9 video highlights: Why Ken Griffey Jr is in the HOF

By Marcus Hartman and B.J. Bethel
Staff Writers

Ken Griffey Jr. was the best player of his generation. He was inducted into MLB's All-Century team before turning 30, he possessed a combination of speed, skill, power, and smarts that no other player matched, and before Bryce Harper's "Make Baseball Fun Again" hat became a hit, Griffey Jr. - The Kid - was synonymous with fun and baseball. Griffey Jr. was a reminder of why you played Little League, during a time when baseball was battling steroid scandals and a devastating strike that canceled a World Series.

Griffey Jr. was heralded as a savior when he returned to his hometown to play for the Cincinnati Reds on a discounted contract in 2000. When he was healthy, Griffey Jr. was what he was - the greatest player in baseball - but injuries shortened many seasons and the Reds could never build a contender around him. Still, a day at the ballpark watching Griffey Jr. roam the outfield and at the plate with the sweetest swing in the history of baseball made it worth it to root for the Reds.

With Griffey Jr. entering the Baseball Hall of Fame, here are nine of his greatest highlights:

Griffey was always clutch. Here he is with a walk-off home run against the rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Griffey blasts one off the warehouse behind Camden Yards in the Home Run Derby.

One of baseball's most memorable moments - Junior and Senior hit back-to-back home runs with Mariners.

Griffey wins another for the Reds with a walk-off home run.

Griffey hits his 500th home run on Father's Day with his dad in the crowd.

Griffey was the sixth player to 600 career home runs, doing so in June 2008.

Griffey scrambles home and is at the bottom of the celebration during the Mariners walk-off win in the ALDS.

Junior robbing a home run from center field as a Mariner.

Griffey goes deep twice at Coors Field against the Rockies.