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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