Ken Griffey Jr. Quotes

Experience the wisdom and wit of one of baseball's greatest legends: Ken Griffey Jr.
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

Ken Griffey Jr. is a baseball legend and one of the greatest hitters in history. His career was full of groundbreaking accomplishments, dazzling moments, and inspiring plays that will be remembered forever by passionate baseball fans around the world. But despite all his accolades on the field, Griffey’s impact off the field cannot be understated either—he brought joy to millions with his larger-than-life personality, charisma, and iconic quotes! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of Ken Griffey Jr.’s best quotes from throughout his career—prepare yourself for some serious motivation and deep inspiration!

Best Quotes

“It’s a game, and that’s how I am going to treat it.”

“Why should I stretch? Does a cheetah stretch before it chases its prey?”

“My name is not ‘The Best Player in Baseball.’ My name is George Kenneth Griffey, Jr.”

“To succeed in baseball, as in life, you must make adjustments.”

“Hard work doesn’t start during the game. Hard work starts the night before.”

“It doesn’t matter how much money you make; it’s where you feel happy.”

“The two misconceptions of me are I didn’t work hard, and that everything I made it look easy.”

“A couple things I’m gonna be remembered for: the hat backward and the swing. And the smile.”

Baseball Quotes

“If I’m compared to Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, that’s great. But I’m just going to go out there and be myself.”

“Out of my 22 years, I’ve learned that only one team will treat you the best, and that’s your first team.”

“As long as I have fun playing, the stats will take care of themselves.”

“Well, my dad taught me that there’s three parts. There’s hitting, there’s defense, and there’s baserunning. And as long as you keep those three separated, you’re going to be a good player. I mean, you can’t take your defense on the bases, you can’t take your hitting to the field, and you can’t take your baserunning at the plate. But defense is number one.”

“I’ve been swinging the same way since I was born. It’s always worked.”

“It’s not what one person does. One person is going to get to be the star of the game. But it might have been the guy who got the guy over that’s the real star of the game.”

“It’s not what one person does. One person is going to get to be the star of the game. But it might have been the guy who got the guy over that’s the real star of the game.”

“The NFL and NBA have done a better job than we have in showing the fun side of the sport, having people talk about it whether it’s on social media, commercials, or the news.”

“Baseball and golf have a lot of things in common, including the fact that players in both games love hitting for power. However, in both sports, trying to do so strictly with muscle strength doesn’t work very well. In fact, I see a lot of guys in both baseball and golf struggle when they try to swing with tight arms.”

“I know my Dad’s a National League guy. I’m an American League guy. I tell him all the time we got better hitters. He’s like well we got better pitchers. I’m like cause you all got those easy outs at the end.”

“I grew up in baseball, so I know how hard it is to not have a dad around to see sporting events and stuff like that.”

“My dad wasn’t a power hitter, and I didn’t think I’d be a power hitter because the person I wanted to be like was him, and he was the one that taught me to play the game.”

“The last time I put on this uniform (Cincinnati), I think I was eight, for a father-son game.”

“When (the Reds) won, we loved it because we ran into the locker room and touched all the bats and gloves and got some bubble gum and red pop. When they lost, we were upset because we didn’t get the bubble gum and red pop.”

“I knew I could play baseball, but I didn’t know, at this level, until later in my career.  At age 19, it’s pretty much about trying to survive day in and day out in baseball.  As I got older, I started to realize my place in the game.”

“Once the first pitch is thrown, you’re going to see a lot of attitudes change. We’re not going to want to lose.”

“It’s not so much what one person does. It’s what we do as a team.”

“I’m in a Catch-22. If I don’t go after a ball, I’m lazy, I’m not giving it 100 percent. If I do dive for the ball – which I did, and blew out my shoulder – it’s, Why did I play it so hard?”

“The Hall of Fame is pretty good at preparation and getting you ready for what to expect.”

“I might go 0 for 4 in a game, but I still had a chance to help the team by making plays in the field.”

“I went out there and played as hard as I could because that’s the only way I know how to play.”

“When I came home, my kids wouldn’t know if I went 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. I do not like to lose at anything, but I wouldn’t be angry all day… Once I left the stadium, it was over with.”

“I just want to play baseball.”

“To win a World Series, the whole team has to be hot, everything has to go your way.”

“That’s not what I want to be known as – a guy who doesn’t want to play and is moody.”

“I’m not some person who wants to be treated as a superstar and won’t go out and help the team.”

“I think I owe it to the people of Seattle, and myself, to retire as a Mariner.”

“I can’t help it if I make things look easy that some people think are difficult.”

“That’s the best thing about playing defense. I get to see somebody else but myself get mad.”

“If baseball was all year round, I’d play all year round.”

“Nobody wants to win a game on a bad call.”

“I came up as a number 2 hitter. My first year I hit 16 homers, and I was like, Whoa, I’m rollin’!”

“I may not hit 50, 40 or 30 home runs, but I can do the little things like moving runners over that don’t show up in the box score.”

“All my life in professional baseball, people said ‘He could be better.”

“I just mind my business and do what I have to do to get ready for the baseball season.”

“I’m lucky. I got a chance to play major-league baseball. ”

“I go out there every day, take early batting practice, fly balls.”

“I’ve always wanted to be on a winning team, be competitive and have something to shoot for in October. It’s never been a money situation.”

“I want to be the best player I can be.”

“I like to see my name in the box score.”

“If you hit .200 and you win or .300 and you win, it’s all the same. Just so you win.”

“If I can get on base once or twice a game, steal a bag, do something, then I’m happy.”

“When you come up to a team and see people like Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, you have to be a little awed. You ask yourself, ‘what am I doing here? But I remember what my brother Bill used to say all the time, ‘Kenny, when you walk out there do your thing, remember you’re as good as anybody else’ and I’ve always felt that way. ”

Life Quotes

“I was able to live out my dream of playing baseball, and I’ve got to do the same for my kids and let them live out their dreams of whatever they want to do in life.”

“My mom told me to hang around with the right people. That’s what I’ve been doing. Just taking it easy and having fun.”

“I think social media has allowed the players to be able to say things that maybe didn’t come out right the first time and say what they really meant. I think that it keeps people fair and honest.”

“I mean, you’re just not going to like somebody and he’s not going to like you. But you’re going to go out there and play. And you’re going to give the other seven or eight guys on that field a chance to win. And that’s just the way it’s going to be.”

“I explained to my kids at an early age: I’m a normal dad with an abnormal job.”

“I knew unless I got stopped I was going to go all the way. I don’t know if I can run any faster. I just ran as fast as I could.”

“I don’t like to be talked about, especially by somebody that doesn’t know me.”

“My dad (Ken Griffey) would have bopped me on the head when I was a kid if I came home bragging about what I did on the field. He only wanted to know what the team did.”

“I was just putting way too much pressure on myself. I was just trying to get that validation from my dad. It got so bad I remember my high school coach telling him not to show up to games.”

“My dad taught me how to play this game, but more importantly, he taught me how to be a man.  How to work hard, how to look at yourself in the mirror each and every day, and not to worry about what other people are doing.”

“Anybody can be a dad. I just want to be a good parent. I want to be a dad that my kids can talk to. I want to have a relationship with them.”

“My dad hit 152 home runs and that’s the person I wanted to be like. My hero growing up.”

“I got to play with my dad. I got to go to work with him. That’s the biggest thing that ever happened to me other than the days my kids were born. That’s bigger than any record I’ll ever set.”

“This is something I dreamed about as a little kid, being back in my hometown (Cincinnati) where I watched so many great players.”

“My father’s faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame.”

“Most of the people that I still talk to and hang out with, to them, I’m just Ken.”

“Playing in the big leagues while my father is still active is the biggest thrill of my life. I try to see him play whenever I can.”

“It seemed like my father and I were always fighting. I know a lot of kids go through that with their families, but it was hard for me.”

“We teach our kids to be fair and things like that and if you make a mistake you apologize for it.”

“You play the game a certain way, and people think your personality off the field should be just as electrifying. That’s not the case.”

“I know if I do something wrong, it’s going to be all over the news.”

“There’s certain people that you owe it to, for the things they’ve done for you.”

“Kids always think about being the MVP.”

“You’re on an island when you’re injured. Nobody understands what you’re going through. And everybody’s different. Some people heal quicker than others.”

“I’ll never be that guy who’s going to yell and scream at people.”

“I remember when I was a kid being called names, including the ‘n’ word. The first time that happened, it really bothered me. But most of the people I dealt with were all white. Most of my close friends were white.”

Insightful Quotes

“That’s the attitude everyone should take. No matter what life throws at you, don’t ever give up chasing your dreams.”

“I don’t think it’s the intent of baseball not to have black ballplayers, but we have to find a way to get these kids back. We lost them to football. We lost them to basketball. We lost them to golf. People don’t see how cool and exciting this game is.”

“In baseball, there are certain things you can call someone: a fossil, graybeard, grandpa, dad, pops. But I got a chance to say it and mean it.”

“You can’t sensationalize a story that is a heartfelt story.”

“There are more second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and so on in the big leagues than first-round picks.”

“I think that it takes one person in the household to be a baseball fan for people to love baseball. And if you don’t love baseball as a parent, your kids are not going to love it because you’re not watching it.”

“When you have fun, it changes all the pressure into pleasure.”

“There are a lot of people out here who made me the person I am today.”

“I don’t ever prepare for everything – I don’t have a speech.  I always speak from the heart.  And I think that’s the most important thing.”

“The race is over.  Now it’s time to smell the roses.”

“When you sign on the dotted line in any sport, your body’s not going to be the same.”

“No one is perfect. Your ERA is not zero. You’re not going to have 30 wins. And your batting average isn’t going to be 1.000. So you don’t have the right to verbally talk out about somebody. Look at yourself. Did you do everything you could do? Did you start your day off right? Are you perfect?”

“It doesn’t bother me that I didn’t get all the recognition. It really doesn’t. I tried to keep things as honest as possible. People will either appreciate it over the years or they won’t.”

“I get a little tired of people telling me what might have been. I think I’ve done OK. I don’t dwell on what might have been.”

“I never want to be satisfied.”

“As you can see by this contract, it was never about the money. I didn’t want to move around. I didn’t want to be here one year and have to go somewhere else. I wanted to be able to stay put. I didn’t want to have to go to some other team and come here later on.”

Motivational Quotes

“Talent may get you on the field, but it’s effort and attitude that will keep you there.”

“Just because I made it look easy doesn’t mean that it was and you don’t work hard and become a Hall of Famer without working day in and day out.”

“Talk to people. Go another way. Don’t kill yourself. It ain’t worth it and I’m a great example. No matter how bad it seems at the time, work your way through it. Who knows how your life is going to turn out.”

“I learned at an early age, just be yourself.”

“You lose, you smile, and you come back the next day. You win, you smile, you come back the next day.”

“Everybody is putting emphasis on the negative, and I try to focus on the positive.”

“I won’t be upset if I don’t win a ring, because I gave it my all.”

“I’ve always lived in the moment, so I don’t allow my brain to focus too far ahead.”

“I can still play. I’ve been hurt, and that slowed me down. People take that as a message that I’ve lost something. When I’m healthy, I haven’t lost anything. I can still play this game at a top level.”

“Injuries are a part of the game.”

“I’m not a player who beats his own drum.”

What’s your favorite?

Ken Griffey Jr. was truly a larger-than-life personality that injected joy into the game of baseball and echoed humor, insight, and warmth in his iconic comments. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply someone looking for some motivation, Griffey’s quotes can offer genuine, inspiring takeaways in your everyday life.

With those gems at our disposal, we have the power to deepen our relationships and put us a step closer to unlocking our potential! Revisit these quotes from time to time—their value bears repeating. Remember questions like “what would Griffey do?” when faced with difficult decisions.

Let’s celebrate the Hall of Fame career of Ken Griffey Jr. by embracing his wisdom and spreading his legacy of greatness through these special moments that remind us all how much he meant to the game of baseball! What’s your favorite quote? Share this blog post with your friends and family, and let us know!