Ken Griffey Jr.
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
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.
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.
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.