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Video:Profile of Ken Griffey Jr.

with Megan Murphy

Ken Griffey Jr. will go down in history as one of the greatest baseball players to live, and one of the few in the 90s never linked to steroids. Get a quick profile of the life and baseball career of Ken Griffey Jr. in this video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:Profile of Ken Griffey Jr.

Hi, I'm Megan Murphy and today we're profiling former major league baseball player Ken Griffey, Jr.

Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Early Years

George Kenneth Griffey, Jr., was born in 1969 in Donora, Pennsylvania. His father is former major leaguer Ken Griffey, Sr. He grew up in Cincinnati during the time his father played for the Reds. While in high school, he played both baseball and football and was recruited by several Division I programs as a wide receiver.

Drafted #1 Overall by Seattle Mariners

In 1987, the Seattle Mariners selected Griffey as the number one overall pick in the draft. He spent the next 11 years in Seattle and actually played alongside his father in 1990 and 1991. His talent really came to life with the Mariners and was selected to the All Star game every year of the ‘90s. While participating in the 1993 Home Run Derby in Baltimore, he became the only player who has ever hit the warehouse on the other side of Euta Street.

Griffey Jr. Moves to Cincinnati

In 1995, the Mariners made a run in the playoffs before losing to the Cleveland Indians. While with Seattle, Griffey also won a Gold Glove every year from 1990 to 1999. Before the 2000 season, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds and signed a 9-year, $112.5 million contract. After leaving Seattle, Griffey's performance generally began to slide -- including numerous injuries from 2001-2004, with season-ending injuries in 2002, 2003 and 2004. However on Father's Day 2004 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Griffey joined the 500 Homerun Club. But he would miss portions of the rest of the season with hamstring injuries.

Career Milestones

In 2005, some power came back as he hit 35 home runs and passed legends like Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Willie McCovey on the all-time home run list. He finished the year tied with Mickey Mantle. But injuries and surgery ended his season in September of that year. In 2006, he passed Mantle and Mike Schmidt on the list and tied Reggie Jackson for tenth all time. In 2007, he continued climbing -- passing Rafael Palmeiro, Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire and Frank Robinson, ending the season with 593 career home runs. He also picked up his 2,500th hit and was named an all-time Gold Glover in recognition for his defensive skills. The next year, Junior joined the 600 Club with a home run against the Florida Marlins.

In July of 2008, Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox. While with the Pale Hose, he passed Sammy Sosa on the home run list but the Sox chose not to resign him at the end of the season. He returned to Seattle in February 2009 after being signed as a free agent and in April hit his 400th home run as a Mariner, becoming the first player ever to hit 400 with one team. He returned in 2010 but struggled -- batting only .184 through the first two months. In June of that year, he announced his retirement effective immediately.

Accomplishments and Playing Style

Griffey is known as a prime example of the five-tool player during his peak: excelling at hitting for average, power, base-running skills, speed, throwing ability and fielding. He was a 13-time All Star and won 10 Gold Gloves. He was also awarded the Silver Slugger seven times during the ‘90s and won the Home Run Derby three times. He was the 1997 AL MVP and as of 2012, is sixth on the all-time home run list with 630. He will go down in history as one of the greatest baseball players to ever live, and one of the few great ones of the 90s never linked to performance enhancing drugs. 

And that's a look at former major leaguer Ken Griffey, Jr. Thanks for watching and for more information, be sure to check out About.com.

 

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