kinship with him, and being a lefty in a world where there aren’t many lefties, seeing one being featured so prominently on Sports Center made me love him even more.

So I was starting out on my long baseball journey (one that would go with me into my 20’s) and Griffey was starting out on his long and illustrious career, and in my six-year-old mind we were starting out together.  Like any child, this was a bond I had with my hero and he would be solidified himself as my all-time favorite baseball player.

Even though I grew up a Red Sox fan, no player, not Nomar (or pronounced in Boston NO-MA), Manny, or Big Papi, could steal Junior’s thunder from me, not even in his later injury filled years.  Griffey was always my guy to the point to where I would either play as the Mariners in video games (because for some reason I always felt he should be in Seattle) or after he went to the Reds, the first thing I’d do in a baseball video game was trade for Griffey and bring him to the Sox, something I always prayed would happen in real life.

The bulk of Griffey’s career was spent in the steroid era of baseball but never was he suspected of or accused of using performance enhancing drugs like every other slugger in the league.  Ken Griffey Jr., constantly and quietly compiled Hall of Fame stats, the loudest Griffey ever got was the crack of the bat when he sent a ball flying to the upper deck of the Seattle Sky Dome, and the flashiest he ever was, was wearing his hat backwards during batting practice (which I of course copied) and for whatever reason baseball writers were all up and arms about it, which I think says more about the writers than it doesn’t about Junior being so “brash” for daring to wear his ball cap backwards.

Much like his career, Griffey’s induction speech was solemn, humble, with a dash of humor, and his trademark smile.  He made jokes about growing up, was extremely thankful towards his parents, and the best part might have been the anecdote he told about his son breaking the television with a baseball bat (see the video below for that), and the cherry on top of his speech was at the very end when he reached down in the podium and pulled out a Hall of Fame cap and put it on backwards to the delight of the crowd.

I know I’m known here for my “hate” but for Junior, I have nothing but love and I applaud this man for his career, his class, and being the absolute best with no enhancements required.

Check out his induction speech below, and if you’d like to find out why Ken Griffey Jr’s excellent baseball games were for Nintendo systems only check out my other site Clash! of the Nerds.

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Hi my name is Josh, first off, fuck you, secondly I'm a die hard DC sports fan except for baseball. There was no DC baseball team for the first 24 years of my life so I adopted the Red Sox --because fuck the O's and Yankees. I hate things because pain is life, life is pain and fuck your happiness. Also, fuck autocorrect!

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Josh McCain

Hi my name is Josh, first off, fuck you, secondly I'm a die hard DC sports fan except for baseball. There was no DC baseball team for the first 24 years of my life so I adopted the Red Sox --because fuck the O's and Yankees. I hate things because pain is life, life is pain and fuck your happiness. Also, fuck autocorrect!

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