From about 1,300 miles away, Arizona Wildcats redshirt freshman receiver Trey Griffey made his dad cry Saturday night.
While Griffey was at Fort Huachuca near Sierra Vista, finishing up the second of two practices on the Army post, his dad, Ken Griffey Jr., was being inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.
To Junior’s surprise, Trey’s image appeared in a video during a tribute at Safeco Field.
“I can’t be more proud of you and the way you did it,” Trey said in the video, according to an AP report.
The Tacoma News-Tribune added that Trey said, “As I was growing up, I wanted to be just like you. You were my role model.”
Trey ended his message with, “Bear Down.”
And with that, dad began to wipe away the tears.
Which is probably what Trey was hoping for.
“Just can’t cry in front of your kids because then they start talking about you,” Griffey Jr. said with a laugh Friday on the “Bob and Groz” show on 710-AM Seattle. “I can hear Trey in the back of my head: ‘Don’t cry, you punk.’”
He added: “We still have that father-son bond where he still wants to hang out with me.”
Ken Griffey Jr. and family have been frequent visitors to the Arizona campus since his son signed with coach Rich Rodriguez out of Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, Fla. His daughter, Taryn, will be a senior at Dr. Phillips this year and has committed to UA’s women’s basketball program.
Trey (6-3, 190) is competing for playing time at an Arizona receiver position depleted by injuries and defections.
“Redshirted last year, I came in and didn’t really know the system all that much,” he said after a practice last week. “But now that’s fall is around, I’m pretty familiar with it right now.”
Trey said last year that his dad’s advice was simple: “Just have fun. That was the biggest thing my dad told me.”
Also last year, Rodriguez said he sees Trey as humble and grounded, not what might be expected of a privileged kid who grew up in major-league clubhouses.
“With a guy like his dad — certainly a Hall of Famer and one of the best who’s ever played — people forget or probably don’t realize how hard Ken Griffey Jr. worked to get to where he was,” Rodriguez said. “That work ethic is instilled in all of his kids.”