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30th Anniversary of Ken Griffey Jr. And His Dad Being The First Father Son Duo To Play Together

Try to think about this without choking up. 

Let this one play as you scroll down.

I was too young to realize at the time how big a deal this was for "The Kid" to get to suit up in the same uniform and play on the same field, at the same time, as the man who raised him.

It's an awesome story on how it all came about too.

Griffey Sr. got cut a few days prior by the cock-suckin Cincinnati Reds. His kid broke onto the scene the prior season and was the talk of the league. The Mariners picked up Griffey Sr. as a way to take advantage of an opportunity so rare that in the 100 year history of the sport it had never occurred- a father and son appearing together in an official major league game.

This is why baseball is the fuckin best.

According to Mariners manager Jim Lefebvre, he knew he had a magical moment on his hands and was damn sure everybody was going to get to see it- 

“Here he is a father, a veteran player ending his career,” Lefebvre said to the Los Angeles Times, “and the son is a brilliant young talent, just like his father was when he was first starting his career, and they’re both going to be out there together. Today is a great day for baseball. It’s a great day for Seattle. It’s a great day for the Mariners.”

And that's why old school baseball managers are the fuckin best. 

Think about a "coach" in another sport doing this. It would happen in hockey and that's it. Zero chance it happens in the NBA until Lebron's kid comes up into the league and he demands whatever team he is playing for at the time to trade the next 30 years of their future to draft Bronny. Football? Negative infinity chance a kid makes it to the league while their dad is still playing/walking. It could possibly happen with a Morten Anderson or Adam Vinatieri type that plays for 25 years I guess, but you get the point. 

Griffey Jr. lived the dream life as a kid like many other Major Leaguers sons- getting to hang out in the clubhouses, shag fly balls during BP, be batboy, all the stuff that makes baseball so magical for young boys. 

On that August 30, 1990 night, Lefebvre put his father and son duo at the top of his batting order, penciling Griffey Sr. in the #2 slot, and son Junior in at #3 against the visiting Kansas City Royals. 

For their first at-bats both men would single and score later in the bottom half-inning in front of a crazed Kingdome crowd.

 In the sixth inning, Bo Jackson lined a blast off the wall and tried to extend a single into a double. Griffey Sr. fielded it cleanly off the bounce, turned, and threw a dime to Harold Reynolds at second for the put out. 

Associated Press - “I didn’t expect a perfect bounce off the wall and to have that old guy throw me out,” Jackson said. “I’d have been mad if anyone else had thrown me out, but it was a piece of history. Those Griffeys were messing with me.”

Griffey Jr. fell to his knees in amazement with his mouth wide open in awe. 

After the game, the Griffey's both soaked up the moment.

“This is the pinnacle for me, something I’m very proud of,” Griffey Sr. said after the game. “You can talk about the ’76 batting race, the two World Series I played in and the All-Star games I played in. But this is No. 1. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“I wanted to cry,” Griffey Jr said. “It was his day.”

Over 21 games that season, Griffey Sr. had a ridiculous .377 batting average. But getting to play next to his hotshot son didn’t just help Griffey Sr.’s batting line, it helped his perspective about his son in general. When Griffey Jr. was inducted to the Hall of Fame earlier this year, his dad admitted he didn’t know how good his son was until he played with him in 1990.

How fuckin funny, and typical of a father, is that? "I didn't realize how good my kid actually was until he was hitting behind me and calling me off in right-center."

p.s. - Junior got his trademark hat flip and batting stance, which his dad thought was ugly, from his father. 

Griffey Jr. would want to play catch, and do so wearing his father’s hat. Only it was too big and would fall down to his face.

“Then one time he almost got hit in the face, so his best bet was to turn the hat around backward so he could see,” Griffey Sr. said. “He did that when he was 5 or 7, and he’s been doing that for a long time since.”

How about Griffey’s Jr.’s batting stance?

Ugly, Griffey Sr. said.

But it was his own. Griffey Jr. grew up trying to emulate his father’s swing, and Senior said that he told him to cut that out, that he had to be his own person and discover his own style.

“Now everyone is trying to emulate his style,” Griffey Sr. said.

But what made it so ugly?

“The wiggle,” Senior said. “He stood straight up and he tilted his head and all that. It was ugly. But it worked for him.”

p.p.s. - GOAT video baseball game yes we all know. But $600? WHUT?