Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Paid Tribute To Ken Griffey Jr.

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While Mookie Betts was unable to reverse disappointing Los Angeles Dodgers history in the Home Run Derby, he used the event to pay tribute to Seattle Mariners icon Ken Griffey Jr.

Along with wearing his cap backwards while participating in the event, Betts’ Air Jordan cleats were customized to the ‘Freshwater’ theme in honor of the famed Nike Air Griffey Max 1 colorway. Griffey’s signature shoe debuted in 1996, and was re-released in 2016 and 2021.

Whereas the shoe featured the Hall of Famer’s No. 24 along the collar, Betts’ version for his cleats had the Jumpman logo and Michael Jordan’s No. 23. Betts also wore his Griffey-inspired cleats during the All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park.

Mookie Betts wore Jordan 1 Griffey Freshwater cleats during the Home Run Derby

— MLB Life (@MLBLife) July 11, 2023

Unfortunately for Betts, he wasn’t able to replicate the same power swing Griffey regularly put on display while with the Mariners. Betts managed just 11 home runs, the fewest of any 2023 Home Run Derby participant, and was eliminated in the first round by eventual champion Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.

With Vladimir Guerrero Sr. winning the 2007 Home Run Derby, they became the first father-son duo to be crowned champions in the event.

Ken Griffey Jr. part of MLB All-Star Seattle

Griffey, Félix Hernández, Edgar Martinez and Julio Rodríguez were named 2023 MLB All-Star Game ambassadors, and participated in and promoted various events that took place across Seattle.

Griffey, a senior advisor to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, partnered with the league and Players Association (MLBPA) to host the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic for student-athletes from Division-I programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Mookie Betts reflects on Home Run Derby

Betts said he committed to participating in the Derby at the urging of his wife, and was warned by his mother to not finish in last place.

After the brief showing, Betts admitted the event is not one he is physically built for.

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