Happy birthday Ken Griffey Jr.
The Hall of Fame outfielder, who hit 630 career home runs, turns 50 years old on Thursday.
To celebrate the 13-time All-Star's milestone birthday, let's take a look at his top five moments from a 22-year run that saw him play 2,671 games between the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox.
Griffey won 10 straight Gold Glove Awards from 1990-99 thanks to an all-out style of play in center field that left players and fans in awe. His catch on a deep fly ball off the bat of Baltimore Orioles outfielder Kevin Bass might best epitomize just how hard Griffey played. The then-25-year-old shattered his wrist after crashing into the Kingdome wall following this spectacular snag.
What's even more amazing is that he came back to help the Mariners erase a 13 1/2-game deficit to win the AL West after a 73-game absence as a result of the injury.
When Griffey got hot at the plate, it was a sight to behold. That's exactly what happened in July 1993, when he went deep in a record-tying eight straight games. His last round-tripper of the magical streak, a mammoth shot off Willie Banks of the Minnesota Twins, tied Dale Long and Don Mattingly for the longest run in MLB history. To this day, those are the only three players to ever accomplish the feat.
Only nine players have gone deep 600 or more times in the majors. Out of those hitters, just six collected more homers than Griffey thanks in large part to a stretch from 1993-2000 when he hit 40-plus in seven of eight years, including 50 or more twice.
The Ohio native returned to play for his hometown Reds in 2000 and enjoyed the biggest milestone of his career. No. 600 came off then-Florida Marlins lefty Mark Hendrickson.
Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. played together with the Mariners for two seasons in 1990 and 1991. The father-son duo provided the baseball world with a feel-good highlight for the ages when they hit back-to-back homers off Kirk McCaskill of the then-California Angels. The Griffeys became the first and only father-son duo to do it in major-league history.
Griffey's most iconic moment came without using his bat or glove. In what is now dubbed "The Double" in Seattle sports lore, No. 24 scored the winning run from first base after Edgar Martinez doubled to walk off the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS. It was the first playoff series win in franchise history, and it came in the bottom of the 11th inning. The Mariners ended up losing to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. However, Griffey's dash stands the test of time.