posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 04:39 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th career home run Sunday in St. Louis, becoming the 20th player in major league history to achieve
The Cincinnati Reds player reached the milestone by drilling a pitch from Matt Morris over the right field fence to lead off the sixth inning against
the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I was so excited," said Griffey. "I got a ball down that I could handle and that was it.
"To finally do it is a monkey off my back."
The Reds won the game 6-0.
Griffey went 5-for-21 with four RBI in the six games since his last home run last Sunday against the Cleveland Indians.
He hadn't come close to hitting a homer since then, until sending a 2-2 pitch from Morris for an estimated 393-foot drive.
Griffey becomes the sixth youngest player to reach 500 home runs. Jimmy Foxx at 32 was the youngest player to do so, while Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa,
Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth all reached 500 aged 34, the same as Griffey.
Barry Bonds (676), Sammy Sosa (549) and Rafael Palmeiro (538) are the only other active players with more than 500 homers. Fred McGriff of the Tampa
Bay Devil Rays needs seven more to join the select band of players.
Griffey's team mates greeted him at home plate after the home run, before Griffey went to the box seat area and hugged his father, Ken Griffey Sr.