Mariners Insider

That first-to-third run? Everyone follow Junior

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Feb. 25, 2010 at 10:09 am with 8 Comments »
February 25, 2010 10:25 am
Ken Griffey Jr. passes Lee Tinsley

New conditioning drill after morning stretch, with everyone – pitchers, catchers, position players – told to line up along the first base line, then run hard from first base to third base.

Mike Sweeney stepped forward to lead the charge but was called back by Ken Griffey Jr., who then lit out for third base, setting a quick base as he rounded second and made coach Lee Tinsley jump back.

The drill wasn’t easy. First to third base, walk across the diamond and repeat – three times the team made the run, and each time it was Griffey who led the run.

On the final lap, Ichiro started a few players behind Griffey and managed to catch him just as they reached third base, with both men laughing most of the way.

A year ago, on a knee that was never quite right, Griffey rarely ran. This spring, he’s leading the drills. The players have noticed, and today everyone running behind Junior ran hard.

It’s one of the reasons he’s back. Hard work, believe it or not, is one of the reasons Griffey is a Hall of Fame player.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. stevenrey says:

    Most people probably think Hall of Famers are gifted athetes but don’t give them the credit they deserve for working harder than everybody else to become the best.

  2. Kevindot1 says:

    Steve, not to take away from your point, but lets be honest; Jr never had to work this hard in the first decade of his career due to his gifted athleticism. But yeah, as an aging veteran of the game, I bet he has to work twice as hard now to somewhat keep up. And it looks as though he is putting that work into his craft and should have a banger of a season. I love it too, show those young kids up, Junior! Show them how it’s done! Great story, Larry.

    Go M’s!!!

  3. This story is why I love baseball. It brings me so much joy that we are able to once again be part of Junior’s life.

  4. Outstanding! Can’t wait to see what the season brings. Of course, I’m thinking it will be nothing but positives at this point. :-)

  5. williambryan says:

    Doesn’t Jr. look like he could still play some outfield in that picture?

  6. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record on this, but i really hope the M’s can talk Griffey into coaching when he retires. As amazing of a player as he’s been, I have a suspicion he’d be an even better coach. Of course, he doesn’t need the money, but it would sure be great for the M’s!

  7. AKCHAWKER says:

    For those who thought Jr would come back to Seattle, lounge around a year or so and reitre, ROTFL!!!

    I agree, when he was young, he didn’t put in a lot of the work, but, he saw older players, like Senior, put in the work. There’s where his professionalism comes from; Griffey Sr, Rose, Foster, Bench, Lopes and others from the Big Red Machine work their craft. How awesome would it be if 10-20 years from now, we can all point back to the 2009-10 seasons and say that’s where the M’s learned to be professional, win, work togeather and have fun.

    LET’S GO M’S!!

  8. dave8557 says:

    Good to see JR running again. Not sure why Wak doesn’t want to use him in outfield at all. Just hope he stays healthy this year.

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