Ken Griffey's Suicide Attempt (Uni's Anti-Bullying Tip #109)

Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest superstars that baseball has ever seen. For a time in the ’90s, Griffey was the biggest name in the sport. Despite being the son of a star MLB player himself, Griffey surpassed his father thanks to his golden bat and vibrant personality. However, the world was almost robbed of this when Griffey attempted to take his own life by suicide before his MLB career even began.

Selected as the No. 1 pick in the 1987 MLB draft, Griffey was not yet old enough to vote and already had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Two years later, he debuted with the Seattle Mariners alongside his father. Although not yet a star for the team, Griffey showed the promise that made him the No. 1 pick almost immediately. He was third in Rookie of the Year voting and only getting better. 

In January 1988, Ken Griffey, at the age of 18, attempted to commit suicide by swallowing 277 aspirin pills but wound up in intensive care in Providence Hospital in Mount Airy, Ohio. Griffey Jr. cited arguments with his father, Ken Griffey Sr., depression, and anger as reasons for his attempted suicide. On his failed attempt, Griffey Jr. stated, "It seemed like everyone was yelling at me in baseball, then I came home and everyone was yelling at me there. I got depressed. I got angry. I didn't want to live." He stated that he had also previously contemplated taking his own life, but he had not acted on it until this incident. After Griffey swallowed the aspirin, his girlfriend's mother drove him to the hospital. While in intensive care, he ripped the IV from his arm in order to stop an argument between him and his father. Both Griffey Jr. and his father have stated that the incident changed their relationship, and there is now more understanding on both sides.