For the first time in major league baseball history, a father and son will be playing at the same time this season.
Ken Griffey Jr., 19-year-old son of veteran major leaguer Ken Griffey Sr., will be the Seattle Mariners’ starting center fielder this season, Manager Jim Lefebvre said.
“He won the job,” Lefebvre said. “He deserves it.”
Griffey’s father, 39, is back with the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he played in the 1970s and the last two months of the 1988 season. The Reds signed Griffey to a one-year contract Thursday.
Lefebvre called Griffey into his office in Tempe on Wednesday and told him he’d made the big leagues. “I told him that this was the most difficult decision a manager has to make,” Lefebvre said. “I told him that I had talked to the coaches, and we had taken a lot of things into consideration. Then I told him he had made the team . . . that he was my starting center fielder.”
Griffey made the jump from double-A to the major leagues with a sensational spring. He was elated at the news from Lefebvre. “Those probably are the best words I’ve ever heard . . . at least in the top three,” Griffey said.