Ken Griffey Jr. had a very special reason for iconic backwards cap

Chris Burkhardt
NBC Sports Northwest

Ken Griffey Jr. is a Seattle sports icon. 

He's arguably the greatest five-tool player to ever hit the diamond and claims ownership to the sweetest swing in the history of baseball. 

"The Kid"  also created an iconic sports look with his iconic backwards cap.

In the 90s, millions of kids started to wear their caps backwards just to be like Junior. 

But Junior wasn't trying to be some rebellious trendsetter. Rather, like fans were trying to be like him, he was just trying to be like his hero: His dad. 

Griffey told the story in the latest episode of the Sports Business Radio Podcast:

I wear my hat backwards because my dad had a 'fro and I wanted to wear his hat. If I put his hat on at age six, and he's got an eight and a half (hat size) and I got like a little five, it's not really gonna stay on my head. So I just turned it around because I just wanted to wear my dad's hat.  - Ken Griffey Jr. on his iconic look

"It wasn't like I was trying to be different," said Griffey. "I just wanted to wear my dad's hat. Even now, when I put on my hat, I put it on backwards."

We have all been in Griffey's shoes, or hat in this case, trying to emulate our parents, grandparents, or family members. Trying to be just like the people we look up to. 

But unlike Griffey, not all of us made a brand in the process. 

Griffey became the backwards cap. It was his defining look. A look that he continues to rock to this day.

You talk about being defiant. I belong to a country club here, and I got a letter in the mail that says... 'Keep Forward,' meaning you bill facing forward. So I built hats and it said 'Keep Forward' on the back of it so when I turned it around it said 'Keep Forward.' And I wore it. That's who I am. You're not gonna let me wear my hat backwards? It's not like I'm a slob. It's not like my shirt is untucked. This is who I am." - Griffey on his backwards cap

As Griffey said, the backwards cap is "who I am." But who is Griffey, really? Even at age 50, he is still just a six-year-old kid trying to be like his dad. 

Be sure to check out Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

Ken Griffey Jr. had a very special reason for iconic backwards cap originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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