Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ken Griffey Jr. celebrates 44th birthday today

On this day in 1969 in Donora, Pennsylvania, Ken Griffey Jr., one of the greatest all-around baseball players to ever play the game, was born.

The son of Big Red Machine outfielder Ken Griffey Sr., Junior shares his birthday and birthplace with another outstanding left-handed slugger, former Cardinals great Stan Musial.

The Griffey's moved to Cincinnati when Junior was six years old and the rest is history. The Kid blossomed into one of the most natural players to ever grace the sport.

He starred at nearby Moeller High School before being taken No. 1 overall in the 1987 Amateur Draft by the Seattle Mariners. By 1989, at just 19-years-old, Junior made his major league debut in what turned out to be an illustrious career.

Although injuries plagued him throughout the later part of his career, namely with the Reds, Griffey quickly emerged as the face of baseball, known for his pure swing, arm strength, defensive prowess, and speed on the basepaths, among other things. Simply put, Junior did some things on a baseball field that most folks had never seen before.

Now, after 13 All Star nods, 10 Gold Glove Awards, and 7 Silver Slugger Awards, Junior is enjoying the retired life, which includes spending time with his family and contributing to various charitable causes.

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