Jeter, Bonds, and Griffey Jr. My stories on meeting all 3 them.

Awwww what a great trio of players. An age-old question is “Do you think Derek Jeter will be the 1st Unanimous Hall of fame vote?” I think so. Every generation has their greatest baseball players. In my lifetime, Barry Bonds (before roids), Ken Griffey Jr, and Derek Jeter were the greatest in my memory. I know another age old argument: “Well if Babe Ruth didn’t get in unanimously, why should anyone else?” Why not? Remember during Babe Ruth’s era almost everyone was a racist, sexist, homophobic asshole. Baseball was just for White men and was not open today like it is for everyone. Lets 1st talk a little bit about Ken Griffey Jr.

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Ken Griffey Jr. will be headed to Cooperstown this year with a 99.3% 1st ballot vote. 99.3%?? Come on man are you serious? Who is the 0.7% Asshole who didn’t vote? Remember Ken Griffey Jr. was injured for a lot of his career and still managed to wreak havoc in baseball. One of my favorite Griffey Jr. memories,  was unbelievable. The year was 2000 and it was my San Francisco Giants first year at AT&T Park (Pacific Bell Ball Park or whatever the hell you want to call it) I worked at the ball park in the concession stands. Our locker room was adjacent to the Giants players and the visitors locker room was down the hall. Our company had a rule that you could not engage the players but we still broke them. I mean come on man, I was a 16-year-old, weed smoking, lady killing, basketball playing, hip hop listening fool. I worked on the View level of the stadium which is the 5th floor. That’s right the Upper Deck. The Reds were in town and I snuck downstairs to watch one of my idols, Ken Griffey Jr. at batting practice. And that’s when I saw it: Ken Griffey hit a ball over the baseball glove in center field at AT&T Park. I’ll never forget how casually he took the next pitch. Like he hit the ball so far that he didn’t even react. Just business as usual. That glove is about 500 ft from home plate and Griffey Jr. just crushed that one. Wow. Griffey Jr. after his batting practice and looked at us kids and takes his batting gloves off, and blows on his hands. Kind of a gesture a basketball shooter makes when they are hot. Wooooowww.

Derek Jeter will pound for pound go down as the greatest baseball player ever. The fact that his era was known as the “Steroid Era” and he still came out clean and pure speaks high volume to his character. Since baseball is all about class, showmanship, and imagery, Derek Jeter goes beyond those qualities. We will compare stats of the three later in the article. Derek Jeter had a larger than life personality. Being a biracial, face of a franchise, in New York, dating multiple celebrities, being a team Jordan ambassador and making millions, you never heard anything bad of him. Everyone one wanted to be him. Every woman wanted to be with him. Even Red Sox fans admired Jeter. He was the real deal. To show you how much character Derek Jeter has as a man I have a story to tell. A previous employer of mine had a contract with the sporting teams to pick them up from the Airport and transport various athletes, owners, celebrities and personal to various places. It was 2012 and myself and a senior driver got scheduled to pick up the New York Yankees from SFO. The Yankees would always land at like 3am. My colleague said “Derek Jeter is the nicest guy you would ever meet” Me being a die-hard Giants fan (And Yankee Hater), I ignored his comment. The Yankees plane touched down and their security manager greets us first. Big corn-fed white dude. About 6ft 6in 260lbs all muscle. He comes over and says to me, ” you’ll be bus #2 so you will have most of the players.” I’m thinking ok cool. The players start to debarked their plane and walk over to the bus. CC Sabathia gives me a head nod and says “It’s good to be home.” When Alex Rodriguez bitch ass gets to my bus he hands me his Louis Vuitton luggage and with his smug accent he says “Driver can you put my bags separately?” In my head I was laughing and making fun of him. Outside I said ” No problem” Now as I’m loading luggage, I keep mimicking A-ROD’s quote. But for some reason I thought I was losing my mind. I kept hearing that A-ROD quote outside of my head. I looked around and guess who it was? It was Derek Jeter making fun of A-ROD. Derek Jeter had a huge smile on his face and at 3am was making fun of A-ROD in front of his teammates but myself and colleague. I started to laugh and Derek Jeter comes up to me, shakes my hand and says, “Good morning driver, How are you doing?” After he said that he actually paused to wait for my reaction. I said that I was doing “great!” Derek Jeter than said ” I appreciate you guys for waking up so early to drive us.”  I said ” No problem.” As we departed SFO and made our way to the Yankees hotel in San Francisco, the St. Regis, (which is on 3rd and Mission), the team is full of life. Laughing, joking, showing true team unity. Now one block away from 3rd and mission on 4th St, there is a pool hall/club called Jillian’s. Now word must have got out that the Yankees were arriving because there were about 300 people on Mission st. Mostly women. As we approached the hotel, this one lady threw her panties at the bus and said “I love you Jeter” the whole bus was laughing. When we arrive I get of the bus first, open the luggage bays and start to offload. Jeter gets off and does the Presidential Wave to his legions of fans. The later that day we arrive back at the hotel to transport the team from The St. Regis to the Oakland Coliseum to play the Oakland A’s. Us drivers get to watch the games for free. During batting practice Jeter is in a savant like state. Deeply focused. Hitting all over the field. The crowd cheers for him. Wow. Just wow. There’s more Yankee fans to see the A’s.

Barry Bonds I’ve met several times in my life. Yes the rumors are true. He is an asshole. He doesn’t talk to “The Help” The first time I met Barry Bonds, was that same year that I first worked at AT&T Park. He pulls up in his black big body Benz and gets out and orders myself and my coworkers to park his car. Uhhhh we are not the valets dumbass. We are just food service workers. Bonds gets into a hissy fit and berates the valet upon arrival. “Next time be there when I get here” Bonds gets out and walks into our direction. Now because our locker room is adjacent from the San Francisco Giants players, we sometimes see them. So we say hi to Barry Bonds and tells him that he is our favorite San Francisco Giant ever. No response. In a cement corridor where sound is amplified, 3 black men walked down 500 yards of silence. 2 of those men were myself and coworker, the other Barry Bonds. How awkward. We are literally walking side by side with Barry Bonds, and no acknowledgement, no apology, no smile. Motherfucker didn’t even blink. That’s how Bonds treated people and word had it that he especially treated poorer blacks worse than anyone else.  With that aside, Bonds was a helluva athlete. In the weight room, on the field. He had a tremendous work ethic. Seeing Bonds in batting practice is like seeing the incredible hulk prepare for a fight. A lot of controlled and precise power. You kind of felt bad for opposing Pitchers.  Just knowing that they were going to be annihilated.

What’s funny is ESPN’S punk asses just had a “Top 100 baseball players of all time list.” Look at this stupid list. Sigh Jeter is #51. Griffey Jr. was #14. Wow. Just wow. Lmfao Roger Clemens is #19. Jackie Robinson is #31. Wtf???? Clayton Kershaw and his post-season choking ass is what? You want to know? 26th Overall. Woooowwwwww. Bonds is #5. I’ll never understand the process of baseball voting. Considering that things were so one-sided back in the day. I hope we can get some better clarity and transparency in the future. Now let’s compare all 3 greats using my least favorite tool. Stats. Longer sigh. Which is why I hope that you as the reader break away from that machine the call “The 4 letter Network”

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13 times All Star, 1997 American League MVP, 10 times Golden Glove recipient, 7 times silver slugger recipient, 1992 All star game MVP, 2005 National League Comeback Player Of the year, 4 times American League Home run Leader, 1997 American League RBI Leader, 3 times Homerun Derby Champion, Seattle Mariners Hall Of Fame, Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame, #24 Retired by Seattle, 2016 Hall Of Fame Inductee

2,671 Games Played

9,801 At Bats

1,662 Runs

2,781 Hits

524 Doubles

38 Triples

630 Home Runs

1,836 RBI’s

184 Stolen Bases

1,312 Walks

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14 times All-Star, 7 times National League MVP, 8 times Golden Glove Recipient, 12 times Silver Slugger Recipient, 3 times Hank Aaron Award Recipient, 2 times National League Batting Champion, 2 times National League Home Run Leader, 1993 National League RBI Leader, 1996 Home Run Derby Champion, MLB Records for Home Runs (762), Most Home Runs in a Season (73), Career Walks (2,558), Intentional Walks (688), 1984 Amateur World Series Bronze Medal (Cuba)

2,986 Games Played

9,847 At Bats

2,227 Runs

2,935 Hits

602 Doubles

77 Triples

762 Home Runs

1,996 RBI’s

514 Stolen Bases

2,558 Walks

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14 times All-Star, 5 times World Series Champion, 2000 World Series MVP, 1995 American League Rookie Of The Year, 5 times Golden Glove Recipient, 5 times Silver Slugger Recipient, 2 times American League Hank Aaron award, Roberto Clemente Award.

2,747 Games Played

11,195 At Bats

923 Runs

3,465 Hits

544 Doubles

66 Triples

260 Home runs

1,311 RBI’s

358 Stolen Bases

1,082 Walks

Now that all that is out-of-the-way. Who had the better  career? Who would you pick? Longevity? Championships? Home Runs? So who ya got, man? I honestly would choose Griffey Jr.

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