Griffey’s eight-game homer streak electrifies baseball
But in 1993, Griffey ascended into the upper echelon of sports icons – a place he seemed destined from the start.
On July 28, 1993, Griffey homered in his eighth straight game to tie the all-time big league record. The mark was set by the Pirates’ Dale Long in 1956 and matched by the Yankees’ Don Mattingly in 1987, but Griffey’s run at the record seemed to be different.
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With the national media documenting his every plate appearance, Griffey was writing his legend.
“He can do things other guys can’t do,” Mariners teammate Tino Martinez told the Associated Press. “He’s playing way above everybody else in baseball right now.”
“They always say home runs come in streaks,” Griffey told the Associated Press after his sixth straight game with a home run. “I pay no attention. I just go up there and hit, use all the ballpark as much as I can.”
After an off day, the Mariners returned to Seattle to play the Twins on July 27 – and Griffey homered in the third inning off Kevin Tapani to come within one of the record. The next night, Griffey took Willie Banks deep in the seventh inning to tie Long and Mattingly.
Griffey finished the season with 45 home runs, 109 RBI and an American League-leading 359 total bases. In six seasons from 1994-99, Griffey would lead the AL in home runs four times.
He ended his big league career with 630 home runs over 22 seasons and earned election to the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum