Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox. He was a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Golden Glove winner. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. So, why did he hate the Yankees?
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Ken Griffey Jr.’s childhood
Ken Griffey Jr. was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, in 1969, the son of a former major league player, Ken Griffey Sr. The Griffeys moved to Cincinnati when Ken Jr. was six, and it was there that he grew up hating the Yankees. His father had played for the Yankees briefly in 1967 and 1968, and Ken Jr. saw how much his father disliked the experience. In an interview with Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, Griffey Jr. said, “I grew up a Reds fan, and I hated the Yankees. My dad didn’t like them, so I didn’t like them.”
Ken Griffey Jr.’s father played for the Yankees
Ken Griffey Jr.’s father, Ken Griffey Sr., was a Yankee from 1981 to 1982. In his first season in the Bronx, he helped the team to a World Series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, things soured quickly for the elder Griffey in New York. He found himself in a crowded outfield, competing for playing time with the likes of Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. As a result, he was traded back to his original team, the Cincinnati Reds, midway through the 1982 season.
The trade deeply disappointed young Ken Griffey Jr., who idolized his father and had grown up rooting for the Yankees. In an interview years later, Griffey Jr. said that he “hated” the Yankees as a result of the trade. He continued to root against them throughout his own Hall-of-Fame career.
Ken Griffey Jr. grew up a Yankees fan
Ken Griffey Jr. grew up a Yankees fan, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the greatest Major League Baseball players of all time. Griffey Jr. played 22 seasons in the MLB, amassing 2,781 hits, 630 home runs, and 1,836 RBIs. He was a 13-time All-Star and won 10 Silver Slugger Awards. In 1997, he was the unanimously voted American League MVP.
So why did Ken Griffey Jr. hate the Yankees? The answer begins with his father, Ken Griffey Sr. Ken Sr. played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1973 to 1981 and again from 1988 to 1991. He was an All-Star in 1976 and 1980, and he won a World Series with the Reds in 1975. Needless to say, Ken Jr. grew up rooting for the Reds instead of the Yankees.
In 1990, the Seattle Mariners drafted Ken Griffey Jr. with the first overall pick in the MLB draft. The Mariners were in their 15th season as a franchise at the time, and they had never made the playoffs. They were looking for a young superstar to build their team around, and they found one in Griffey Jr.
He quickly became one of baseball’s most popular players thanks to his highlight reel catches in center field and his powerful batting prowess. He helped lead the Mariners to their first ever playoff appearance in 1995, and he won an AL MVP award in 1997 as he helped them make it back to the playoffs again.
In 2000, Griffey Jr.’s contract with the Mariners expired, and he decided to sign with…the Cincinnati Reds! He cited his desire to play with his father as one of his main reasons for signing with Cincinnati. The two played together for three seasons before Ken Sr.’s retirement in 1991.
It’s safe to say that Ken Griffey Jr.’s decision to sign with the Reds did not sit well with Mariners fans who had grown accustomed to cheering for him over the years. In fact, many still harbor ill will towards him over 20 years later!
Ken Griffey Jr.’s playing career
Ken Griffey Jr. played Major League Baseball for 22 seasons. He was a thirteen-time All-Star, ten-time Gold Glove winner, and six-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Griffey is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. Griffey Jr. played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Atlanta Braves. He is the son of former Major League Baseball player Ken Griffey Sr.
Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted by the Yankees
Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted by the Yankees in the 1987 MLB draft, but he never actually played for the team. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners before he ever had a chance to put on a Yankees uniform. Why did Ken Griffey Jr. hate the Yankees?
Some people speculate that Ken Griffey Jr. hated the Yankees because they drafted him instead of his father, Ken Griffey Sr. It’s possible that Griffey Jr. didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the same team. Others speculate that Griffey Jr. simply didn’t want to play for the Yankees because he knew they were one of the most high-pressure, high-expectation organizations in all of baseball.
Whatever the reason, Ken Griffey Jr. never donned a Yankees uniform and he went on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds.
Ken Griffey Jr. was traded to the Mariners
Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 1987 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut in 1989, and was an immediate success. In his first full season, 1990, Griffey hit .327 with 22 home runs, and was named to the All-Star team. From there, his career took off. Griffey became one of baseball’s most popular players, and was considered the face of the Mariners franchise.
However, things took a turn in 1999 when Griffey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. While Griffey had maintained good relations with the Mariners organization, he was not happy about being traded away from his hometown team. The feeling was mutual among Mariners fans, many of whom felt betrayed by Griffey.
This bad blood came to a head in 2000 when Griffey returned to Seattle to play against his former team for the first time. He was booed mercilessly by the home crowd, and went 0-for-4 at the plate. It was a low point in Griffey’s career, but he would go on to have many more great moments before retiring in 2010.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s post-playing career
Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the most popular players during his time with the Seattle Mariners. He was an All-Star player and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. However, after he retired from playing, he became a vocal critic of the New York Yankees. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why Ken Griffey Jr. hates the Yankees.
Ken Griffey Jr. became a Mariners consultant
Ken Griffey Jr. did not enjoy his time with the Yankees and he made that abundantly clear in an interview with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times in March of 2000. “The first thing I did when I got home [from New York] was throw away anything that said ‘Yankees’ on it,” Griffey told Stone. “I don’t want any reminders. It was a bad experience.”
In 2002, Griffey retired from baseball after 22 seasons. He became a special consultant for the Mariners in 2003, a role that allowed him to work with the team’s young players and promote the game of baseball in the Seattle community. He also served as an adviser to Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Office from 2003 to 2006.
Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame
Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame on August 10, 2013. Griffey played his entire Major League career with the Mariners, from 1989 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2010. He is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.
During his post-playing career, Griffey has made it clear that he does not want anything to do with the New York Yankees. In an interview with MLB Network in 2016, Griffey was asked if he would ever consider working for the Yankees in some capacity. He responded, “No, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t go there.”
When asked why he feels that way, Griffey said, “It’s just not me. I bleed Mariners green and royal blue.”
It’s clear that Ken Griffey Jr. has a deep love for the Seattle Mariners organization and fans. His decision to not get involved with the Yankees is likely due to his loyalty to the Mariners.