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Blue Jays: The day Ken Griffey Jr. made history in Toronto

Toronto Blue Jay starter Roger Clemens reacts to Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr's three-run home-run in the fourth inning 18 May at Toronto's Skydome. Clemens pitched five innings giving up 10 hits, 9 runs and 3 walks. AFP PHOTO Carlo ALLEGRI (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / AFP) (Photo credit should read CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jay starter Roger Clemens reacts to Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr's three-run home-run in the fourth inning 18 May at Toronto's Skydome. Clemens pitched five innings giving up 10 hits, 9 runs and 3 walks. AFP PHOTO Carlo ALLEGRI (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / AFP) (Photo credit should read CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Back in 1997, en Griffey Jr. was still in his prime, and unfortunately the Blue Jays were on the wrong end of history during a game in April.

Being the avid Blue Jays fan that I am, I generally don’t want to re-live or re-watch games from my favourite team got beat up on. However, last night I came across a tweet that highlighted a rare exception.

The Seattle Mariners’ twitter account posted about a fairly significant day in the career of Ken Griffey Jr. from back in 1997, when he was still in his prime at the age of 27. Unfortunately the Blue Jays ran into Jr. during one of the hottest stretches of his career, as he entered the contest hitting .368/.467/.842. He was also on the cusp of breaking a MLB record, and he decided to do so in grand fashion on April 25th.

The Blue Jays sent Roger Clemens to the mound that day, and it was a rare time when the Cy Young award winner from that season was actually beat up a little bit. Griffey tagged Clemens for a long home run in the third inning, and in the process tied the AL record for the highest home run total in April with his first at-bat.

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By the time Griffey Jr. came around to bat again the seventh inning, the Blue Jays had taken the lead by a score of 7-5, and Clemens had overcome a rocky start to the outing to pitch deep into the ball game. However, “The Kid” decided to put a stop to that with his second home of the day, this time a shot to left field off of Clemens to bring the score to 7-6, and giving him sole possession of the record.

And just when it looked like the Blue Jays might be able to spoil Griffey Jr’s big day, he added one more off of Mike Timlin in the eighth inning for his third blast of the day, bringing his total for the month to 13. I recall being a kid on the couch watching that game, and as much as I didn’t like seeing the Blue Jays lose, it was one of those games you’ll never forget.

Oddly enough, Griffey Jr. still had five more games to go before April was over, but the three home runs against the Blue Jays on the 25th were his last of the month. Since then, the record has actually moved up to 14 in both the AL with Alex Rodriguez reaching the mark in 2007, and Albert Pujols doing the same for the Cardinals in 2006.

Next. The story of Dave Stieb's improbable comeback. dark

Over the course of a long 162 game season, your favourite team is going to lose their fair share of contests. However, it’s always a little easier to swallow when something cool happens, and Griffey Jr. certainly brought the party back in 1997.

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