There so many options to write about today given the fact that we almost saw our third perfect game of the season last night (something that has never been done before). However, I bet that everyone is going to write about that, so I want to talk about the end of an era. What era am I talking about? The end of the illustrious 22 year career of Ken Griffey Jr. came down yesterday. While nobody can compare to influence Michael Jordan had over the 90s, Griffey might have been his closest competition. The easiest way to tell whether or not you truly have become a superstar is receiving a role in a children's movie of course. Jordan had Space Jam, and Griffey played an integral role in the ending of Little Big League. You all remember that scene where he robs Lou Collins of a home run exhibiting his legendary defensive abilities that won him a gold glove every year of the 90s. However, Griffey's media empire entered the Super Nintendo and Game Boy world. What I remember about his Super Nintendo game was that none of the players except him had real names. They were obviously modeled after certain players, but they never had their names.
All of these things show why Griffey became a rock star, but we also have to talk about how he became a superstar. As I mentioned earlier, he won a Gold Glove every year of the 90s. The 13 time All-Star hit 630 home runs over 22 seasons and almost reached 3000 hits (2781 to be exact). In that legendary year of 1998 where Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa dominated the scenario, Griffey hit 56 home runs of his own. However, the more amazing part is that the year before was almost identical. During the late 90s, when it seemed like everybody was caught up in steroids, nobody has ever gotten Griffey; he was clean in an often dirty era.
We will miss him, but what can you do? Every era has had their superstar from Joe DiMaggio to Willie Mays to Griffey. I guess we will just have to wait for another one.
Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr