Griffey Jr. has extremely high praise for Cutch

Griffey Jr. has extremely high praise for Cutch

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Andrew McCutchen, who once acknowledged that Ken Griffey Jr.'s American League Most Valuable Player Award-winning season in 1997 had inspired him to pursue baseball as a career, said it was "cool and significant" to hear The Kid cite him as the answer to two questions he was asked in a recent TV interview.

Question 1: "Who among current players plays with the style you had?"

Question 2: "Who is the best player in the Major Leagues today?"

"I got to know him a little bit through the years," McCutchen said, "but, sure, it was still cool to hear him say those things."

McCutchen's exact comment about Griffey in mid-November when he was named recipient of his own 2013 National League MVP Award:

"He's someone I wanted to emulate, someone I wanted to be like. He was definitely a big influence on myself when it came to playing the game and choosing baseball. I feel like I can be an influence in that."

Task accomplished, it would appear.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.