MLB Network released the documentary “Junior,” on Father’s Day, which highlighted the astounding career of Seattle phenom Ken Griffey Jr.
The 90-minute piece followed Griffey’s career from high school to his illustrious days in Seattle and his induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
There were plenty of highlights from Junior. Griffey’s selection by the Mariners as the first-overall pick in 1987, reaching the majors two years later at age 19 and becoming an All-Star for the first time at 20, and of course Griffey Jr. and Sr. becoming the first father-son duo in MLB history on the same team.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite moments from Junior:
Griffey's dog-pile moment
Before Damian Lillard hit the “bad shot,” waved goodbye to the Oklahoma City Thunder and was subsequently dog-piled by his Trail Blazers teammates, Ken Griffey Jr. was the Pacific Northwest’s original dog-pile hero.
In the 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, Griffey hit five home runs in five games as the Ms rallied from an 0-2 deficit to take the series. Junior scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning on an Edgar Martinez double.
Then, the dog-pile ensued at home plate and Griffey flashed a huge smile.
“It was the little team in the Northwest, gets to play the big bad #Yankees and take them down.” – @baseballhall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. on 1995 ALCS Game 5, via @MLBNetwork’s newest installment of #MLBNPresents: #Junior. pic.twitter.com/FWWO89ZdYN— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) June 22, 2020
The Griffeys on the same team
Major League Baseball is filled with prodigious bloodlines. In 1990, Ken Griffey Jr. was 20 and coming off his first All-Star appearance. His dad, Ken Griffey Sr. was 41 and in his second stint with the Reds.
That August, Griffey Sr. was given 15 minutes to decide whether he wanted to retire, accept his release or be placed on the Reds disabled list. He decided to retire, then unretire and sign with the Mariners, on the same team as his son.
One of the coolest father-son moments occurred on Sept. 14, 1990 when Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back home runs in a game against the California Angles.
The Griffeys are the only father-son duo to hit back-to-back homers. pic.twitter.com/p2q9dHij7J— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) June 21, 2020
Hitting 500th home run with dad in the crowd
Another sentimental father son moment came on June 20, 2004. Junior delivered the ultimate Father’s Day gift to Griffey Sr. when he knocked his 500th career home run over the right fence at Busch Stadium.
16 years ago today, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th homer on Father’s Day with his dad in attendance.— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) June 20, 2020
Such an awesome moment. ❤️ 💙 pic.twitter.com/dsdn1c774m
Then there was that time Junior was grounded and had his car keys taken away by Senior for stealing a fly out while Senior was in left field and Junior was in center.
Ken Griffey Jr. taking the ball away from his dad is hilarious 😂 pic.twitter.com/SvRxJ1a3Lh— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) June 22, 2020
Junior’s beef with the Yankees
Ken Griffey Jr. has long hated the New York Yankees. In “Junior,” it was finally revealed where Griffey Jr.’s grudge against the Yankees actually came from.
In 1983, Junior detailed an incident with then-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner while visiting his father before a game.
“I came up to visit my dad and it was just me and him. I got to the ballpark early and I'm sitting in the dugout and the security guard comes over and says, '[Then-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner] doesn't want anyone in the dugout.' My dad was like, 'What? He's my son.' So, he goes, 'Alright, hey go in my locker. But before you go, look at third base.' It's Craig Nettles' son taking ground balls at third base,” Griffey Jr. said.
“And at that time, my dad was 38 years old, he's like, 'I ain't fighting this no more. I got somebody a little younger. And a little bit better.’
“There’s certain things a dad drills into you as a kid that just sticks with you. And [to beat the Yankees] was one of them.”
Another reason to love Junior.— The Met Man▫️#FireManfred (@WILPONSmustSELL) June 22, 2020
Griffey hates the Yankees for life. pic.twitter.com/ON5MEUPQdi
Ken Griffey Jr. talks about why he would rather retire than play for the New York Yankees pic.twitter.com/eQtxdhfsQo— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) June 22, 2020
Enshrined in Cooperstown
Griffey Jr. was known for more than his 630 home runs. His smile, contagious personality, smooth swing, insane catches and explosiveness are also why people call him the G.O.A.T, including LeBron James.
Junior was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2016.
🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐 https://t.co/0VytjwQDPw— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2020