Vermont’s Historic Centennial Field Was Junior’s Last Stop in The Minor Leagues
(Photo credits: ProCards 1988 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame)
Ken Griffey Jr. was immortalized on Sunday July 24, 2016 with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. In 1988, Griffey spent his most of his final minor league summer at historic Centennial Field as a member of the Vermont Mariners of the Double A Eastern League.
Griffey becomes the second player of Vermont’s Eastern League era (1984-88) to be inducted into the Hall of Fame joining Barry Larkin, a member of the Vermont Reds in 1985, who was inducted in 2012. Ironically both Griffey and Larkin graduated from the same high school, Archbishop Moeller High, in Cincinnati.
Griffey, who spent most of his season in Burlington rehabbing a back injury, played in 17 regular season games and eight postseason for Vermont, the 1988 Eastern League runner-up. It was his last stop in the minor leagues before joining the Seattle Mariners for opening day in 1989.
Vermont’s shortstop most of the 1988 season was 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel but he and Griffey never played together in a game at Centennial Field. Vizquel was sent up to Triple A in July before Griffey was activated by Vermont in mid-August.
Click HERE for a story that ran in the 2016 Vermont Lake Monsters Yearbook and the Burlington Free Press on July 24 on Griffey’s summer in Vermont by Bruce Bosley.
See below for Griffey’s induction speech on MLB.TV