March 21, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Ken Griffey Jr. was just as ‘cool’ then as Patrick Mahomes is now

Ken Griffey Jr. was just as 'cool' then as Patrick Mahomes is now

The promo for the MLB Community documentary “Junior” — which will characteristic Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. — comes with a ringing endorsement from LeBron James.  

“He can make the activity of baseball cool,” James says.  

Griffey Jr was all of that. The sweet left-handed swing. The wall-climbing catches. The backwards hat. For a generation of 90s baseball admirer, Griffey Jr was the coolest athlete in all of sports activities. Griffey Jr.’s 1989 UpperDeck rookie card was the grail for a era of collectors.

Although James could possibly be this generation’s Michael Jordan, Griffey’s iconic match is evolving in a different sport in the existing working day.  

Assume Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes II. To comprehend Griffey and just how interesting he was, the younger era must draw the comparisons with Mahomes.  

The smile 

From time to time it starts with the smile. Griffey’s smile alone showed a youthfulness that engulfed baseball at the correct time. “The Kid” hit 19 homers as a rookie in 1989, and  by 1990 he was hitting in between Cal Ripken Jr and Mark McGwire in the All-Star game.  

Mahomes, in the meantime has become a meme device with his smile and “froggish” voice, but his increase with the Chiefs is simple. He threw 50 TDs in 2018 and led Kansas Town to a Tremendous Bowl championship the pursuing seasons.  

Grand entrance 

Griffey played his very first 5 career game titles on the street, but his debut in the Kingdome with the Mariners was unforgettable. He hit a home operate off Chicago’s Eric King on the to start with swing.

Mahomes did not get extended to make an impact as a to start with-time starter in 2018. He threw for 4 TDs in his initially start out that time versus the Chargers – then followed that up with a 6-TD efficiency against the Steelers.  

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In the 1990s, young ones needed to be Junior. How several situations did you attempt to replicate that swing in the backyard – even if it was extremely hard? Whether it was a shallow fly ball in middle or comprehensive-pace leaping capture at the wall, Griffey Jr turned the final highlight-reel centerfield. Of class, you had to wear your hat backwards like Griffey did when he won the Property Run Derby in 1994, 1998 and 1999.  

Mahomes, in the meantime, is element of a comprehensive-scale evolution at the quarterback situation. Mahomes can run, but it really is that laser arm – a single cultivated by way of baseball, of training course – that helped the Chiefs just after 35.3 details for each games in 2018. It can be extra than that, on the other hand. Just go out in the yard and enjoy again-property soccer with your child and his friends. How prolonged will it just take for the initial no-look move?  

Father-son relationship  

Griffey experienced the exceptional prospect to enjoy with his father Ken, and the tandem designed background by hitting back again-to-again homers on Sept. 14, 1990. Junior even experienced time to steal a catch from his father from time to time. out?v=vCk1UY5Afus

Mahomes, in the meantime, is the son previous pitcher Pat Mahomes, who enjoyed a serviceable vocation from 1992-2003. The father-son duo famously embraced in the speedy aftermath of Tremendous Bowl LIV immediately after Mahomes II led a fourth-quarter comeback in a 31-20 victory.  

Neat factor  

Does the comparison healthy?  

For 1990s young ones, Junior was that guy – and baseball was even now at the forefront of the countrywide consciousness. Jordan, Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzky were being much more dominant in their sporting activities, but they were not The Child. Each and every child wanted to be Junior – and 30 years later on that swing, individuals catches, that hat – and of course, that elusive UpperDeck card — will hurry back with this documentary. You had to have that Mariners hat in 1993. 

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Hey, that’s why you cheered for him.

Ditto with Mahomes 30 many years from now. He might not keep the sports world really like James or Tom Brady, who is the only player who sells more jerseys. But given Mahomes has a NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP award with his name on it just before turning 25 – he has been able to seize the imagination of individuals who follow him. 

There is practically nothing cooler than that.