Friday, June 4, 2010

Fondest memory of Ken Griffey Jr.

Forget the 630 home runs, 13 All Star teams, 2,781 hits, 10 Gold Gloves and career .288 batting average. The greatest thing recently retired baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. gave to this world was 1994's "Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball" for the Super Nintendo game console.

First, the game was ahead of it's time. The 3-4-5 hitters on every team had muscles coming from unknown places, an obvious hint at the steroid era that would be exposed a decade later. Just look at the cleanup hitter on the Oakland Athletics (Griffey was the only player with his real name. More on this later) and how crazy big his muscles are. That same player, Mark McGuire, just recently confessed to steroid use. Coincidence? Doubtful. This was Griffey exposing the players that would come to overshadow him during his career because of their enhanced achievements.

Second, the names of the players were amazing. At first glance, one would think they were random. But upon closer inspection it could be easily observed that each team had a theme. One team, I can't remember who, was filled with former presidents of the United States. Of course, Griffey got his real name, but it would have made no sense if it was his game and he wasn't in it.

Third, the home run derby was awesome. You only had three choices from either league. One was Griffey, and if your friend got him, you were screwed. The NL had a huge guy, but it seemed every time Griffey swung the bat in the game it ended up being a home run. On a side not, why the heck did they even bother making a small and medium guy available? No one ever picked them and they had no chance to win.

Fourth, the attention to detail for the batters' box was great. It started to fade in the third inning, and was gone by the sixth. Nothing crazy, but you have to respect that kind of feature in 1994 video games.

Fifth, the versatility of fielders was excellent. Not only could you dive forward and to the sides, but you could leap for a ball going over your head or scale the wall a little bit. Suck on that, "RBI"!

It is the greatest baseball game ever made. Forget these "MLB: The Show" games and your ability to throw like five different pitches and supposedly realistic gameplay. They have nothing on Griffey. When he is done getting inducted into the baseball hall of fame on the first ballot, he should shoot for the video game one. Do they have one? I'm Too lazy to research it and my lunch break is over.

Matt Sharp - Goodbye West Coast


  1. I really wish I had the opportunity to play this game now. Sounds cool.

    I heard someone mention the possibility of Griffey being the first ever unanimous first ballot hall of famer. Your thoughts? I think that's a pretty ridiculous statement for someone that didn't even have 3000 hits. If only he had a better hamstring...

  2. If players like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and more recently, Cal Ripken Jr. weren't unanimous, no one ever will be. I think Griffey should be, as well as all those other individuals already mentioned, but it won't happen. There are always those voters who want the attention or nitpick the crap out of everyone. There is also the fact he played in the steroid era, and even though he was always thought to be clean, I guarantee there are some voters out there who are suspicious. Don't agree with it, but it's true.

  3. By the way, I still have Mike's copy of Ken Griffey. We can play any time. Just know that the Blue Jays are stacked. Ricky, Devon White, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Paul Molitor, John Olerud, Ed Sprague, Pat Borders and Tony Fernandez, with Juan Guzman or Pat Hentgen on the mound. I get chills just thinking about it.

  4. How frustrating is it when a ball is hit to the base of the wall and if you're off slightly, you run into the wall and get knocked out for a few seconds? Really destroys clubhouse morale.

  5. You gotta time he jump correctly? I also enjoy tagging guys out on the baseline, where you actually knock them out and their helmet lays on their chests. There is also the home run celebrations that would get you killed in the majors.