Ken Griffey Jr. Explains Dislike for Yankees

Lou DiPietro
June 22, 2020 - 11:13 am

Ken Griffey Jr. was inarguably one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball, so it’s no surprise he crushed almost every team – but now, we all know why he may have had some extra incentive to take it to the Yankees.

In an MLB Network documentary entitled “Junior” that aired Sunday night, Kid Griffey tells a story about an experience he had at Yankee Stadium while visiting his father, then-Yankees outfielder/first baseman Ken Sr., in the mid-1980s that soured him on ever wanting to play for George Steinbrenner’s squad.

“I came up to visit my dad, and I’m sitting in the dugout, and a security guard comes over and says, ‘hey, George (Steinbrenner) doesn’t want anybody in the dugout,” Junior recalled in the documentary. “So my dad says, ‘go in my locker, but before you go, look at third base.’”

Junior continues by saying that what his dad was referring to was then-Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles taking ground balls…with his son right next to him.

The scene then cuts to a pre-game shot of Griffey signing autographs at Yankee Stadium during the 1995 ALDS, where Griffey Jr. says “no” when a fan yells “come play for the Yankees, bro,” and then says, “if the Yankees were the last team, the only team, to offer me a contract, I’d retire.”

“At that time my dad was 38 years old, and he was like, ‘I ain’t fighting this no more. I got someone a little younger, and a little better,’” Junior went on to explain in the documentary interview. “There are certain things that a dad drills into you as a kid that just stick with you. That was one of them, to beat the Yankees.”

That Griffey Jr. did, both in the 1995 ALDS and overall, as he slashed .311/.392/.595 with 36 home runs and 102 RBI in 133 career games against the Yankees. Oh, and don’t forget that he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2016, garnering 437 of 440 votes for 99.32 percent of the tally – at that time the highest percentage ever.

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