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Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run

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Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run is a baseball video game developed by Rare for the Super NES that is named after the baseball player Ken Griffey, Jr.

The game features the 28 MLB teams in existence at the time. You can play in a franchise mode, MLB Challenge mode, exhibition (single-game) play, and All-Star Game mode which includes a home run derby mode.

The game's title is derived from the final play of the 1995 American League Division Series featuring the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. On a play that is sometimes credited with "saving baseball in Seattle," Griffey scored the game's winning run all the way from first base, on a close play in the bottom of the 11th inning:

...It was the Game 5 of the 1995 American League Wild Card Playoffs. The Kingdome was packed and rockin. Down by one run in the bottom of the eleventh inning, the Seattle Mariners, with Ken Griffey Jr. up to bat, were setting the stage for the most exciting finish in a divisional series. Ken Griffey Jr. smacked a single to center field to advance Joey Cora to third base. Then the American League batting champ, Edgar Martinez, stepped into the batter's box and drove a Jack McDowell pitch down the left-field line. Cora scored easily to tie the game as Bernie Williams raced over to field the ball out of the corner.

But Wait! Jr. was being waved around third. He's going to try the impossible, scoring from first base. The relay throw to the plate is on its way. Ken Griffey Jr. hits the dirt. The throw is not in time! The Seattle Mariners advance to the American League Championship Series, thanks in part to Ken Griffey Jr.'s winning run![1]

Due to the lack of a Major League Baseball Players' Association license, Griffey is the only player in the game to use his actual name. However, one of the fun and largely unknown parts of this game is identifying other MLB players based on the phony and sometimes pun-laden names given to them by developers. For example, the prolific and temperamental Albert Belle is transformed into "Frank Liberty" (Liberty Bell?), Frank Thomas who is nicknamed the Big Hurt is named "Big Magoo", athletically talented and muscular slugger Barry Bonds is named a similarly alliterate "Muscles McFee", Cal Ripken, Jr. is named "Lou Junior", and hard throwing then-Mariners ace Randy Johnson is called "Bolt Lightning" and the twirling Japanese import Hideo Nomo, nicknamed the Tornado, is aptly changed to "Typhoon Kuroi." Some of the other players are:

Edgar Martinez=Moray Ramirez; Tino Martinez=Viper Ramirez; Jay Buhner=Slash Cannon; Kenny Lofton=Jimmy Stealth; Sammy Sosa=Rebel Ruiz; Greg Maddux=Mike Marksman; Curt Schilling=Snake McMillan; Chipper Jones=Cutter Wells; Mark McGwire=Jeff Reynolds; Tony Gwynn=Sam Scorcher; Jose Canseco=Bull Gigante; Manny Ramirez=Juan Ortega; Mike Piazza=Tony Tolony; Juan Gonzalez=Rich Tulson


  • The game was programmed by a British company, Rare, but was never released in the UK due to the non-existent interest in baseball in the UK. It was also one of the first video games to use computer generated, 3-D animation.
  • There are several secret codes or controller keystrokes that can be entered at various times in the game. One of them unlocks an option to play with two teams that were nonexistent at the time - the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and another team representing what would become the Arizona Diamondbacks, although both teams were named right around the same time that the game was designed.
  • Originally, the game's designer - Oliver Davies - created pun names for almost every player but some of these were then changed for more colourful names such as Bolt Lightning, Sly McGee, etc.
  • When playing as the pitcher, not pressing any buttons for a period of time will force the umpire to stand up, turn around, tap on the glass TV screen, and say, "Play the game kid!"
  • After completing the 162 game season, the player is given an opportunity to face The Nintendo 64 Team (a special team that consists of batters and pitchers with maxed out stats.) If defeated, a cryptic message is shown telling the player that if he “plays hard” he will be rewarded with the chance to play as the Nintendo 64 Team. This message continues to baffle gamers to this day as no one source - either printed or electronic - can independently verify how or when the Nintendo 64 team might be rendered playable.

External links


  1. Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run instruction booklet


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