Introducing the Sports Stories Father's Day Zine
Ken Griffey Sr. didn't sign with the Mariners because they were a good baseball team. He signed with them because he was a dad.
While Sports Stories mainly exists in the digital plane, Adam and I don’t really think of this as being an internet thing. In fact, our friendship and collaboration actually started with making zines back in the day. In many ways, the zine is our natural habitat: the combination of art and words on the printed page.
Which is why we’re very stoked to be publishing our first ever Sports Stories zine: it’s called Dads, and you can guess what it’s about. Or we can just tell you. Dads features stories about famous sports dads and their famous sports kids. We think Dads would make a great gift for any and all sports fans in your life — but we also want to nudge you with a reminder that Father’s Day is coming up.
This week and next, we’ll share some entries and art from the zine. We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you consider picking up a copy or two for the dads and dad appreciators in your life.
By the summer of 1990, Ken Griffey had already done and seen it all. He was 40 years old, a two-time World Series champ, a three-time All-Star. He was tired. When the Cincinnati Reds released him that August, he could have called it a career. But instead, he signed with the middling Seattle Mariners. The Mariners had never been good. They played far from home in a dark, impersonal dome. But the Mariners had something no other team could offer: his son.
On August 31, 1990, Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. became the first father and son duo to play together in the major leagues. Senior in left field and Junior in center. Senior batting second and Junior batting third. Before he even saw a pitch, Senior cried.
“I was very emotional but the biggest thing was I got in the batter's box, and I’m getting ready to take the pitch, and I hear somebody say, ‘Come on dad.’ You know, I lost it.”
The bench erupted in laughter. They’d never heard a teammate say “dad” on the field before. Two weeks later, the Griffeys became the first father and son to ever hit back-to-back home runs.
The following season, they appeared together on the Arsenio Hall Show. Arsenio asked Junior about the best advice his dad had ever given him.
“Have fun, stay healthy, be consistent, and just be you,” he said. “You’re not me, so don’t try to be me. Just be Ken Griffey, Jr.”
(Also, a quick note to our $100 Super Amigo subscribers: We haven’t forgotten that your contribution entitles you to a zine. We have another exclusive zine on the way for you soon.)
Thanks for reading Sports Stories. Be sure to check out our store and order the Dads zine soon so that your copy arrives before Father’s Day. In the meantime, we’ve also placed the other items in our store on sale.
We’ll see you next week.