Ken Griffey Jr is one of the best baseball players of all time. He played for 22 seasons, winning 10 Gold Glove Awards and six Silver Slugger Awards. Griffey was also a 13-time All-Star and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
But there’s more to Ken Griffey Jr than meets the eye. Here are 10 secrets about the baseball legend:
1. Griffey grew up around celebrities
Ken Griffey Jr’s father, Ken Griffey Sr, was also a professional baseball player. But that’s not all – his grandfather, who was also named Ken Griffey, played minor league baseball. As a result, young Ken Jr grew up around celebrities and athletes.
2. He didn’t start playing baseball until he was 13
Despite coming from a family of professional baseball players, Ken Griffey Jr didn’t start playing the sport himself until he was 13 years old. He had originally wanted to play football like his father, but his mother wouldn’t let him because she thought it was too dangerous.
3. Griffey’s first home run came off of future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan
In 1990, Ken Griffey Jr hit his first Major League home run off of future Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. It was a momentous occasion for the young slugger, and one that cemented his place in baseball history.
4. He once appeared on The Simpsons
Ken Griffey Jr has appeared on a number of television shows and movies over the years, but one of his most memorable roles came in an episode of The Simpsons. In the episode, Griffey Jr plays himself and helps Homer Simpson lose weight so he can play baseball again.
5. Griffey is left-handed, but throws right-handed
Ken Griffey Jr is a left-handed hitter, but he throws right-handed. This is because his father taught him to throw right-handed when he was younger so that he would have an advantage over right-handed pitchers.
6. He was once traded for future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson
In 1998, Ken Griffey Jr was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that also saw future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson going to the Mariners. The trade is widely considered to be one of the biggest mistakes in baseball history.
7. Griffey has his own video game
In 1999, Ken Griffey Jr was featured in his own video game for the Nintendo 64 console. The game, which was titled “Ken Griffey Jr’s Slugfest”, was a huge success and is still considered to be one of the best baseball games ever made.
8. He has his own line of shoes
In addition to being a successful baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr is also a successful businessman. He has his own line of shoes with Nike, which are some of the most popular sneakers on the market.
9. Griffey was once considered for the role of Superman
When director Tim Burton was casting for the role of Superman in his 1997 film “Batman & Robin”, Ken Griffey Jr was one of the actors considered for the part. Ultimately, the role went to George Clooney.
10. He has a son who is also a professional baseball player
Ken Griffey Jr’s son, Trey Griffey, is also a professional baseball player. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2016 and made his Major League debut in 2017. Like his father, Trey is a left-handed hitter and throws right-handed.