Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement hit the sports community with a thwack yesterday: totally unexpected. The legendary Seattle Mariner who’s been recently derailed by injuries, is known not just as a superstar on the diamond, but also as a inveterate prankster, all-around good guy, and dad of three. And yet, due to his former Major League schedule, this will be the first summer he’s able to spend entirely with his children, at their Florida home.
As for those children, all eyes are now on his oldest son, Trey.
At age 16, Trey is already a standout athlete. And while he’s been occasionally seen in the dugout and at batting practice with his dad, baseball doesn’t appear to be his game. He plays football for his high school team, and is reportedly a natural. Still, his dad has made sure Trey plays plenty of baseball, too. Scouts are surely watching. As Ken Griffey Jr. followed his father Ken Griffey Sr. to the major leagues, it won’t surprise anyone to see a Griffey-the-Third entering pro sports.
Keep an eye on Griffey’s other two kids, too. Daughter Taryn has been a leader on her AAU basketball team. And the youngest Griffey, son Tevin, is youth football’s “mini-Ray Lewis,” as his dad told USA Today two years ago.
Still, Ken Griffey Jr. wants his children to know that a professional sports career isn’t the most important thing in life. “I try to keep my house as normal as possible,” He told Sports Illustrated earlier this year. “To the outside we may not be normal, but to us, we are normal. I’m a normal dad with an abnormal job. I try to make them understand: This is what we do. It’s not who we are.”
A lesson that all of us should be teaching at home, eh?