CINCINNATI -- Their paths had crossed countless times before, but Friday's meeting at Great American Ball Park had special significance for Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Ken Griffey Jr. For this otherwise nondescript Interleague game between the Orioles and Reds carried with it a touch of history. It marked the first time three members of the 500-home run club appeared in the same game. "It's a pretty neat thing, once you think about it," Palmeiro said.
Griffey was thinking about it beforehand. He declined to talk to reporters about the unique situation until after the game was completed out of fear of jinxing anything. Last year, Griffey heard all the talk about a potential National League outfield of himself, Sosa and Barry Bonds in the All-Star Game. But his hamstring injury put the kibosh on that dream scenario. "I'm superstitious," Griffey said after Friday's game, which the Orioles took by a 4-3 count. "Most people have no idea how bad I am. I wasn't going to ruin it by talking to [reporters] beforehand. But it's over with, it's done. And it was fun." Griffey's fun on this night included an eighth-inning solo home run off John Parrish that brought his career total to 511, tying him with Mel Ott for 18th on the all-time list. Sosa and Palmeiro, meanwhile, went homerless. Sosa is in seventh place with 580 home runs, while Palmeiro stands in 10th place with 559. The three sluggers have combined for 1,650 home runs and 4,836 RBIs in their illustrious careers. This night might have been a mere footnote on those careers, but it was still appreciated by the group as something special. "I've faced them before," Griffey said. "But to have two other guys on the field who have done it was an honor. They're not only great baseball players, they're great people."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.