Ken Griffey Jr. was baseball’s last pop culture icon.
Photo: Marc Serota, Getty Images
Photo: Marc Serota, Getty Images

Second Thoughts: For Griffey, a deserving day in the public eye

I’m thinking about taking the family to Louisville for a quick vacation before the homework excuses start flying. Never been there, but I hear good things. If you have any travel tips, please drop me a line. With a baseball and softball player in tow, we already have the Louisvlle Slugger Museum on the itinerary.

Ken Griffey Jr. takes his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame today. The honor is much deserved, of course, and Cincinnati citizens should not be offended that he’ll be wearing a Mariners hat on his Cooperstown plaque. Obviously, Junior had his best seasons in Seattle, hitting 40-plus home runs in six of his 13 years with the Mariners. He did that only once with the Reds, in his first season in Cincy.

It’s a shame injuries marred Junior’s 30-something years. He had 500 at-bats in only two of his nine seasons playing in his hometown. Every year, fans crossed their fingers hoping for good health and a return to his MVP days. Never happened.

Griffey grew frustrated in his twilight years and is a very private person. He didn’t talk about himself and never got in trouble. But he does have a little kid in him. My son likes to tell the story about the time Junior waved to him when he was returning to the dugout at GABP. Intangibles like that will be a big part of Junior’s legacy.

We’re about 40 days from the start of the college football season, and less than two months from the monstrous Ohio State-Oklahoma showdown. You’ll be seeing more of former Bengal David Pollack on ESPN this fall. He agreed to a new multi-year deal that will expand his duties. Pollack is more than a pretty face, and his SEC roots provide balance to College GameDay.

Isiah Crowell was last week’s Knucklehead for his social media post depicting an attack on a police officer. Crowell is making amends. He attended the funeral for one of the slain Dallas cops. I commend Crowell and the Dallas police sergeant who invited the Browns running back to Texas. A humbling experience for a young man who has learned a lot this month.

Trending up: Henrik Stenson, Nick Senzel, Birdman. Did you know Henrik Stenson’s middle name is Olof? How cool is that? The 40-year-old Swede spoiled Phil Mickelson’s great week (17 under) at Royal Troon, winning the British Open with an amazing 20-under-par finish. Wonder if Mickelson lost any side bets to Stenson.

Trending down: Devin Mesoraco, Mike Lonergan, Russian Olympic team. The Reds catcher has all-star potential if he ever can get healthy, but that looks like a long shot. Mesoraco had surgery on his hip last week. In May, he had shoulder surgery. Sadly, he’s been spending more time in hospitals than lead water testers.

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