Nice profile of #3 in the Washington Post, of all places:
It’s summertime, the start of school is still another few weeks away, and in the mid-afternoon the Cincinnati Reds’ clubhouse is filling up with kids, lucky kids whose fathers are big league ballplayers. There are tall ones and chubby ones, white ones and black ones, decked out in team-issued, red-pinstriped uniform pants and batting-practice jerseys, headed outside to take BP or play catch on a big league diamond under a big league sun. And at some point they all have to pass by the double-wide corner locker where Ken Griffey Jr. sits on a giant trunk and trash-talks them.
“You’d better come give me a high-five,” Griffey yells to 6-year-old Ryan Weathers, son of pitcher David Weathers. And when the boy refuses and begins to run away giggling, Griffey pounces.
“I’m going to be your agent, right?” Griffey screams. He has the boy down on the floor, squirming, unleashing a barrage of noogies, pokes and tickles. Ryan is shaking his head, giggling uncontrollably. “C’mon, I’ll do it for three percent,” Griffey says. No deal. “Two and a half!” Finally, the boy relents and Griffey sets him free.
“Don’t forget,” Griffey yells after him. “We have a deal.”
Griffey climbs back on the trunk, laughing — “The Kid” at play, the slugger at peace. Now in his 18th major league season, with three or four careers’ worth of accomplishments and heartbreaks behind him, Griffey, 36, is an elder statesman of the game, a father of three and — it appears — the patriarch of what might be called the Reds’ extended clubhouse family.
“He’s great with them,” marvels first baseman Scott Hatteberg, the father of three girls. “He’s still ‘The Kid,’ you know? It’s like he’s one of them.”
Yeah, he’s been struggling for much of this year, but articles like these make me glad that Junior is a Red. Read the entire piece; it’s worth your time.
Best of all, it’s not as much about how Griffey plays the game, it’s about his approach to life and family.