Cincinnati Reds: Top five home runs in team history

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 20: Ken Griffey Jr. #3 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Don Smith/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 20: Ken Griffey Jr. #3 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Don Smith/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS – June 20: Ken Griffey Jr. #30 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

5. Ken Griffey Jr. joins the 500 club

By the time Ken Griffey Jr. joined the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2000 season, his legend had already been well established. At the time, he was arguably the best player in the game and blasted 398 homers as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Needless to say, after inking a nine-year extension to play for his hometown Reds, the Queen City was destined to see it’s share of history-making moments.

During his tenure with the Reds, Griffey Jr. would reach the 400 and 600 home run milestones, but it was number 500 that proved to be the most memorable. Even though the road to No. 500 had its stressful moments, it could not have ended any more perfectly.

On Sunday, June 13, 2004, against the Indians at Jacobs Field, Ken Griffey Jr. blasted homer No. 499 to place himself on the doorstep of baseball history. Following a single makeup date in Philadelphia against the Phillies, the Reds returned home for a brief three-game homestand against the Texas Rangers. There’s little doubt Junior felt pressure to reach the 500 homer plateau in front of the home fans.

However, fate had other ideas for Junior. Griffey Jr. would sit out the game in Philadelphia and had a decent series against the Rangers, going 3-for-11 at the plate, however, he failed to connect for a home run. Next, the Reds were on the road for a Father’s Day weekend series in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

Through the first two games of the series, Junior collected two hits in seven at-bats, but No. 500 had still eluded him as the final game of the set approached on Father’s Day, June 20, 2004. With his dad, and former Reds great, Ken Griffey Sr. in attendance, Junior connected in the sixth inning off the Cardinals’ Matt Morris to become just the 20th member of the 500 home run club.