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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

MLB Network Celebrates Father's Day With Ken Griffey Jr.

Elaine Thompson
Ken Griffey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

From his childhood in the Cincinnati Reds' clubhouse to playing outfield next to his father in Seattle, the MLB Network premieres a 90-minute film about Ken Griffey Jr. on Father's Day.

MLB Presents: Junior (8 p.m. Sunday) chronicles Griffey Jr.'s journey from Cincinnati to "becoming the face of baseball throughout the 1990s," MLB Network announced Monday. The network will devote all of Sunday programming to Junior.

Father's Day is fitting for the debut since the Griffeys made baseball history by playing side-by-side in the Seattle Mariners outfield on Aug. 31, 1990, after Senior was forced into retirement by the pennant-bound Reds, and becoming the first father and son to hit back-to-back home runs two weeks later.

And it was on Father's Day in 2004 when","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" target="_blank">"The Kid" hit his 500th career homer in St. Louis, while playing for the Reds, with his dad in attendance.","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b55-d913-abfe-bf55a9e80001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

Both Griffeys were interviewed for the show.

"For me, playing baseball was what I wanted to do… I didn't do it because of the money. I didn't do it for the fame. I did it because I loved baseball," Junior says in the preview.

Junior's brother, Craig Griffey, and former Moeller High School baseball coach Mike Cameron, also comment in the film, which includes Junior being the first pick in the 1987 MLB Draft by Seattle; his Reds homecoming in 2000; his Seattle farewell in 2010; and Hall of Fame induction in 2016.

Most of the film, narrated by actor Sterling K. Brown, focuses on his 13 years with the Mariners. Former Seattle manager Lou Piniella and teammates Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Joey Cora, Harold Reynolds and Dan Wilson appear in the film. Also interviewed were Reggie Jackson, LeBron James, Bo Jackson, baseball writer Peter Gammons and rapper Macklemore, a Mariners fan who narrated MLB Presents: The 1995 Mariners – Saving Baseball in Seattle in July 2019.

Here's the MLB Network lineup for Sunday, June 21:

8 a.m.: 1998 Home Run Derby from Coors Field with Griffey, Jim Thomas, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Javy Lopez, Moises Alou and Chipper Jones

9:30 a.m. 1999 Home Run Derby from Fenway Park with Griffey, McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jeremy Burnitz, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell, Nomar Garciaparra and B.J. Surhoff

11 a.m.: Junior hits two home runs against the Texas Rangers on June 14, 1994

1 p.m.: The 1992 MLB All-Star Game in which Griffey wins the MVP award

3 p.m.:  The decisive Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the Mariners and New York Yankees

6 p.m.: Junior hits his 500th home run playing for the Reds in St. Louis on Father's Day 2004

8 p.m.: MLB Presents: Junior

9:30 p.m.: Junior returns to Seattle in 2007 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.