Ken Griffey, Sr.
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|Ken Griffey, Sr.|
April 10, 1950 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|August 25, 1973 for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 31, 1991 for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||859|
|Career highlights and awards|
George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey (born April 10, 1950) is an American former professional baseball outfielder who was a member of the famed Big Red Machine. He is the father of former professional outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr.
Griffey made his Major League Baseball debut on August 25, 1973 with the Cincinnati Reds. That season, Griffey played in only 25 games, but batted .384 with three homers. The following season, Griffey saw more playing time with 88 games. In 1975, Griffey began to break out with a .305 batting average with four home runs and 46 RBIs. Griffey's best season came in 1976, when he came just short of winning the batting title behind Bill Madlock of the Chicago Cubs. Griffey chose to sit out the final day of the season to protect his batting title and it came back to haunt him as Madlock collected four hits that same day. Griffey entered the game late after hearing the news, and went 0 for 2. Many baseball purists were disappointed in Griffey (and perhaps more so in his manager, Sparky Anderson, for choosing to sit him out to gain an individual accolade). Griffey finished with a career high .336. He also finished eighth in the Most Valuable Player voting, and was named to The Sporting News National League All-Star team.
The Reds would win their second consecutive World Series title in 1976, but that year also marked the beginning of the end of their "Big Red Machine" phase. In the next four seasons, Griffey batted .318, .288, .316, and .294 with a total of 43 home runs. In Griffey's final season of his first stint with the Reds, the strike-shortened 1981 campaign, he batted .311 with only two home runs and 34 RBIs.
After the 1981 season, Griffey (along with most of the remaining members of The Big Red Machine) was shipped out. Griffey was sent to the New York Yankees, where he played from 1982 to 1986 as a utility player at first base and outfield. Injuries plagued Griffey, who hit .306 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs in his best season with the Yankees. In 1986, Griffey was shipped out mid-season to the Atlanta Braves, where he played for only one full season. Griffey was traded back to Cincinnati in the middle of the 1988 season. He only spent the 1989 season with the Reds, and was then released in the middle of the Reds' championship 1990 season, signing with the Seattle Mariners to conclude the season. Griffey didn't play in the 1990 World Series - but he got a ring anyway. He spent only one more season with the Mariners, in 1991, before retiring after 19 seasons.
The Griffeys (Ken Sr. and Ken Jr.) became one of the first father-and-son tandems to play on the same Major League Baseball team. They played their first game together against the Kansas City Royals on August 31, 1990. Griffey's younger son Craig played in the Mariners minor league system and appeared with his brother in the outfield during some Cactus League games. Craig Griffey retired from baseball after failing to make it past Triple-A where he appeared in a handful of games with the Tacoma Rainiers.
Griffey was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2004, and now resides in Winter Garden, Florida. In 2010, Griffey was hired as the batting coach for the Dayton Dragons, the Reds' Single A minor league affiliate. In 2011, Griffey was named Manager of the Bakersfield Blaze, the Reds Single A affiliate of the California League. In 2014, Griffey was replaced by Pat Kelly, Griffey will remain in the organization as a roving instructor, focusing on hitting and bunting.
Ken Griffey, Sr., is married to Valarie Griffey. He is the father of baseball star Ken Griffey, Jr. and former minor leaguer player Craig Griffey. He is also the grandfather of current Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Trey Griffey. He and his older son Ken Jr. share the same birth city as Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
- List of second generation MLB players
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Major League Baseball players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1,000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube