08/08/07 12:10 AM ET
Griffeys made home run history in '90
Father, son first to go back-to-back in Major Leagues
By Patrick Brown / MLB.com
The Mariners have hit their share of historic home runs, but when it comes to most memorable, it was not a singular moment. It was a family affair.It's rare enough for father and son to have the chance to play on the same team. Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. not only played together on the Mariners, but they took it a step further, becoming the first father and son duo to hit back-to-back home runs on Sept. 14, 1990. In the first inning against the California Angels, Ken Griffey Sr. stepped to the plate with one runner on and Kirk McCaskill on the mound. Griffey Sr. promptly blasted a two-run shot to left-center field, laying the foundation for one of the most memorable, yet peculiar moments in Mariners history. Junior certainly gave new meaning to the phrase, "Like father, like son." He worked the count to 3-0 before McCaskill served up the pitch he was waiting for. He hit the next pitch to almost the identical spot in left-center field, and created a moment that will live in Mariners fans' minds for years to come. Griffey Sr. had some words for his son immediately following the back-to-back display, although time has eroded some of Junior's memory of the event. "The only thing I remember him saying is, 'That's how you do it, son,'" Griffey Jr. recalled. The moment signified more than just a son following in his father's footsteps. It was a precursor to the many achievements Junior would accomplish in Seattle. Fans were already being exposed to his mystique, something they were counting on to help turn the hope of a promising young baseball team into the reality of a playoff contender. And although the back-to-back home runs treated Seattle fans to one of the rarest events in the history of Major League Baseball, the home runs said even more to Griffey Sr.
"When [Griffey Sr.] got there, he said, 'This is your team,'" Junior recalled. "'I'm here to have as much fun as I can and enjoy myself.'"It wasn't long before Junior took his team to new heights. Just one year after hitting those back-to-back shots, he helped the Mariners to their first winning season, finishing 83-79. Four years after that, they clinched their first division title. Other memorable home runs in Mariners history:
April 10, 1977 -- Designated hitter Juan Bernhardt hit the first home run in Mariners history four days into their season.
July 17, 1999 -- Three games into Safeco Field's inaugural season, Russ Davis hit the first home run in the new park, a solo shot in the fifth inning. Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez also homered in the game.
May 2, 2002 -- Bret Boone and Mike Cameron became the first pair in Major League history to hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same inning. Cameron hit four home runs in that game, becoming the 13th player in big league history to accomplish that feat.
Patrick Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Patrick Allegri contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.