11 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About New HOF Inductee Ken Griffey Jr.
We all know “The Kid” as the affable superstar from the ‘90s that turned into the oft-injured slugger that played in over 120 games just three times in his final 10 seasons.
1. Ken Griffey Jr. is the only player to hit the warehouse beyond right field in Oriole Park at Camden Yards on the fly during the 1993 MLB Home Run Derby.
2. Ken Griffey Jr. owns over 100 copies of his own Upper Deck rookie card – which he said was altered. (This was also the very first card of the very first set by Upper Deck, which changed the industry.
”That baseball card was me in a San Bernardino (minors) uniform, they just Photoshopped it. If you notice, the Mariners had the blue stripe down the center of the shirt. That one doesn’t have it. And if you look at the hat closely enough, you’ll see the trim of the red where the yellow is.” -- Ken Griffey Jr.
3. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a home run in eight consecutive games – tied with two players for the MLB record (Don Mattingly and Dale Long).
4. Ken Griffey Jr. received a record 99.32% of the votes, which broke the previous record of 98.84%, held by pitcher Tom Seaver.
5. Ken Griffey Jr. hit 30 home runs in his first 65 games in the strike-shortened 1994 MLB season.
6. Ken Griffey Jr. attended the same high school (Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati) as future teammate and All-Star shortstop, Barry Larkin.
7. Ken Griffey Jr. is allergic to chocolate, hence he was allergic to his own candy bar, The Ken Griffey Junior Milk Chocolate Bar.
8. Ken Griffey Jr. hit 56 home runs in 1997 and then again in 1998, leading the American League in the year McGwire and Sosa went nuts. His 112 home runs over those two seasons were more than both McGwire and Sosa.
9. Ken Griffey Jr. is just one of 29 major leaguers to have played in four different decades, and just the third player to have done so after starting to play in the ‘80s, joining Jamie Moyer and Omar Vizquel.
10. Ken Griffey Jr. attempted suicide when he was 18 in 1988, swallowing 277 aspirin because of arguments with his father. Twenty-two MLB seasons without "The Kid"!?!
11. Ken Griffey Jr. was almost NOT the first card in the first set by Upper Deck. UD employee Tom Geideman nearly chose Sandy Alomar Jr., Gary Sheffield or Gregg Jefferies instead.
BONUS: Ken Griffey Jr.'s first name is actually George.
Photo Credit: Lane Stewart, Getty Images
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