Ken Griffey Jr. made headlines when he donned his 2016 Hall of Fame cap backward at his induction ceremony last month. But that iconic moment wouldn’t have happened, Griffey said on Tuesday during ESPN’s telecast of the Seattle Mariners-New York Yankees game, save for fellow Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.
“Frank said, ‘You have to do it,’ ” Griffey said. “I wasn’t gonna do it and he looked at me, and Frank’s a little bit bigger than I am, and he threatened me.”
Griffey, who laughed while recalling the encounter with the 6-foot-5, 240-pound slugger known as the Big Hurt, continued: “He’s a veteran of the Hall of Fame, so as a rookie, you have to listen to the veterans and I went ahead and did it. It was a nice touch.”
Thomas, of course, made his own headlines when he delivered his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2014. The 48-year-old name-checked some 138 people who he said helped him along the way in his nearly 18-minute speech.
If it were up to him, he would’ve dropped 50 more names, but due to time constraints he had to cut them at the last minute.
“I felt bad,” he told MLB.com. “I wish I could have got everybody in. There are a lot of people who meant a lot to me over the years, and I could not forget my teammates.”
(H/t: Sporting News)