Griffey the Kid again
Ken Griffey Jr.'s quest for history has revealed a changed man, one who's finally feeling at home in Cincy.
In stark contrast, as Junior approached the most significant milestone home run of his career, no one was more approachable in a Cincinnati clubhouse, which is one of the most congenial in sport. With a traveling assemblage that included his wife Melissa, three kids, his former teammate and father Ken Sr., his mother Birdie and his step-mom, Griffey has had to hold things together as they trekked to Oakland, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and now St. Louis.
But after failing to nail No. 500 in front of them, and his hometown fans, he graciously consented to a postgame interview after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. His dad was in the front row, dressed all in black on a sweltering afternoon in Cincinnati, explaining he'd be the bad guy today, it was Junior's time to be the good guy. In reality it was because Pop was on his way to Billings, Mont., in his role as special-assignment scout for the Reds when he was diverted to the No. 500 home run watch and basically had three black outfits with him. Speaking of bad guys, when asked if it's just we in the media who notice a gregarious Griffey, or if the family does too, his father acknowledged unquestionably, his son's a changed man. Griffey Sr. credits the young Reds he's befriended, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Sean Casey, Danny Graves and the rest, for helping his son be at his most playful and healthiest in years.
Gary Miller is a reporter and play-by-play announcer for ESPN's major league baseball coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Pujols goes yard twice to join 500 HR club
- Ellsbury helps Yankees romp in Fenway return
- Fernandez strikes out 14, wins pitchers' duel
- MLB suspends Gomez, Maldonado, others
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- '47 Brand Men's Cincinnati Reds Heritage Black/Red Raglan Three-Quarter Sleeve Shirt