CINCINNATI — Ken Griffey Jr. hugged other members of the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame. One hug meant more than the others. He embraced his father, who was wearing a red jacket signifying that he’s already honored in the hall.
Junior will have one of his own after this weekend.
Griffey, Dave Parker and Ron Oester — all of whom grew up playing baseball in Cincinnati — were honored on the field Saturday before a game against the Miami Marlins. The late Jake Beckley, who played in the 1800s, also was part of the team’s 2014 Hall of Fame class.
Last August, Junior went into the Mariners’ Hall of Fame, giving an emotional and unscripted speech that went nearly 25 minutes. He’s expected to be a first-ballot entrant into baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2016, his first year of eligibility.
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He played with Ken Griffey Sr. in Seattle and was touched to join him in the Reds’ hall.
“The ultimate goal as an individual player is to be in the Hall of Fame when you grow up,” Junior said. “This is no different. To be in the Hall of Fame with my dad is special.”
During his brief address to the crowd, Junior choked up when he recalled that he got to wear his father’s uniform number in Cincinnati. His dad was part of the Big Red Machine that won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.
“I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done,” Junior said. “I got a chance to wear the uniform that my dad wore, and I think that’s the most important thing.”
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• Right-hander Brad Penny was called up by the Miami Marlins, reuniting him with his former team and former catcher — manager Mike Redmond — 10 years later.
• The White Sox placed center fielder Adam Eaton (oblique) on the 15-day DL and recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Class AAA Charlotte.
• The Yankees honored Paul O’Neill before their game against the Cleveland Indians with a plaque to be placed in Monument Park.
• Derek Jeter passed Honus Wagner on the career hits list with 3,431, getting an infield single in the sixth inning.
• The Yankees placed catcher Brian McCann on the seven-day concussion list after he was hit in the face mask by a ball.