OBSERVATIONS: ‘The Rest of the Story on Ken Griffey Sr.

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wondering when the analysts will get around to comparing shoe sizes, hat sizes, neck sizes, waist sizes and hair-length sizes between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. They’ve compared everything else.

—For those of us who have been around for several decades, we remember The Paul Harvey radio show and his segment of ‘The Rest of the Story.’

And here is one involving former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Sr.

Griffey was a baseball, football and track star at Donora (Pa.) High School. He often ran track, then on the same day quickly changed from track spikes to baseball spikes and played a baseball game.

And Marshall University offered him a football scholarship, which he was going to accept. But his girlfriend became pregnant. They needed money. So when the Reds drafted him and offered him a contract, he accepted and turned down Marshall’s football scholarship.

The Rest of the Story: On November 15, 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC9 jet carrying the Marshall University football team home from a 17-14 loss at East Carolina crashed two miles from the Tri-State Airport in Kenova, W.Va. All 75 passengers were killed, including 37 members of the Marshall team.

If Griffey had accepted the scholarship, he would have been a sophomore and most likely would have been on board.

And after Griffey signed with the Reds, Ken Griffey Jr. was born a few months later.

—QUOTE: From Ken Griffey Jr. on why he didn’t like to stretch before games: “Why should I stretch? Does a cheetah stretch before it chases its prey?”

—I am so left-handed they could amputate my right arm and right leg and I wouldn’t notice. So this trivia question from my good friend Mark Schlemmer captured my interest:

Name the three left handed quarterbacks who have started in Super Bowl games? Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati Bengals, 1988), Steve Young (San Francisco 49ers, 1994), Kenny Stabler (Oakland Raiders, 1974).

Southpaw signal-callers who never made the Super Bowl: Bobby Douglass, Jim Zorn, Paul McDonald, Mark Brunell, Michael Vick, Chris Simms, Matt Leinert and Tim Tebow.

—QUOTE: From author C.R. Manske: “Life without left-handed people wouldn’t be right.” (He got that one right. . .er, left.)

—Left-handed relief pitcher Sean Doolittle appears to be the latest Reclamation Project by the Cincinnati Reds.

The team’s newest free agent signee was so frustrated over injuries last season that he nearly retired. He only pitched 45 innings in 2018 due to a string of left foot injuries. He missed two weeks in 2019 with right knee tendinitis.

Last season he spent a good portion of the summer on the injured list and limped off the field at the end of the season with a right oblique strain.

He spent all winter rehabbing. The 
Washington Nationals decided not to re-sign him and signed closer Brad Hand instead. And the Reds came to Doolittle’s rescue.

—Darrel Chaney, one of the world’s truly nice guys and a fantastic motivational speaker, was a utility infielder for the Big Red Machine, mostly playing third base on the rare days when Pete Rose took a day off.

His grandson, Chase Chaney, is a 21-year-old pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels organization, drafted 14th out of high school. And Chase’s dad, Darrel’s son, Keith, played a couple of years in the Braves system and is now a high school principal.

It’s all in the genes.

Of his time with the Reds, Chaney like to tell people he was the 25th best players on a 25-man roster. That wasn’t true. He was a valuable Machinist.

“I went to (manager) Sparky Anderson’s office to ask for more playing time,” Chaney once told a writer. “But Sparky explained that while we had Hall of Famers at almost every position, I had a role to play. I was a defensive replacement for Pete Rose at third, while no one turned the double play better than me at second and short.”

And that’s the truth.

—There is this guy in Houston, a furniture store owner who calls himself Mattress Mack. He has far too much money. He keeps making humongous bets on major sporting events.

The Super Bowl? He is wagering $3.5 million on T.B. — Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, getting 3 1/2 points. He hopes that when the game is over it isn’t another T.B., as in Too Bad.

Mattress Mack has a gimmick, though. If he wins, every customer who purchased a Tempur-Pedic or Stearns & Foster mattress before The Game worth at least $3,000, gets the mattress free. If he loses, they pay — which covers some of his losses.

I believe this is called a bed spread.

—Speaking of gambling and Mattress Mack, I wonder if he had the over on Texas A&M in its basketball game against LSU.

The over/under on points for Texas A&M was 67 1/2. With nine minutes to go, A&M had 66 points. They had nine minutes to score two points and cover the over. Nine minutes.

They didn’t do it. They didn’t score another point. . .0 for 9 from the field, 0 for 5 from three, 0 for 1 on the front end of a one-and-one free throw. . .and 0 my God for anybody who took the over on A&M.

—College basketball’s blue bloods need transfusions. When was the last time a fan looked at the AP Top 25 and can’t find Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina or Michigan State? Probably the nth of never.

Meanwhile, two football factories — Ohio State and Alabama — are power houses on the court. After beating Iowa Wednesday night, the Buckeyes have won four games against Top 25 teams. Amazing? Yes. Even more amazing is the fact all four have come on the road — Rutgers, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa.

Ohio State coach Chris Holtman’s favorite song is by Willie Nelson. . .’On The Road Again.’

—The NBA is considering an early-March All-Star game with fans and the players are not happy with it. due to pandemic concerns.

Said LA Lakers star LeBron James, “I’ll be there physically, but not mentally.” Seems like a lot of NBA players are like that all the time.

2 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: ‘The Rest of the Story on Ken Griffey Sr.”

  1. Thank You again Mr. McCOY Love to read these stories. I look forward to them all ways 🙂 What I would give to just set down just You and Me so I could just let Me just set and Listen to all the Stories You could tell. Prayers and God’s Blessings to You and Mrs. McCoy !!! Dale

  2. Hello from Norway, Hal.

    I couldn’t remember when Chaney was traded to Atlanta so I had to look it up. His last season with the Reds was 1975 – which was Pete’s first season at 3B. For the entire season, DC12 played 71 games/41 starts. By position he played 28G@2B, 35G@SS and only 13G@3B.
    Knowing how seldom Rose took a day off, I checked further… Rose played in 162 games in 1975, and of those 137@3B. There were 10 games where Rose split time between 3B & LF. And of those, only one after May 20th. Rose’s first game at 3B was on May 3rd.

    May 3,4,6,7,9,10,15(game1),17,18 and July 13 are the dates Rose played a little left field as well as 3B. May 16 Rose played LF the entire game.

    According to baseball-reference, Chaney played 3B on May 16 (Rose played LF), June 13 (1 inning), July 6 (Rose went 3 for 5 before Concepcion spelled him playing SS. Chaney had started at SS but slid over to 3B), September 3 (3 innings for Rose who played 6 innings.)

    I certainly respect your work, Hal, but I believe you’ve forgotten that Rose ‘never’ took a day off. I’ve got Chaney playing 13 innings at 3B after Rose moved in from LF.

    Otherwise, good to read about Chaney’s soon and grandson.

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