Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball
Front cover
Developer(s)Software Creations
Composer(s)Chris Jojo
Matthew Cannon
Paul Tonge
Tim Follin
Geoff Follin
Platform(s)SNES, Game Boy
  • NA: March 1994
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball is a Super NES baseball game that was released in 1994. The game has a Major League Baseball (MLB) license but not a Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) license, meaning that the game has real stadiums and real teams, but not real players (except Ken Griffey Jr.). The fictitious players have the same statistics as their real-world counterparts, and the game comes with a name-changing feature that allows players to change the athletes' names. Nintendo released a portable version of the game in 1997 for the Game Boy with real players and stats from the 1996 season. The gameplay is similar to its predecessors, though it is sometimes sluggish due to hardware restrictions. The SNES version came with a promotional Griffey collector's card packed inside.[1] It is often rated by the public as one of the best baseball games of all time.[2][3][4][5]


The game was groundbreaking and had a long list of features for its time. The game featured statistics from the real-life 1993 MLB season, and also kept statistics for the team controlled by the user throughout a season, though all of the statistics of CPU-controlled teams remained unchanged. The team rosters are based on the 1993 MLB season, with stats included.

Nearly every team has its own venue, sometimes complete with unique features, including Dodger Stadium's "slants" by the outfield crowd (the outfield "roof"), Shea Stadium's minuscule center field crowd, and the large scoreboard in the right field of Comiskey Park. Due to cartridge space limitations, some stadiums could not be added, and in those cases a generic stadium with green or blue walls is used (this layout was mostly used for the concrete donuts such as Riverfront Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium, themselves noted for being generic). Some of the stadiums are particularly realistic; Fenway Park's trademark Green Monster is in the game, as is Joe Robbie Stadium's teal wall and Oriole Park at Camden Yards' trademark Warehouse in right field. The Cincinnati Reds have a blue outfield wall as opposed to their signature green wall at Riverfront Stadium.

The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are the only two teams to play night games at their respective ball parks. Kauffman Stadium features its signature water falls in the outfield and signature scoreboard in Center Field. Both Yankee Stadium and Tiger Stadium are almost identical except that Yankee Stadium has shorter right field bleachers and the ball can be hit out of the park while Tiger Stadium has an upper deck all the way around. Toronto's SkyDome hotel/restaurant are visible in play if a homerun heads to center field. Wrigley Field has its signature Ivy on the outfield wall but is missing the apartment houses in left and right field respectively and the manual operated scoreboard in center field. The Kingdome has its signature large right field wall as does the Metrodome.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the only team to play in the generic stadium with astroturf and the green outfield wall. The Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, and the Oakland Athletics are the only teams to play in the generic stadium with natural grass and the green outfield wall. The Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, and Cincinnati Reds are the only teams to play in the generic stadium with astroturf and have a blue outfield wall. The Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and California Angels are the only teams to play in a generic stadium with natural grass and a blue outfield wall.

The Chicago White Sox wear their black alternate top as their home uniform in the game. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a player on the bench, Lou Graves (actually Darryl Strawberry), who is known for timely home runs in clutch situations; he is often substituted in at shortstop.

Pitching is one of the simplest elements in this game. There is also a battery-backed season mode, where players can select a team to play for 26, 78, or all 162 games. Players who finish first in their division earn a playoff berth and a chance to play in the World Series. Unique to the game was the ability to choose playing a season using a system of either four or six divisions, as the game was released after the six division system was proposed for MLB, but before the first MLB season with six divisions (1994).

The game also features the five new logos and uniforms designs of the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and the Detroit Tigers compared to what they looked like in 1993. The game also features the new ballparks The Ballpark in Arlington (home ballpark of the Rangers), and Jacobs Field (home ballpark of the Cleveland Indians), which replaced Arlington Stadium and Cleveland Stadium, respectively.


Fictitious players in the game are themed with their teammates. Some of the themes include:

At the end of every game, the game provides box scores and scoring summaries in newspaper format, providing a humorous newspaper headline on other goings-on in the world of Major League Baseball.

The game has several other features, including a home run derby in which players practice their power hitting against either Ken Griffey Jr. or against one of five fictitious power batters - Warren Track, Barny Tater, Sammy Scrap, Can O' Corn and Nick Noheart.

The game features the voice of former MLB umpire Steve Palermo for called strikes, balls and outs.[7]

The game's other vocal soundbite, that of a batter turning to the umpire and screaming "Oh come on!" after a called strike three was sampled from a Jim Belushi line in the 1985 movie The Man With One Red Shoe.[8]


Due to a bug, during a full season some home run totals for players reset to zero after the All-Star game. A Nintendo Customer Service representative acknowledged this bug, further claimed that sometimes during the World Series players are prevented from using their best pitchers, and bluntly summarized, "Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball sports some pretty serious bugs."[9]

Saved information, such as edited player names or seasons, are known to erase unexpectedly.

Game Boy version[edit]

Screenshot of the Game Boy version

The game was released in 1997 for the Game Boy, with Super Game Boy capabilities. Due to cartridge space, there is only one stadium. Unlike its predecessor, the Game Boy port's players have stats from the 1996 season, but they play in the 1997 season. It also has both a Major League Baseball and a Major League Baseball Players Association license- a first for a Ken Griffey Jr. game on a Nintendo console. The home run derby in this version is also free of the six player limit, so gamers can select any non-pitcher MLB player. 1997 Rookies of the Year Scott Rolen and Nomar Garciaparra debut in this game, along with Deivi Cruz. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color versions of the game were developed by programmer Brian Beuken, who was working freelance for Software Creations at the time.


Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball received generally mixed reviews. GamePro heavily criticized the game's lack of realism, citing the fictitious players, inaccurate ballparks, inability to adjust defense, "stylized" player sprites, and the ability to control the ball even after it leaves the pitcher's hand. However, they acknowledged the game has good music, "one of the best manuals for a baseball game", and gameplay that is very accessible to beginners.[15] Electronic Gaming Monthly criticized that the computer is too difficult to beat in one-player mode, but praised the digitized voices of Steve Palermo and Jack Buck and the general playability. They scored the game a 6.6 out of 10.[11] In 2018, Complex ranked the game 91st in their "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time".[16]

By July 1994, the game sold 750,000 copies.[17] The game ultimately sold 1.2 million units.[18]


Nintendo later published three more games featuring Ken Griffey Jr., one developed by Rare and two developed by Angel Studios.


  1. ^ Nintendo Power scored Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball 4.3/5 for graphics/sound, 3.8 for challenge, and 3.5/5 twice for play control and theme/fun.[13]


  1. ^ "Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES) FAQ," GameFAQs.
  2. ^ Rymer, Zachary D. "Ranking the Greatest Baseball Video Games of All Time". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  3. ^ Woods, Jordan (2022-09-29). "The 10 Best Baseball Video Games Ever, According To Reddit". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Baseball Video Games". Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  5. ^ "10 greatest baseball video games ever made". Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  6. ^ a b "Solving the mystery within Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball".
  7. ^ Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball credits
  8. ^ The Man With One Red Shoe (1985) Orig. Theatrical Trailer
  9. ^ "Buyers Beware". GamePro. No. 84. IDG. September 1995. p. 119.
  10. ^ "Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for Super Nintendo - GameRankings". Archived from the original on 2019-12-09.
  11. ^ a b "Review Crew: Ken Griffey Baseball". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 60. Sendai Publishing. July 1994. p. 33.
  12. ^ Talko (June 1994). "Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball". GameFan. Vol. 2, no. 7. pp. 122–123. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "Now Playing". Nintendo Power. Vol. 59. April 1994. pp. 102–107. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ken Griffey presents: Major League Baseball". Video Games (in German). No. Special 4. p. 57. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  15. ^ "Griffey Sent to Minors". GamePro. No. 70. IDG. July 1994. p. 116.
  16. ^ Knight, Rich (April 30, 2018). "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time". Complex. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  17. ^ "Marketing All-Star Game Under a Cloud". Los Angeles Times. July 12, 1994. p. 146. Retrieved January 31, 2022 – via
  18. ^ Bevan, Mike (December 2013). "Bubbles, Baseball and Buzz Saws...". Retro Gamer. No. 122. Imagine Publishing. p. 78.