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Ken Griffey Jr. hits 600th home run in 1st inning against Marlins

Ken Griffey Jr. hits 600th home run in 1st inning against Marlins

Ken Griffey Jr. became the sixth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 600 home runs on Monday.
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder homered off Florida Marlins lefty Mark Hendrickson in the first inning of the Reds' 9-4 win. Griffey joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa.
The 38-year-old homered with Jerry Hairston on third and one out. The left-handed swinger launched a 3-1 pitch 413 feet into the right-field seats.
Griffey received a standing ovation from the crowd of 16,003 and responded by coming out of the Reds dugout and waving his helmet to the fans.
Controversy ensued in the stands following the home run. Justin Kimball, a 25-year-old from Miami, said he caught the home run ball, put it in a wool cap and then had the cap ripped from his hands. Kimball said someone ran off with the ball.
Police said they had found the fan with the baseball and would look at video tape to see if Kimball's claims could be supported.
However, the Marlins announced MLB authenticated the home run ball for a middle-aged male fan who would only give his first name as Joe.
Griffey ended the game 1-for-4 with a strikeout and an intentional walk. He exited in the middle of the eighth.
Griffey, one of MLB's most prolific sluggers before injuries began to take their toll, started the season with 593 home runs.
His previous homer came on May 31.
Unlike Bonds and Sosa, Griffey has stayed clear of questions about whether he came by all of his homers legitimately. His name has never come up in MLB's steroids scandal. Unlike Sosa, he's never been caught using a doctored bat.
Although Junior is linked numerically with Hammerin' Hank and the Babe, he has never been defined by the home run.
His game is so well-rounded that he was voted an All-Century outfielder with Seattle before his 30th birthday. By then, his backward cap and light-up smile were the face of baseball.


Updated : 2020-11-30 09:23 GMT+08:00