Before we can discuss LeBron James’ attempt at trying to play with his sons in the NBA, we must all recognize the legacy and standard that was set with Griffey Sr. and Griffey Jr. decades ago.
The legend of superstar outfielder and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. continues to live on even years after his retirement in Major League Baseball. Griffey Jr. was recently announced as the hitting coach for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
On August 31, 1990, Griffey Jr. and his father Ken Griffey Sr. made history as the first father and son to play on the same team in MLB history.
Griffey Jr. and Sr. would also have more legendary moments as they hit back-to-back home runs in a game on September 14, 1990. Griffey Sr. was a three-time All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds for eight seasons. As time progressed, Griffey Sr. was no longer ‘cutting the mustard’ as the Reds gave him an ultimatum: either retire or be released.
Forced into retirement, Griffey Sr.‘s love for the game never diminished. His desire was to join a hot new 20-year-old phenom in Griffey Jr. and play alongside him somehow. In order for that vision to come to fruition, Griffey Sr. had to unretire then be rebased.
Finally, after the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed contractually, Griffey Sr. joined his son and the two became the first father and son duo in league history to be active on the same playing roster. On their first at bats as members of the Seattle Mariners, Griffey Sr. connected on a single while Griffey Jr. also hit a single.
The two players were the first father-son duo to reach base in the lineup. Griffey Sr. played left field while his son played center field. A season later Griffey Sr. would retire for the final time in his baseball career. While Griffey Jr. went on to be the elite superstar transforming the game in many ways while being received in millions of households across the country.
From the backwards hat, to having some of the most legendary shoes by Nike to hit the turf since Deion Sanders’ Nike Turf Trainers. Truly putting the Mariners on the map with his exquisite and gifted style of play, Griffey Jr. would eventually be traded to the Reds in 2000.
As a member of the Reds, he changed his number from 24 to 30 in honor of his father who wore the number when he played for the team. Griffey Jr. finished his career with 630 home runs and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
He received 99.32% of the vote, breaking pitcher Tom Seaver’s record of 98.84%, a record that stood for 24 years.