On Jan. 6, 2016, it was announced that Ken Griffey, Jr. was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a record breaking 437 out of 440 votes. This news came as no surprise to baseball fans, since Junior is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. When I was growing up in Cincinnati, Ken Griffey, Jr. was one of my heroes. Griffey was a hometown boy and he grew up in Cincy when his dad, Ken Griffey, Sr., was playing for the Reds. All Cincinnatians feel a sense of pride in the fact that one of the best baseball players of all time grew up in our city and eventually played for the Reds. Here are 12 reasons why Junior is simply the best!
1. He was the first draft pick in 1987.
In 1987, Ken Griffey Jr., was the first overall draft pick in the MLB. The Seattle Mariners drafted Griffey out of Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Griffey is the first player to be elected into the HOF that was the No. 1 draft pick.
2. Father and son hit back-to-back home runs on Sept. 14, 1990.
During the 1990 baseball season, both Ken Griffey, Jr. and Ken Griffey, Sr. played for the Seattle Mariners. This was the first time in MLB history that father and son played on the same team at the same time. On Sept. 14, 1990, the Griffeys made history when they hit back-to-back home runs in the same inning.
3. The Kid scoring the winning run in Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS.
In Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 8, 1995, the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees were in the 11th inning when Griffey proved just how fast he could run. With Griffey on first base, Edgar Martinez hit a double, and Griffey hustled to score the game-winning run to win the series.
4. He won the Home Run Derby two years in a row.
In 1999, Griffey became the first baseball player to win the Home Run Derby two years in a row. Overall, Griffey would win the Home Run Derby 3 times (1994, 1998, 1999).
5. His 500th home run on Father's Day 2004.
On Jun. 20, 2004, Ken Griffey, Jr., became the 20th MLB player at the time to hit 500 home runs. Junior's 500th home run was also special because he it on Father's Day with his dad in the crowd!
6. His 600th home run on Jun. 9, 2008.
In his last season for the Reds, Griffey hit his 600th career home run on Jun. 9, 2008.
7. This amazing inside the park home run in 2001.
In his second season with the Reds, Griffey hit an inside the park home run to win the tied game against the Cardinals in the 11th inning on Aug. 20, 2001. Truly magical.
8. Griffey is 6th in all-time MLB home runs.
9. He is a 10-time Gold Glove winner.
10. He's the first Mariner to have his number retired.
11. He is in the Mariners and Reds Hall of Fame.
12. Griffey is going to be in The Hall.
On Jan. 6, 2016, Griffey received the phone call that he had been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fans had been wondering if Junior would have an unanimous vote, which no player has had before. However, Griffey was elected with 437 out of 440 total votes, which means he had 99.3 percent vote, which is the highest percentage of the vote in HOF history.
The only question now is if Griffey will wear his famous backwards cap on his Cooperstown plaque...
To stay with tradition, Griffey will probably be wearing his hat forwards in this HOF plaque, but fans can dream.