Batman Returns

Junior Griffey

Junior Griffey is one of the best to ever play the game

During the first inning in what appeared to be a meaningless game against the Florida Marlins, Ken Griffey Jr. belted a 3-1 curveball off the left-hander Mark Hendrickson, into the right-field seats of Dolphin Stadium. He rounded the bases and ventured further into the Baseball Hall of Fame.The 600 club welcomed its newest member, as Ken Griffey Jr. joins Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Sammy Sosa.

The only question that remains is who, of the 600 club is the best of the best?

Yes 3 of it’s members are residents of the 700 club, nevertheless, the reasons for the best are as follows:

Henry Aaron – broke Babe Ruth’s HR record amidst adversity of racial tension

Willie Mays – the BEST 5-tool player ever (played amidst racial tension)

George Herman “Babe” Ruth – the first SUPERSTAR of baseball, playing for the Red Sox and Yankees

Barry Bonds – broke Henry Aaron’s HR record, and he has 7 MVP awards (played amidst a traveling circus)

Sammy Sosa – speedy outfielder with power, helped to bring baseball back during the great season of ’98

Ken Griffey Jr. – has the tools of Mays, bat speed of Aaron, will of Bonds, power of Ruth, and charm of Sosa

The kid

The Kid

KG

600 and counting

I understand that asking who is the best to ever hit 600, is like asking which is the better Pablo Escobar movie, Scarface, or BLOW? Or better yet, which of the Star Wars films is the greatest of all-time, Episode IV or Episode V?

I began watching baseball because of Junior Griffey, so my knowledge is both biased and limited, so I’ll let you be the judge and jury. 

Is it, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Bonds, Sosa, or Junior? (Keep an eye out for A-Rod)

 

Peace. 

 

 

The most known unknown.

18 Responses to “Batman Returns”

  1. Co Co says:

    Ken Griffey Jr. has the prettiest swing ever as far as I’m concerned. His smile isn’t too bad either:) I loved KG Jr as a young girl and the way he came in and took the league by storm cannot be overstated. I’m torn between him and Barry. I can’t speak on the players who were before my time. I’d just be making stuff up so I’ll keep it between Barry and KG Jr. I’ll go with Barry, but just barely!

  2. Co Co, I am in the same boat as you. I’m not old enough to know first hand, however because of Sports century and my local library I know enough to go out on a limb, so my youth will tell you Junior Griffey, and my research will disagree and cast a vote for The ‘Say Hey Kid!

  3. Co Co says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen a few Sports Century pieces too, but I’m just going to keep it between the 2 players I specifically went to Turner Field to see. Barry (he hit #695 and 696 for me) and KG hit one out for me last season. 🙂 And I was right behind home plate so I got to see that beautiful swing up close and personal! I don’t think you can go wrong with anyone on the list although I know for a fact Sammy would be last or at least next to last as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Temple3 says:

    Griffey’s last four years in Seattle – he hit 49, 56, 56 and 48 home runs. He was 29 and that was 1999. In 3 of those years, he had 600 ABs. Since then, he’s had more than 500 only twice.

    Defensively, Griffey was probably on par with Mays — and that puts him in another universe. I don’t believe that Mays, Aaron, Griffey or anyone other than Ruth has ever been the hitter that Bonds has become. He’s as dominant offensively as anyone to ever play the game. When you add in the stolen bases and the more than adequate defense in left field, Bonds is my guy. Of course, this 600 business really would a 700 only conversation if Mays didn’t have a military run and Griffey stayed healthy.

    This is the cream of the crop. And though he didn’t hit 600, Frank Robinson deserves some love as an Honor Mention.

    Sammy’s not really part of this conversation for my money. There were simply too many things he did not do well. Too many strike outs. Too many lapses in the field. No thanks.

    I think if Griffey stayed healthy, he would eclipsed Bonds in the popular mind because of his personality. He’d certainly have hit 700 – probably two or three years ago…and that would have made for a really interesting conversation.

  5. Co Co says:

    Barry is an imposing being. His plate discipline is really amazing. The fact that I’ve been able to watch Barry play for years probably has me jaded. But, picking someone I’ve not seen or researched enough wouldn’t be a good look for me.

  6. ronglover says:

    Before the injuries, Junior was approaching Mays territory, he brought baseball into the ’90’s. And was on pace to catch Aaron before Bonds was even in the conversation, but he had that terrible stretch of injuries. I’m glad that no matter how frustrating the injuries were he kept coming back, I would love to see him get to 700.

    I can’t put Sammy in the conversation and I struggle to put Ruth there because he never faced his Black contemporaries. So for me it boils down to Bonds, Aaron and Junior.

    For Bonds to get one pitch a game for the last half a decade and do what he’s done is mind-boggling. He has to be one of the most disciplined hitters ever. Aaron is a marvel because he never hit more than 47 homers in a season he hit for average and power and was an underrated outfielder. Mays and Griffey are right there I’ll go as far as to say that Griffey for a span was the Mays of our lifetime.

  7. Gyangstah says:

    I’m not old enough to have seen Mays in his heyday but Bonds and Griffey are the two best outfielders (offensively and defensively) I’ve ever seen. No one else is even in the same universe. When Jr’s career is over, he should be recognized as one the best ever. (Bonds, on the other hand, hmm…we’ll see if MLB allows that to happen)

  8. michelle says:

    AXG,

    Nice piece. I think I will go with BB.

  9. HarveyDent says:

    I’ll ride with Barry Lamar because of his indomitable will combined with his discipline. I acknowledge that Jr. would have been closed to Bonds without the injury but Bonds dealt with a very serious knee injury his last two to three season but still manage to make history. On a personal note, I also chose Barry because he dealt with everything swirling around him like he was a relative of Don King by never giving the vultures the benefit of seeing him stumble. I know fifteen or twenty years from now I’m going to be reading mea culpas from writers decrying the raw deal he’s getting now but it will have truly been too little too damn late.

  10. Temple3 says:

    I hope that in 15 – 20 years you’ll be sure to do the right thing with the toilet paper those mea culpas will be printed on.

  11. Hal says:

    I have to admit that I’m seriously bugged by the unquestioning adulation that Griffey has always gotten from the media – the exact opposite of what Bonds had to endure. As far as I can tell, that’s because Jr. grins and Barry scowls.

    Mays lost time to military service, and Griffey to injuries (mostly self-induced, remember), but Bonds lost a huge number of at bats to walks. That’s the most telling of all his stats, I think, and the best demonstration of his utter dominance as a hitter. No one else even comes close in walks and intentional walks for single seasons or career. And in Bonds’s best seasons, his walk totals were highest. It’s hard to imagine what his numbers would be if he’d been pitched to like EVERYONE else. That he set so many records despite being pitched around far more than anyone else in the history of the game, and in the face of career-long character assassination, puts him head and shoulders above the rest in my book.

  12. Co Co says:

    There’s no doubt that Griffey’s smile made him more of a media/fan favorite. it is a gorgeous smile, but Barry has a great smile too when he decides to show it. 🙂

  13. Hal says:

    CoCo – That’s true. Barry’s actually a pretty personable guy when he’s not under attack. For that matter, he’s a heck of a lot more articulate than Junior, as well. I haven’t heard Griffey talk nearly as much as bonds, but his comments after hitting 600 were pretty much of the “Aw, shucks, that was kinda cool” variety. Bonds always has made it very clear that he knows exactly how his accomplishments fit into the history of the game, and gone out of his way to recognize those who paved the way.

    It’s possible that the worst thing about his not playing this year is that he’s not in a position to share his immense inside knowledge with younger players. The media line is that he’s been a bad teammate, and for a long time he did guard his knowledge closely, lest it be used to beat him after a teammate moved to another club. There was a distinct change in his attitude after he hit homer 500, though – he said at the time it felt like he’d graduated, and from then on he was very open about sharing his knowledge and teaching younger players. He also seemed to relax and enjoy playing the game a lot more after 500.

    Most of this, of course, was only apparent to Giants fans, who got to see him every day for may years. The rest of the world only got the negativity projected onto him by the national media. I’m sure glad I got to see so much of his career up close. Nothing can diminish the pleasure of that experience.

  14. HarveyDent says:

    The worst thing about Bonds not playing this year is that selfishly I’m not getting to see how many more HR’s he would add to his record and how many more marks he would set and/or surpass. Bonds is no saint but off the diamond but from what I’ve seen his whole career is that he never cheated his talent, his teams, or the game and it is truly a sin that will rank right up there with the Black Sox Scandal, the color barrier, and the World Series cancellation of ’94 as one of the negative marks against MLB.

  15. Co Co says:

    I don’t think people take into consideration what Barry grew up around when they automatically label him a bad person for being standoffish with the media and etc. Think of the stories he must have heard from his father and godfather. Barry knew early on that everything was not going to be all roses so he decided not to just let the whole world in. I think its a good thing that he didn’t let the media into his world. I personally don’t think just because someone is a famous athlete or entertainer that we should automatically get to know everything about them. If you let the media in once they feel like they are entitled to know everything about you. That’s why they stay chasing people and camping out outside of celebrities homes. Trust me it aint that serious. But, if you do one interview then the times you say no you’re perceived to be an a**hole. I don’t tell random strangers my business (often) so why should athletes have to? I know they have to make themselves available to the media, but that shouldn’t have to happen everyday. They play 162 games for crying out loud! Everyone has bad days, but we don’t allow athletes to be in the same kinds of pissy moods we are randomly in.

  16. Chris Cason says:

    I have to say Griffey truly is my personal favorite because he has dealt with numerous of injuries which would have made any other man walk away from the game. He also hasn’t had his name attached to any of the negatives that he been thought to have helped others out performance wise.

  17. Jerold Wells Jr says:

    Growing up I didn’t really even know Barry Bonds to the extent that I know, or think of him, now. I really wasn’t aware of the fact that Barry was putting the foundation down in the mid to late 90’s to be considered one of the best of all time. I’m talking the hits, the fielding, the stolen bases….. Barry Bonds was the natural. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a baseball star since he left.

    I have however always known about Griffey Jr. Maybe it was the shoes. Or maybe it was the fact that being so good, so young made him the face of the League. I was a Sports Illustrated for Kids junkie and he was a staple so I indulged in everything Griffey Jr. He was Mr. Baseball to me.

    Looking at things now I think it was that very phenomenon that drove Barry to “enhance” himself. Physically I really think the two were even. As young players both were blessed with amazing athleticism. Statistically though Bonds is a superior hitter accross the board. I’m talking average, slugging, on-base %, HR and hits. He stole more bases and accumulated more walks.

    I loved Griffey Jr. (for what seemed like all the wrong reasons) but Bonds is the biggest boss I’ve seen thus far!

  18. ansis paul says:

    Not to highjack the post Mizzo but have you seen this nonsense.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/06/the_makers_of_a_racist_obama_t.html