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This Day In Sports (July 28): 1993 - Ken Griffey, Jr. makes Home Run History

Junior was one of the best sluggers of all time, and this is an insane statistic to tell the story. PIC: Scott Halleran, Getty Images

On July 28, 1993, Ken Griffey, Jr. racked up another incredible accolade to put on his eventual Hall of Fame plaque.

Junior became the third player in MLB history to hit home runs in 8 straight games. He was only 23 years old, playing in his fifth season on the pro circuit, and had already cemented his name in pro history with the absolute tear he was on towards the home stretch of the 1993 season.

Griffey Jr. came off one of the most memorable Home Run Derby’s of recent memory. Who can forget his absolute blast at Camden Yards? He remains the only player ever to hit a ball of the B&O Warehouse building in right field.

The Mariners underwent lots of change in 1993. They still hadn’t had more than one winning season, they hadn’t figured out the right personnel formula, and they were struggling to recruit the best talent to play in Seattle. So Lou Piniella, who led the Reds to a World Series in 1990 and managed the Yankees for a cup of coffee in the late ‘80s, was tabbed as the manager. The uniforms got an overhaul, the color scheme changed, and the energy was just a bit higher after Griffey’s HR derby performance put the Mariners on notice.

Then, it was time to tear it up.

On July 20th, 1993, Griffey hit a home run against the Yankees. The next day, he hit another. Then, it was four on the road against the Cleveland Indians…and four more homers.

So after six straight games with home runs, it was time to head back to Seattle, where 21k awaited Griffey and the Mariners for a set with the Minnesota Twins. Ken Griffey Sr., the M’s hitting coach at the time, said he believed this day was coming for his son, claiming “I figured eventually he’d be a 30-or-40 home run hitter.” Griffey Jr., though, distanced himself from the noise, saying it was a fluke he was having this much success with the long-ball.

Well, how’s this for a fluke? A grand slam in the early stages of the game on July 27 had Mariners fans on their feet.

The next day, Griffey was on the cusp of history. At this point, he was alone in second place for the record for home runs in consecutive days. Ten thousand more fans came to see him tie Don Mattingly and Pirates World Series champion Dave Long on July 28, and even though he made them wait until the 7th inning, he delivered.

Jim Thome, Kendrys Morales, and Kevin Mench would all come along in later years to challenge the record, but none could eclipse 7.

Griffey’s journey quite obviously ended in Cooperstown. But this stretch put him in baseball immortality.


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