Ken Griffey Jr. Interview

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At Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Ken Griffey Jr. evoked memories of the player who made the All-Century team in 1999 and captivated the public with his smile and skills. Griffey made a big statement while playing right field in the fourth inning, when he charged a Pudge Rodriguez single and threw a seed to home plate to beat Alex Rodriguez by three steps. Right before the game, Griffey took 15 minutes to sit down with us…

This is the first time you’ve been voted in since ’04 and your first time playing since 1999 in Seattle. How does it feel?

This is the third time voted as a Red, it’s pretty unusual. It’s the first time I get to play in a while and I’m excited to get out there and have some fun with the guys I compete with on a day in and day out basis.

What do you think of this park?

Well, it’s unique. I mean, I don’t like anything I cannot climb…having a 20-foot wall behind me in is not ideal. Also, it’s a little tougher for a left-hand hitter as opposed to a right hand hitter with the power alley in right center being so far to the wall. Hopefully the fans will get what they want and we get a win for the NL!

You were the ’92 All-Star Game MVP. What do you remember about that day in San Diego?

Like any All-Star game, you try to give the fans what they want. I was fortunate enough to get a couple of hits and hit one out. It wasn’t planned—just got a pitch I could hit and my father had given me the scouting report, and he told me to stay patient and wait for the pitcher to make a mistake… and he gave me a pitch I could hit. The result was good wood and I drove it out over the left field wall. It was a cool moment, though—my first home run in an All-Star Game.

How long have you been wearing Oakley’s? What stands out to you when it comes to the Oakley product?

I have known Oakley and Garry awhile and it’s not necessary what you are getting paid, but the relationship and quality of the product behind the brand. They have supported my family and charities for the last 13 years. I’m happy to support the brand.

Your father was an amazing ball player and one of my favorites. What has that been like to have him as a father over the past 18 Big League seasons?

You sort of have a better understanding of what it takes to be a MLB player at a very young age—around 13 I had a good idea. And most people don’t get that until 20 or 22. I had that advantage, so when I was 18 I knew what it took and have been able to keep that longevity as a Major League Ball Player.

Thanks Ken.

No worries, thank you.

Author

Matt Murray

Date

July 12, 2007