At 630 home runs over 22 years, Ken Griffey Jr. stands as one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. As the first pick of the 1987 draft, he also serves as an example of a player who lived up to his hype. We have searched far and wide in auction houses, databases and every image we could click through, to identify Ken Griffey Jr.’s bat details. We present much of our finding below, as well as our sources.
|Louisville Slugger||33 7/8, 34||33, 32, 31.3, 30.4, 30.2||C271, C271C, G157, G176||Ash||1989 – 2010|
What Model Bat Did Ken Griffey Jr. Use?
We found pictures of Griffey using three different brands: Slugger, Cooper and Nike. We read one report claiming he used Rawlings Adirondack, but no pictures to verify. (In the picture above, he is using a Cooper bat).
That said, it would be unfair to Louisville Slugger to claim Griffey really used other bats as his use of their C271 is overwhelming. Some game used versions of his Nike bats—a rare find in the late 90’s and early 2000’s—can be found at auction occasionally, but the C271 or C271C from Slugger is far and away the bat Griffey used.
What Size Bat Did Ken Griffey Jr. Use?
Over his 22 years, Griffey Jr. was consistent in his bat sizing. All bats located were between 33 7/8 and 34 inches. The weights ranged, as wood bats often do, between 30.2 and 33, the average falling around 32 ounces. Griffey’s bat is considered a 34 inch drop 2.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s Best At Bat
On September 14, 1990, in an evening game against the Angels, Ken Griffey Sr., stepped into the left side batter’s box. Recently traded to the Mariners from the Cincinnati Reds, Griffey Sr. was hitting in the 2nd spot of the lineup. Kirk McCaskill, the Angels pitcher who walked the lead off batter on 5 pitches, worked Griffey Sr. to a 0-2 count. Then Griffey Sr. fouled one. On the 4th pitch of the at bat, Griffey Sr. drilled McCaskill’s fastball to nearly dead center for a two run home run.
The next batter, Ken Griffey Sr.’s son, Ken Griffey Jr., also stepped into the left side of the box. McCaskill, possibly reeling from the homer Dad just jacked, threw the son 3 straight balls. On the 4th pitch of the at bat he threw a fastball. Then, for the second time in the first 13 pitches of the game, a person with the name Ken Griffey hit a home run on a fastball on the 4th pitch of an at bat. For Jr., it would be the 36th of his career. He would hit another 594 over the remaining 19 years of his illustrious career. It was Dad’s 150th home run. He would retire the following season.
The Mariners would lose the game on a pair of Dave Winfield home runs, but the 14th of September 1990 would stand as the only time a father and son hit back to back bombs.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s Game Used Bat
Despite the brand, Griffey’s bats are most often recognized by the zig-zag tape pattern he used for his entire career. Even across teams—from the Mariners to the Reds and back again—you’ll find similar patterns on his bats. Many of his bats also had unique phrasing on the barrel branding area. They included C.M.B. (for Cash Money Brothers), “The Kid” and “Swingman”.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s Bat Sources
Huggins and Scott auction house has a nice write up on Griffey’s use of the Slugger C271. PSA Pro Bat Facts is replete with great insights on Griffey’s game used bats. Same goes with Goldinauctions. Bidami also had some good information on his Nike game used bats. Game day information from the back to back father-son combo was from baseball reference here.