Sr. Citizen

By WEEK Sports

July 21, 2010 Updated Jul 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM CDT

The announcement that Lou Piniella is retiring as Cubs manager has brought Ryne Sandberg's name to forefront.
The Hall-of-Famer managed the Peoria Chiefs for two seasons and he's now at Triple-A Iowa.
There's another big time former major leaguer coaching in the Midwest League this season.
But he's better known for being the father of a future Hall-of-Famer.

When Ken Griffey retired from baseball in 1991, the oldest member of the Dayton Dragons had just turned 5 years old.

Dayton Dragon Hitting coach Ken Griffey Sr. said, "My oldest is twenty years younger and these kids are a whole lot younger than that. So there like grandkids almost if you think about it."

Dayton Dragon Manager Todd Benzinger said, "Some of these guys don't know who Pete Rose is, You ask them about the big red machine and they think you're talking about a car. "

But the Dragons are learning about Griffey and from him.

Dayton Outfielder Andrew Means said, "When I heard that Ken Griffey Sr. was going to be our hitting coach I was happy and I wanted to sit down and talk with him to get the past experiences he went through in the big leagues."

Griffey said, "I've always been a teacher since Jr. was a little one so I've always taught and I thought this would be the best time."

Benzinger said, "His son is Ken Griffey Jr. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to mentoring people and being a father, literally a father figure to some body who has had a ton of success which is an understatement with Ken Griffey Jr."

Griffey's main role is to work with the team's hitters but his best advice is for everyone.

Griffey said, "I stress that most importantly they've got to have fun. I'd rather they be having fun than to take the game so seriously they can't do their job."

Benzinger said, ""You can't have fun playing baseball in Ken Griffey's world and not be doing well. I think Ken's message is lighten up this is baseball you're playing. You're not curing cancer and you're not curing the world's ills. You're playing baseball. Have fun at it and if you do you might find out that you're a better player anyway."

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