Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/11/13
I turned 13 in 1995, the year Ken Griffey Jr. slid across home plate and saved baseball in Seattle. I grew up in Michigan, so my friends and I rooted for the Tigers. But there were two status symbols at baseball practice -- teal-brimmed Mariners hats and Griffey's high-top Nike cleats. To a baseball-obsessed teenager in those years, Griffey was unrivaled in his nationwide appeal. From more than 2,000 miles away, we talked about Griffey's home runs -- the towering shots at the Kingdome and those he denied with trademark leaps at the wall. He was so mesmerizing that he transformed the notion of fan allegiance for an entire generation: You had a favorite team. And you rooted for Griffey. Today's environment should make it even easier for fans to connect with non-home-team stars. We have the Internet, social media, national television packages, telecasts on tablets and smartphones. But we don't have a New Griffey. The Real Griffey -- now 43, retired for nearly three years, his son T...
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