Ken Griffey has hit his 600 homerun tonight in Florida against Mark Hendrickson on a 3-1 pitch with Jerry Hairston on third base with one out. By launching that ball into the right field stands 413 feet deep, he joins an elite club in baseball history. Griffey is somewhat to the MLB what Favre was to the NFL. A clean-cut, honest, amazing role-model to watch game after game. With all the junk going on in baseball these days (Bonds, Clemens, McGuire, steroids, etc.) it's nice to see this player with the picture perfect swing take one more step closer to his eventual HOF induction ceremony. Obviously, we all know if it wasn't for the injuries Griffey would've smashed the all time HR record. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. It's still incredible that he was still able to hit 600 dingers with all the time he missed. Most hitters couldn't do that in Griffey's time even if he didn't miss one game. It's another shame that he hit it in Florida in front of a whopping 4 people. Obviously it would've been perfect in Cincinnati or Seattle, but anywhere else besides Florida would've been nice. Even so, he still got the curtain call and the homerun ball was a no doubter.
If you're a baseball fan, it's just an incredible moment to enjoy. Ken grew up in the game of baseball with his father when they were both in the big leagues. Him and his father once hit back-to-back HRs in the same game. That's what most father's dream: to see their kid succeed at what they did themselves, especially when it comes to professional baseball. His father was a very good player. Junior became one of the greatest pure power hitters of all time. And he learned most baseball nuggets from his dad. He has never got into any trouble or been named in any scandal and most of all he‘s stayed the same size his whole career. And he's not even done yet with his homerun chasing. He'll probably catch Sosa this year and pass him at 609 (barring injuries), but I doubt he'll ever catch Mays. Griffey is a man that deserves to be in the same company as Ruth, Aaron, and Mays. Does Bonds deserve it? Bonds was a fantastic hitter, but doesn't Griffey fit in that group better? Looking back at Bonds and Griffey's careers, I think most people would think more fondly of Griffey. The only thing Griffey hasn't gotten yet is a World Series ring. And that brings up the topic that if the Reds decide to trade him (which they probably won't) to a contending team, maybe he can finally achieve that. But unlike football, not having a championship win in baseball doesn't kill your legacy. That won't be a problem for Griffey has he's an obvious shoe-in for a first ballad induction into the HOF.
Overall, it was a great moment for baseball tonight. To see a truly classy player (when they are few and far between these days) implant his name further into the record books. Congrats Griffey on 600 homeruns. It'll be a sad day in baseball when he leaves the game. But for now, we can enjoy his monumental impact and the way he had fun while playing baseball. Because that's what sports are all about: having fun.