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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ken Griffey Jr. disliked Yankees because of old Billy Martin story

Ken Griffey JrKen Griffey Jr. never considered going to the New York Yankees during his Hall of Fame career, and the reason is pretty unforgettable.

Ken Griffey Sr. joined “Boomer & Carton” on WFAN in New York Wednesday to talk shop with the boys, and he dished on his son’s problems with the Yankees. According to Griffey Sr., his son’s dislike of the Yankees dates back to Billy Martin indirectly telling the youngster to shut up.

Griffey Sr. says a bunch of players’ kids were playing around in the clubhouse one day and Martin had someone come tell him to tell his kids to be quiet. Griffey Sr. says there were like 13 kids around, so he made it seem like he felt he was being singled out.

“(Martin) had someone approach me and tell me to tell my two kids to be quiet,” Ken Griffey Sr. said Wednesday on WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show. “Junior was 11. And Junior happened to be standing outside the door, waiting to come into the locker room.”

Griffey Sr. grew upset because he felt Martin held a grudge against him from when Griffey’s Reds swept Martin’s Yankees in the ’76 World Series, and that’s why he was being singled out. He also says his son took it the hardest and never forgot about the treatment from Martin.

Griffey Sr. didn’t start playing for the Yankees until ’82, and Martin wasn’t the manager until ’83. The team was pretty good that season, and Junior would have been 13 when this incident took place if it occurred during the ’83 season, so Sr.’s memory is a bit off. But the facts of the story are what really matter.

Griffey broke into the bigs when he was 19 and played the first (and best) half of his career with the Seattle Mariners. He asked for and was granted a trade to the Reds in 2000 but never lived up to expectations in Cincinnati. He spent half a season with the White Sox following a trade, and then he closed out his career with two more seasons in Seattle. The Kid never played for the Yankees or any high-profile/big-market team and goes down as one of the better players in history who never won a World Series.

Maybe things would have been different if he were open to playing for the Yankees. Maybe things would have been different if Billy Martin never turned him off of the pinstripes.

H/T Paul Jackiewicz


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