Game 70, Reds at Mariners

Dave · June 22, 2007 at 6:21 pm · Filed Under Game Threads 

Harang vs Feierabend, 7:05 pm.

For a lot of people, tonight is a big deal. Ken Griffey Jr returns to Seattle for the first time since he was traded to the Reds, and the M’s are rolling out the welcome mat. They’re having a welcome back pre-game ceremony, had him autograph 1,000 commemorative “Griffey returns” baseballs, and have been pushing this series as a must see event all year. It’s Junior coming back to where it all started and the city is basking in nostalgia.

And I know it’s weird, but I don’t care. I tried to, but I don’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fond memories of Griffey as a Mariner. I am the target audience for this kind of thing. I was nine years old when Jr made his major league debut, and he was the star of the show as I learned how to fall in love with baseball. I had the Upper Deck rookie card and the candy bar. I loved the home run swing, the leaping catches, the backward hat, and everything that went along with The Kid. When he broke his wrist catching the Kevin Bass flyball in 1995, I remember a hopeful season being flushed down the drain. And I remember where I was when he took John Wetteland yard for a game winning home run three months later to ignite the amazing comeback. I jumped up and down when he raced around the bases to beat the Yankees just like everyone else, and I cried when the Indians ended the dream a week later.

Junior was a huge part of my childhood. But he was never the player that I admired. For me, that guy was Alvin Davis, then Dave Valle, Erik Hanson, Bill Swift, Dave Fleming, Brian Turang, Darren Bragg, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Mike Jackson, Mike Cameron, Chris Snelling, and now, Felix.

Those were the guys that I loved, that I adopted as my own. Why? I don’t know, honestly. I can explain some of them, but others, they’re inexplicable. And it’s okay, because they’re emotional attachments, which aren’t the most rational thing on earth to begin with.

But Junior never cracked that group. He was always the great player, the franchise, the most talented player I’d ever seen. But I rooted for him because he was a Mariner and admired him for his abilities, but the deep emotional attachment that others are remembering? I don’t have that with Junior. I never did.

I don’t begrudge anyone their nostalgia, and for a lot of people, I’m sure tonight is going to be a lifelong memory. That’s awesome. I hope you have a great time.

When they do a welcome back for Brian Turang, call me. I’ll be fired up for that.


208 Responses to “Game 70, Reds at Mariners”

  1. Karen on June 23rd, 2007 5:41 pm

    I thought Junior and his son Trey looked more emotional and affected by all the adulation than his wife, who’s apparently a native of the area. She just looked pissed until she came up and stood alongside of him for pictures.

    I’d heard she didn’t like living here, but from the look on her face you’d think people had treated her like Red Sox fans treated Clemens’ wife when he became a Blue Jay/Yankee.

    38. Gomez Says: 29 – I’d like to hear of any other teams that have done this, and when.

    About 8 years ago Carlton Fisk retired a White Sox, but was inducted into the Red Sox HOF and got this kind of ceremony for his years of service as a Red Sox in the 70s and beginning of the 80s.

    39. MedicineHat Says: I have a hard time getting excited for a guy who demanded a trade, then limitd it to one team and, for as much good as he did Seattle, totally screwed them upon his exit. I have much more respect for a guy who just becomes a free agent and leaves for the sole purpose of more money. At least we know that person isn’t two-faced liar.

    I wouldn’t say the players the M’s received for Griffey were a case of them being “screwed”. And Griffey didn’t lie one iota. He said what he wanted, and he was within his 10-5 and no-trade-clause rights, as someone else said. It was ARod who lied straightfaced while leaving “for the sole purpose of more money” (yada, yada, yada).

    48. Paul B Says: Anyone know why Junior wears #3 now?
    I think they said during the broadcast that he wears #3 to honor his father, who wore the number. And he wore #24 because that was Willie Mays’ number.

  2. Karen on June 23rd, 2007 5:42 pm

    (wait a minute, it was more than 8 years ago — it was 1995 –that Carlton Fisk retired… 🙂 boy, how time flies)

  3. msb on June 23rd, 2007 5:50 pm

    I’d heard she didn’t like living here, but from the look on her face you’d think people had treated her like Red Sox fans treated Clemens’ wife when he became a Blue Jay/Yankee.

    Melissa often looked pissy (you could easily see the family section in the mostly empty Kingdome and sometimes it was more entertaining than the game)– I think it may just be her general expression; dunno if it actually mirrors her feelings ….

    Paul B Says: Anyone know why Junior wears #3 now?

    Tony Perez’ 24 was retired, so he chose 30 for his dad, and when he decided he needed a change, he took 3 for the three kids.

  4. Rain Delay on June 23rd, 2007 5:55 pm

    201- He wore #30 to honor his dad, and when his dad left the Reds, he changed to #3 to honor his 3 kids.

  5. Rain Delay on June 23rd, 2007 5:55 pm

    ooop, msb beat me to it.

  6. terry on June 23rd, 2007 6:24 pm

    #210: I saw her wiping tears from her eyes a couple of times.

  7. earinc on June 23rd, 2007 10:38 pm

    193: the difference isn’t whether you read USSM or not. The difference is, I paid $20 for my seat and couldn’t see home plate without looking right across an aisle. I was on the very left end of section 320 in right field. I couldn’t see home plate any time someone walked down that aisle in front of me. And wouldn’t you know, there was someone walking down that aisle right in front of me more often than not, and I had to crane my neck to see anything. And I couldn’t help but notice that most of these people keeping me from watching the game clearly couldn’t give a shit as to what was going on in the game. So yes, I was frustrated. But not because I’m a better fan than them, but because they were keeping me from enjoying what I paid for.

  8. Wishhiker on June 24th, 2007 2:37 am

    Griffey had #24 because, like me, he was a huge fan of Henderson. He grew up around Henderson quite a bit. He played Basketball and catch with him among other things beginning when his father was teammates with Rickey in NY. It’s accurate to say that it’s because it was Mays’ number, because that’s why Henderson wore it…

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