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Ken Griffey Jr. Reaches Milestone

Ken Griffey Jr. Reaches Milestone

Ken Griffey Jr. came to Cincinnati with the expectation of reaching milestones like 600 home runs sooner rather than later. Earlier this week he did hit the 600 mark but it came after a number of years of injures that have left Red’s fans frustrated.

By Steve Patterson

Milestone

    Ken Griffey Jr. became the sixth player in MLB history on Monday to hit 600 home runs in a career. He was able to reach the milestone in 2,439 games. He joins recent home run sluggers Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa in the elite group of six. Griffey only needs nine more homeruns to tie Sosa in career home runs. Sixty more home runs and he reaches Willie Mays in total career home runs. At the game were Griffey’s father Ken Griffey Sr. and his wife Mellissa.

No Asterisk

    Unlike Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, Griffey isn’t considered to be one of the many players to use performance enhancing drugs to improve their slugging ability. Both Bonds and Sosa were unsigned for the season, making Griffey the only active player to be in the 600 HR club. He was considered to be a sure Hall of Fame player prior to the milestone and even more so now.

Injuries

    Griffey started his career with 11 very prolific years with the Mariners. Traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 1999, he had 40 home runs in his first year with the Reds before going through a series of injuries. Reds fans grew impatient with the highly paid injured Griffey Jr. during 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 when he had numerous injuries. A few of the injures included a torn tendon in his right knee, a torn right hamstring, an ankle injury, and another torn right hamstring. He has been able to play injury free the past three years and his home run totals have improved steadily over the course of those seasons.

    Griffey has one year left with the Reds when he will make $16.5 million. The Reds might trade him and he might not retire as a Red. But this milestone was celebrated by the team and gives the fans of Cincinnati a little of the excitement that they were looking for when he signed with the team 8 years ago.

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