I love hearing people argue how A-Rod could have been the greatest baseball player ever or how Albert Pujols might become that. People of today's generation need to YouTube or Google Ken Griffey Jr. and see what the greatest baseball player ever actually looked like.Now this got me thinking on Ken Griffey Jr. As I have mentioned in the past, his dad Ken Griffey Sr., was one of my (and my mom's favorite players) growing up. His son hit the scene in 1989 and took the Baseball world by storm in an era where we still hadn't had 24/7 sports coverage (I still remembering catching up on late nights on the weekends with the George Michael Sports Machine). Surprsingly now, Junior finished third in the 1989 American League Rookie of the Year award behind Gregg Olsen and Tom "Flash" Gordon. Junior would continue to develop into a helluva player that I found was pissing me off more and more as a Yankees fan.
Its well known that Junior has a dislike of the New York Yankees going back to his childhood days when he was yelled at by former Yankees Manager Billy Martin while his dad played for the Yankees and it seemed to be his motivating factor when playing against my team. That all came to a head (at least for me) in Game Five of the 1995 ALDS when he came around and scored the winning run to advance the Mariners in their first ever playoff series win. His big toothy grin under the pile of Mariners teammates pissed me off to no end but as history states the Yankees got the last laugh since they won three World Series in the years that Griffey finished playing in Seattle. So there Junior, take that. LOL.
Add to that one AL MVP (1997), six top-ten finishes in MVP voting, thirteen All-Star appearances, ten Gold Glove awards and seven Silver Sluggers awards. Definitely not shabby and good for a first-ballot entry to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as a Hall of Famer in 2016.
Congrats Junior and thank you for everything you gave the game...even that big toothy grin under that pile in 1995. The game is better because of it.