While reading AOL Fanhouse MLB today I came across a post talking about Ken Griffey Jr.’s demise after the age of 30. The post mentions that Ken Griffey also would be entering this season approximately with a chance to break Hank Aaron’s original 755, not Barry Bonds. This is always a subject of interest for me, because when I fell in love with MLB in 1991/1992/1993, Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the main reasons why. When I talk to other guys my age, they have a special place in their heart for Kenny Griff as well. He was the Micheal Jordan of baseball. The King.
I can tell you that Barry Bonds’ prime is a confusing thing. I mean, most would have thought that the paranormal Bonds’ prime was in the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh when he won his first MVP and his first year in San Francisco when he had that mega-year of 46 home runs. But no, Bonds matured late in life; akin to a young man being at his sexual peak in his 40’s instead of his 20’s. Bonds’ prime wasn’t really when he broke the home run record IMO. Vintage Bonds was that era I spoke of, the early 90’s. Vintage Griffey Jr. was before he hit 30. It was around 1993-1999.
I remember both pretty clearly. Ken Griffey Jr. was a much better player all around than Barry Bonds ever was. We’re talking defense, plate presence, and just overall arsenal. It wasn’t even close. Griffey could run, hit, throw, and play defense better than anyone else in the league. Bonds was dominating for spells at the plate and a good base stealer (in terms of %) but not an intimidating fear-striker that Junior was.