After months of rumors, the Mariners trade Griffey to the Cincinnati
Reds for four players (pitcher Brett Tomko, outfielder Mike Cameron
and two minor leaguers, rightander Jake Meyer and infielder Antonio
Perez). Junior and the Reds immediately agree to a nine-year contract
worth $112.5 million, the richest deal in baseball history. "This is
something I dreamed about as a little kid, being back in my hometown
where I watched so many great players," Griffey says.
April 10, 2000
Griffey becomes the youngest player to hit 400 home runs, connecting
on a solo shot off Rolando Arrojo the fourth inning of Cincinnati's
game against Colorado at Coors Field. At 30 years, 141 days old,
Junior beats out Jimmie Foxx (who was 30 years, 248 days old when he
belted his 400th homer) for the record.
August 9, 2001
After spending most of the first half of the season on the DL with a hamstring injury, Griffey gets back to rewriting the record books, becoming the youngest player to reach 450 career homer runs with a two-run shot off San Francisco's Russ Ortiz. Griffey reached 450 homers at age 31 years, 261 days -- 15 days younger than Jimmie Foxx.
May 6, 2002
Griffey, out since April 7 with a knee injury, lashes out at the Cincinnati
community after a local television poll shows that 74 percent of the fans
want the Reds to keep their current outfield intact and sit Griffey out when
he returns. "I get consistently beat up for no reason," Griffey says. "It's
been happening since the very first day I got here, and I'm tired of it. You
try to bend over backward to do the right thing, and it just seems to get
thrown in my face. I came here to play baseball. I took less money. I didn't
whine or anything, and this is the thanks I get? I don't need that."
June 18, 2002
Griffey records the 2,000th hit of his career, becoming only the 29th player in major league history to collect at least 2,000 hits and 400 homers.