Ken Griffey Jr. is one of, if not the coolest baseball player to ever play the game.
He was the definition of “swag” before it ever hit pop culture.
Griffey Jr. had the absolute SMOOTHEST swing, the gold chain necklace, the charisma, the passion to play the game the way it was supposed to be played, and oh yeah, that backwards hat.
Growing up, even on the east coast in New Jersey around my fellow Yankees friends, whenever we’d play pick-up baseball there was always a couple of us wearing our hat backwards just like Griffey did.
Makeshift home-run derby in the backyard? Everybody go grab their baseball hats because we are copying Griffey Jr. hitting bombs into neighbor’s yards.
Turns out however, the former Seattle Mariner and Cincinnati Red wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement, but something much simpler.
Speaking on The Pivot podcast, Griffey explained that growing up he wanted to wear his dad, former Cincinnati Reds player Ken Griffey Sr’s hat. But because Griffey was a child the hat would never fit. So he had to turn it backwards to put it on and the move never left him.
GENERATIONS OF FANS EMULATED GRIFFEY’S BACKWARDS HAT
Griffey Jr. said that he still wears the hat backwards to this day because he says it doesn’t look or feel right the other way.
I absolutely love this story. There’s nothing like growing up and trying to be like your dad. Whether it’s trying to help out and wash the car, being mesmerized by a lawnmower cutting grass, or seeing your dad have fun with his friends.
Sometimes I feel that people forget just how good “The Kid” was on the baseball field.
Griffey was a 13x All-Star, 10x Gold-Glove winner, 4x AL Home-Run leader, all while hitting the 7th most home-runs in the game (and from all accounts not using steroids) at 630.
And although he’s a baseball Hall of Famer, as well as a Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer AND a member of MLB’s All-Century Team, years later people are still talking about his flawless sense of style.
Now enjoy 21 minutes of watching Griffey’s unbelievable baseball swing: