Found August 10, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
Did I say “Thank You?!”
In this day and age, it is rare to find a true idol in the sports world. With so much lying and cheating in sports, the dark age of sport has ruined what used to be pure and good. It wasn’t always like this, though, as there was once a generation of athletes who inspired people.
They inspired us to be good great. They inspired us to reach for the stars and pursue our dreams. They inspired us to buy Gatorade and Nike.
For Seattle Mariners fans, one man alone did this for all of us: Ken Griffey Jr.
The backwards hat and the smile inspired us all to be a kid
Junior was an idol to me and my friends. We didn’t want to be LIKE him, we wanted to BE him. He epitomized everything that baseball meant, everything it has ever stood for.
He inspired a whole entire generation to play the game like he did and to live life like he did.
From backwards hats and ear to ear smiles to big wads of bubble gum that would produce a bubble the size of our heads,
(And of course we all tried to pop each other’s bubble. C’mon, who didn’t?)
Griffey had an effect on all of us.
My friends and I used to play a game called Griffey Grabs. We would find a location, usually the trampoline in my backyard, and set up where we could make amazing catches like Junior.
We would dive and lay out to make catches or we would find a fence just big enough to leap up and reach over to rob a “home run” thrown by a friend.
We used to pile into stores and buy bags of Big League Chew bubble gum to try and blow bubbles as big as the one Griffey blew in his latest baseball card.
We fought over who could play as the Mariners in Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball on Super Nintendo and who could use Griffey himself in the Home Run Derby in the game.
We all tried to imitate this photo as kids.
We would push and shove and trip over each other on uniform day for the honor to wear #24 for the upcoming baseball season.
And we all nudged each other as we sat on the edge of our seats watching Griffey hit the Camden Yards Warehouse in the Home Run Derby in Baltimore or when he hit home runs in 8 straight games.
We were all inspired when we saw Junior live out one of every kid’s dream – playing alongside his dad in the big league.
We were inspired when he made one of the most spectacular catches in baseball history, seriously injured his wrist, and then walked his way back to the clubhouse, only to come back just as good.
And we were inspired when he would spend hours on end signing autographs for the fans, making children’s dreams come true and turning adults into kids again. We would laugh at each prank he pulled in the clubhouse on his fellow players.
The Griffey Effect hit us hard and it still courses through our veins.
That brings us to today. Today is the day that Junior starts earning his post-career accolades when the Seattle Mariners induct The Kid into the Mariner Hall of Fame.
While we’ve entered a whole new era in baseball, we can still go back in time and, at least for today look back at better times. Crack a smile today, Seattle. Our idol is home for good.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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Ken Griffey Jr. figures to go to Cooperstown one day but on Saturday night the former major league outfield was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.
Griffey spent the first 11 years of his MLB career in Seattle, and the final two after a eight and a half year stay in Cincinnati and a brief time with the Chicago White Sox.
That Griffey was inducted into the Mariners Hall...
Once Ken Griffey Jr. got the phone call about the honor the Seattle Mariners wanted to bestow upon him he started getting nervous about having to be the center of attention.
As Griffey said Friday, it's easier to be standing in center field or waiting at home plate than talking in front of thousands of people.
Griffey will become the seventh member of the Mariners Hall of Fame...
Like the Seattle Mariners nerd I truly am, I have been looking forward to Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Night for weeks! Here’s a little recap of my experience at the game.
2:52PM – We officially arrived at Safeco Field! The lines looked as bad as Disneyland in July. Only the first 20,000 fans received Griffey bobbleheads and fans sure wanted to get their giveaway!
Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame at Safeco Field this evening an event which preceded the team’s game against the Brewers. Griffey often known as “Junior” spent 13 of his 22 years in the Majors with the Mariners hitting 417 of his 630 career home runs and helping usher in an era of prosperity something not previously seen by the Mariners...
In the post-steroids era, no player is above suspicion. However, if there is any player from the tainted period who’s career should be appreciated that much more, it’s Ken Griffey Jr.
Over a 22-year big league career that began at the age of 19, Griffey hit 630 home runs, was a 13-time All-Star, won 10 Gold Gloves and was the 1997 American League MVP. What’s more is that those...
A Mariners Living Legend
My words likely won’t mean much, but here they are:
Ken Griffey Jr.,
You are the best of baseball. You exemplify what the game is and showed us Mariners fans how to enjoy it just as much as you did.
Your boyish grin day-in and day-out, the way you approached every game, and the countless hours you spent getting better off the field set a precedent for...
Photo: JORDAN STEAD, SEATTLEPI.COM
Seattle held a special ceremony Saturday night to induct the greatest player in Mariners history, #24 Ken Griffey Jr, into their Hall of Fame. This is just a preview of what we will see once he is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Mariners’ players showed their respects to the Kid by turning their hats backward.
Trounced by Brewers
The stage was set and everything was in place for the Seattle Mariners to make Saturday one of the more memorable dates in team history. Honoring the great Ken Griffey Jr. by enshrining him in the Mariners hall of fame before the game kicked off, there was a buzz and atmosphere surrounding Safeco Field that had not been felt there for quite awhile.
Back in the ’90s, Ken Griffey Jr. was, without a doubt, the coolest player in Major League Baseball. Whether it was his youthful enthusiasm for the game, the swagger he carried himself with or all those home runs, there may be no player in the history of the game more imitated by young fans.
Over the weekend, the Seattle Mariners inducted Griffey into their Hall of Fame, paying...
Former Red and Cincinnati native Ken Griffey Jr. was bestowed the honor of being inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame this weekend. And it's only a matter of time before Junior gains induction into both the Reds Hall of Fame and National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as well.
Simply stated, "The Kid" was one of the smoothest and greatest players...
This weekend one of the most talented ball players of all time received a prestigious honor. Ken Griffey, Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. Griffey, Jr. had one of the greatest swings in all of baseball. With the Mariners he hit 417 of his 630 home runs. He help bring the city of Seattle on the baseball map.
Ken spent time with Seattle from 1989 to 1999 and then finished...
Ken Griffey Jr. kept telling stories, continued to acknowledge
his appreciation to the fans and reminisced about his career, even
as the scheduled game time came and went.
He operated with no script and no net. Most importantly, it was from the heart.
Arizona redshirt freshman receiver Trey Griffey got through it, wishing his dad Ken Griffey Jr. congratulations on Saturday after he became the seventh member of the Seattle Mariners to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame.
"I just spoke how I felt," Trey said Monday after practice...
SEATTLE -- The stadium was packed to the brim with Griffey jerseys all standing, waiting for the entrance of an icon.
Then the seventh member of the Mariners Hall of Fame made his entrance from behind the centerfield fence, which he used to hit balls over and stop balls from sailing over. Walking over his own signature Number 24 with that patented smile on his face.
As Junior made...