Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. still has a big swing to go with his mega-watt smile.
This month, Griffey has been in Miami with Team U.S.A. as the squad keeps moving up the standings in the World Baseball Classic. On March 17, "The Kid" delighted onlookers by taking batting practice at LoanDepot Park, home to the Miami Marlins. Dozens of Team U.S.A. members crowded behind the cage net to watch with reverence.
After a few hard knocks, Jr. finally slammed one. In a video posted by ESPN reporter Marly Rivera, the players were silent at first, their eyes following the ball until it dropped into the stands, causing everyone to cheer, laugh and pepper their hero with high-fives. Griffey even gave them a little signature bat flip.
Griffey is serving as a hitting coach for Team U.S.A, with former journeyman infielder Mark DeRosa as manager. Team U.S.A. will head to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic after winning against Cuba on March 19. The team will take on either Japan or Mexico on March 21.
And here’s Junior. #WorldBaseballClassic https://t.co/0O3A9rHBez pic.twitter.com/5ILyGQLLr6— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 17, 2023
Griffey retired from Major League Baseball in June 2010, hitting 630 home runs along the way. He'd played 2000-2008 for the Reds but chose in 2016 to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as a Seattle Mariner, where he'd spent his best playing years.
In August, Griffey helped kick off the the MLB Field of Dreams game, "having a catch" with his father – another former Red – Ken Griffey before the Reds lost 4-2 to the Chicago Cubs.
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