View Full Version : He did it the right way, a man of integrity!

06-10-2008, 04:34 AM
A true MAN'S MAN (http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2008/06/09/ddn060908spgriffeyweb.html) who I am honored to have met and worked with on community and charitable issues. A truly class act, and IMHO the greatest player of this generation and by a wide margin.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">MIAMI He not only did it his his way, he did it the right way.

When home run No. 600 splashed down among a splattering of fans in the orange seats inside the right field foul pole of Dolphin Stadium at 7:22 Monday night, Ken Griffey Jr. etched his name in history and he did it with a clean pen.

Griffey's name never has appeared on a police blotter not even for spitting on a sidewalk or jaywalking, has never been listed among those who cheated to gain an unfair advantage, has never been listed on any delinquent tax lists or bankruptcy lists for flushing his money away on drugs.

As his current manager, Dusty Baker says, "There is no cloud of suspicion over his head. Should he be held in higher esteem than he is? Yes. And I'm sure he will be down the road."

He has played in more pain than any player should have to endure and he did it without complaint or excuse. He has rebuilt knees and brackets and pins and plates imbedded in every nook and cranny of his body. Three screws in his tailbone keeps his hamstring attached to the bone, six screws hold his shoulders in place, "And I used to have five screws in my elbow."

Baker didn't know all that until recently, when he saw Griffey and his battered body in the training room.

"I'm surprised he can go through the airport metal detectors without setting something off. He must really love the game, because he doesn't need the money," said Baker. "He has gone through a lot of pain and suffering. I have to damn near drag him out of the lineup."

Injuries between 2000 and 2005 cost him nearly 450 games games since he arrived in Cincinnati or Monday's home run might have been No. 700.

He has never complained, "Because I don't deal in 'what-ifs,'" he said.

His name is found only near the top of most offensive baseball statistics and on any list of Best Father-Husband. He has given his time and his financial resources to help the less fortunate, without standing in front of TV cameras pounding his chest. He prefers anonymity.

He has been ejected only three times, "All for balls and strikes," and he has never been suspended, "Because when there is a fight I'm too busy laughing."

And now he is among six players who have hit 600 home runs, one of only four without a sniff of talk about steroids or human growth hormone. That stigma is attached to Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, but not Griffey, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Willie Mays.

Through it all, Griffey has not changed.

"I knew him when he was a little kid," said Baker. "He's the same guy I knew as a kid, except for a lot more scars and like most of us he has gained some weight."

It is difficult to coax Griffey into talking about himself, especially his accomplishments.

Asked if he knew how close he was to Sammy Sosa, Griffey thought for a moment and said, "Uh, 609. And I only know that because they keep flashing it up on the scoreboard. I just want to be the same guy, day in and day out, a guy trying to get this team on track and get some wins."

The sincerity is legitimate.</div></div>

Junior, I salute you today as an athlete and as a citizen.