Ken Griffey Jr. finally told everyone why he would never sign with the New York Yankees.
New York fans have been wondering for decades what the exact reason was for Ken Griffey Jr. never wanting to play for the Yankees. Why wouldn’t one of the game’s biggest icons not want to join one of the best organizations in the world?
Ken Griffey Sr. was with the Yanks for five seasons, and apparently what happened during his time in New York turned his son off big time. Griffey Jr. revealed the moment it all went sour for him in MLB Network’s airing of “Junior,” a documentary on the life and career of the Hall of Famer, on Sunday night.
Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had a big role in what had happened.
According to Griffey Jr., his father took him to Yankee Stadium hours before one of their games was set to begin. They were hanging out in the dugout, and a security guard approached them and said “George doesn’t want anybody in the dugout.” What was wrong with that? Well, former Yankee Graig Nettles had his son taking ground balls out on the field. And there was a problem with Griffey Sr. and his son sitting in the dugout? Come on now.
Now, if you’re a black baseball player in the 80s, how does that make you feel? Well, in case you needed an idea, it made Griffey feel like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with that organization for the rest of his playing days. He even went as far as telling a fan that he’d retire if the Yankees were the only team to offer him a contract.
Now that this is pretty clear, it’s safe to say no Yankee fan can ever be confused as to why Griffey Jr. spurned the Bombers throughout his entire career. And it’s even more of a gut-punch that the reason for all of this was the man who purchased the team in 1973 and oversaw seven World Series victories.