Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1976 Topps #128 - Ken Griffey

  • Ken Griffey was a speedy, good-hitting right fielder for some of the Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s. Injuries took away his speed later in his career. Griffey played in the majors from 1973-1991.
  • Griffey started in the Cincinnati Reds system in 1969. He steadily moved up the system and put up better and better numbers as the years went by. Ken made his debut on August 25, 1973.
  • He batted .384 in 86 at bats in '73. Ken started the 1974 season with the Reds but was sent back to AAA Indianapolis after starting with a .158 batting average. Griffey batted .333 in 43 games at Indanapolis and was brought back up in July 1974. He finished the 1974 season with a .251 batting average, which would be his lowest average until 1988.
  • Ken was given the starting right field job in 1975 and batted .305 with 95 runs scored. He batted .333 in the National League Championship Series and .269 in the World Series.
  • Griffey had his best season in 1976. He batted .336, which was second to Bill Madlock. Ken decided to sit out the last game of the season to protect his lead, but when he heard that Madlock went 4 for 4 Ken entered the game and went 0 for 2. Griffey made the NL All Star team and was 8th in MVP voting in '76.
  • He made the All Star team again in 1977 as he batted .318 and had a career-high 117 runs scored. Ken slipped a bit in 1978 and batted .288. He must have been injured in 1979 as he played in only 95 games (but he batted .316).
  • Ken was an All Star for the last time in 1980 (he was the MVP of the game). He batted .294 and was in double figures in 2B, 3B, and HR. Griffey batted .311 in 1981, then was traded to the New York Yankees for minor league pitcher Brian Ryder and Freddie Toliver.
  • Griffey played for the Yankees from 1982 until he was traded to the Atlanta Braves on June 30, 1986. He didn't play more than 127 games in any of those seasons. Ken batted .277, .306, .273, .274, and .303 in his seasons with the Yankees. Ken finished the 1986 season with the Braves (.308 in 80 games), then batted .286 in 399 AB in 1987. That was his last season as a full-time player.
  • Ken was granted free agency after the '87 season but resigned with the Braves. Ken started the 1988 season batting .249 and he was released in July 1988. Griffey signed with the Cincinnati Reds and batted .280 in 50 at bats to finish the season. Ken played for the Reds in 1989 but batted only .263. He started 1990 with the Reds as a pinch hitter and occasional outfielder. Griffey was released on August 24 after batting .206 in 63 at bats. Ken signed with the Seattle Mariners and was able to play with his son (a guy named Ken Griffey Jr.). He hit back-to-back homers with his son on September 14, 1990. Coming to Seattle was a big help to Griffey as he batted .377 for the rest of the season. Ken played for the Mariners again in 1991 (.282 in 85 at bats) and then retired.
  • Ken is now a scout and a special consultant to the Cincinnati Reds and gives motivational speeches about parenting and teamwork.
  • It was always a good thing to get a Red in a pack of cards, whether it was a big name like Bench, a good player like Griffey, or even a Plummer.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Griffey as a kid. He was never the same to me when he went to the Yankees. I remember after the 1980 ASG, when he was named MVP someone gave him a Stargell Star for his cap. Thought that was pretty cool.