Over a month since football legend Lionel Messi signed up for Inter Miami, his U.S. matches continue to attract sports legends and celebrities, and Wednesday’s match had a unique twist.
Ken Griffey Jr., the Hall of Fame baseball player, was spotted photographing Messi’s match in Miami against Nashville SC. He was also seen taking pictures with Floyd Mayweather before the game. During the match, Griffey, sporting his signature backward baseball hat, was captured working as a photographer on the sidelines. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Griffey was officially listed as a still photographer for the event, according to Miami sports broadcaster Josh Moser. Griffey has a history in photography, dating back to at least 2015 when he was spotted taking pictures at the Fiesta Bowl, according to the New York Post.
53-year-old Griffey, a Mariners legend for 13 seasons, recently attended this year’s Home Run Derby in Seattle. He even took some photos at the event, where current Mariners All-Star Julio Rodriguez was featured.
Randy Johnson, a Hall of Fame teammate of Griffey’s in Seattle, has also pursued sports photography in retirement. In 2016, Griffey expressed his desire to photograph track and field events at the Olympics in the future.
In Wednesday’s game, there was no scoring, but Griffey witnessed history as Miami failed to win for the first time in 10 matches since Messi joined the club.
Griffey, born on November 21, 1969, in Donora, Pennsylvania, had a remarkable baseball career. He grew up in Cincinnati, where he watched his father, Ken Griffey Sr., play for the Reds. Griffey Jr. showed promise early on, and he was eventually drafted by the Mariners, a selection hailed as one of the best in MLB Draft history by Baseball America.
Griffey faced challenges in the minor leagues but made his MLB debut on Opening Day in 1989. In his first at-bat, he doubled off ace Dave Stewart. Notably, both Griffey and his father played in the majors simultaneously, a unique feat, according to Hall of Famers.
Griffey quickly became a prominent figure in baseball, gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in May 1990. He earned his first All-Star Game selection, a Gold Glove Award, and impressive batting stats by the end of the 1990 season.
Throughout his career, Griffey accumulated 13 All-Star Game selections, 10 Gold Glove Awards, and seven Silver Slugger Awards before retiring. His legacy in baseball is undeniably remarkable.