In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, I'm paying tribute to one of the all around coolest moments in Major League Baseball history. But first I want to give a shout out to my Dad.
Growing up in a baseball loving family, my earliest memories involve trips to Kauffman Stadium or to my brothers’ games. As I got older, many summer days and nights were spent with my Dad either playing catch, taking batting practice or traveling to some weekend tournament. I want to say thank you, Dad, for all the miles we put on your car, for all the late evenings at the high school field so I could work on taking the ball the other way, and most importantly for all the memories I’ll cherish of getting to spend time with you around the sport we love. I know that being able to each record hits in the same inning of a father-son softball game last fall made it all worth it, right?
It’s debatable, but the father-son duo of Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. might have my dad and I’s moment beat. On August 31, 1990, the Griffey’s left their mark on Major League history as the first father and son duo to ever start and play in the same game on the same team.
That day, the Seattle Mariners faced the Kansas City Royals at the Kingdome. They played next to each other in the outfield (Senior started in left, and “The Kid” started in center) and even batted back to back in the order (Senior hit second, and Junior hit third). In the bottom of the first inning both Griffeys singled and scored, and the Mariners eventually went on to win the game 5-2 putting a cherry on top of what had to have been one of the most memorable moments for both, in baseball and in life.
Throughout the rest of the 1990 season (and until June of 1991 when Senior retired), seeing the Griffeys in the lineup together became commonplace. On September 14, 1990, the father and son did something else that I’m willing to bet will never ever happen again. In the top of the first against the California Angels, Ken Griffey Sr., batting second, hit a home run to left centerfield. Junior, not to be outdone by his old man, batted next and also hit a home run to left centerfield. The Griffeys became the first father-son pair to hit back-to-back home runs and almost definitely the last.
So in honor of the Griffeys and two of the coolest father-son moments in baseball history, and to my Dad and ALL the Dads out there…Happy Father’s Day!