By Larry Stone
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Extra info for Ken Griffey Jr.: The Home Run Kid
Stats Spotlight: A 50-homer season in 1999 would give Griffey 400 for his career. Little-Known Fact: On August 31, 1990, Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr. become the first father-son tandem to play in the same Major League Baseball game. L. 300 Page 72 Ken helps break ground for the Mariner's new stadium. 2 Page 74 Heading into 1999, Ken was seventh on the list of active career home run leaders. 1018 Page 77 Ken matches another home run leave the ballpark. (AP/Wide World Photos) Page 78 Ken is congratulated by teammates Alex Rodriguez and David Segui (left) after one of his league-leading 56 home runs in 1998.
Despite missing 20 games after the operation, Page 61 he still hit 49 home runs and drove in 139 runs, astounding teammates. "You don't come back from that surgery in a couple of weeks and hit 50 home runs," said third baseman Dave Hollins, who had the same surgery on both hands. 358 average and had 36 homers and 123 RBI. " Ken wound up finishing fourth in the balloting, but he got first-place votes from both Seattle writers, controversially preventing Rodriguez from getting the award. It went instead to outfielder Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers, the team that had edged out Seattle for the AL West title.
On Ken Griffey Jr. Poster Day, June 4, he hit a game-winning home run off knuckle-baller Charlie Hough, whom he had never faced. There were also struggles and growing pains. After that double off Stewart, Ken went hitless in his next 18 at-bats. 189 (10-for-53) and starting to get down on himself. Lefebvre dropped him from No. 2 to No. 6 in the Mariners' batting order. "That was a big moment for him," said teammate Jeffrey Leonard. "When you're down like that, you can go one of two ways. He could have ended up back in Calgary.
Ken Griffey Jr.: The Home Run Kid by Larry Stone