Jr in bronze . . .

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see this stunning work of art in person . . .

I was actually working from home the day it was unveiled (Thursday, April 13th) but, didn’t realize until too late that the unveiling was occurring (otherwise, I could have at least watched it on TV/Twitter, etc.)

Thankfully, there are plenty of pics/videos on social media – the detail is impeccable . . .

#24EVER ~ the ceremony to celebrate an unbelievable career

What a night, what a career, what a celebration!

Saying the Mariners do ceremony well is a serious understatement.
So easy to get engrossed in the moments, the memories and the emotions that you can almost forget that after the celebration, there’s still a baseball game to watch 🙂

Processed with MOLDIV

prepping for the ceremony

The M’s pulled out all the stops, deservedly so, for Junior . . .
from the 24 in center field, on either side of home plate and even flying in the sky to baseball 24’s in person (Rickey Henderson and Tony Perez) and other famous 24’s on the video screen (Jeff Gordon and Kobe Bryant)

from fellow Seattle Hall of Famers (Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Spenser Haywood and Gary Payton) to all of the current M’s wearing backwards caps and 24 jerseys during batting practice to video tributes from none other than Hank Aaron and Willie Mays and the announcement that Junior’s sweet swing will be immortalized in the form of a statue outside Safeco Field next season ❤

And, of course, Junior added an impromptu touch of his own with a call to Mr. Mays 😉



And then, the culmination, Junior’s daughter Taryn helped unveil the ultimate 24


I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so thankful I got to see it in person with my Dad!




tweets of the celebration . . . 

Cooperstown now has a Mariner . . . #JrHoF

So many memories ~ Congratulations, Junior!

Junior’s speech was heartfelt, extremely emotional and full of obvious love for Seattle – even included a plug for ‘Gar for HoF 🙂 I will admit a tinge of surprise disappointment that he didn’t mention Lou Piniella or Dave Niehaus (iconic Mariners, in my mind).

All in all, it was a very special day for Jr and for the Mariners and their fans ❤

Here’s a little collection of tweets to help the stories live forever in our memories . . .


Though they stood at the same position today ~ behind the HoF podium ~ curious that they represent opposite ends of the baseball spectrum, in terms of draft position . . .

Griffey was the first #1 draft pick to make it to the Hall and Piazza the lowest (1390) draftee to be enshrined ~ congrats to both on their esteemed careers.


24 minutes with #24

I wasn’t able to attend but, from everything I’ve seen, heard and read, it was an absolutely incredible evening of celebration ~ not to mention a totally mutual love fest ~ as Ken Griffey, Jr. became the 7th inductee in to the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame, joining: Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson.

Thanks to all those who provided the following video clips, photos, links and tweets that captured the evening and almost made me feel I was there . . .


VIDEO TRIBUTES ~ memories of “the Kid”







Interesting to note that WHEN Ken Griffey,  Jr. is enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame . . .
LIKELY via first ballot, POSSIBLY via a unanimous selection and DEFINITELY the ONLY first round draft pick in enshrined in Cooperstown.






Pricey batboys and rookie coaches

Yes it’s early spring and the first intra-squad game has been played.
~ Pitchers got some work in (17 in all threw at least one inning)
~ Fielders made some plays (Figgy and Jose at their ‘new’ positions, Dustin looking like he belongs)
~ Hitters got some hits (Jose 2-2 w/a double, Jr with a bunt base hit – oops! who was covering 1st?)

And then, there were the bat boys complete with “BB” taped to the back of their jerseys.

                             courtesy Shannon Drayer’s blog

Apparently today, Jr. and Sweeney will don whistles and carry clipboards for the role play of the day.

What a fun bunch.  Wish I was there.

The simultaneous encore and finale begin…

Larry LaRue’s blog

So last October, we thought this was it. But, ‘t wasn’t long into the off-season before we found out that there would be an encore to the finale.

Junior is back and he arrived in Peoria today.
Apparently, his presence in the clubhouse stirred quite the ruckus

To new third baseman Chone Figgins: “You looked a lot bigger in red.” To center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who signed a four-year, $20.25 million contract over the winter: “I’ll be getting some of your money now that you got that big contract.” Griffey is the judge of the team’s kangaroo court. Pointing to new pitcher Cliff Lee: “I’m going to throw bunting practice to pitchers this year. That guy might get one behind his back.” Six years ago, Lee was suspended for six games after throwing a pitch behind Griffey during an interleague game between the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds.

“It got a lot louder in there,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “It’s amazing how one guy can change the karma of a room.”

And maybe, just maybe, the karma of a season.

One more year….

At the onset of his initial return, I dubbed it Real and Right as Rain. That is exactly how it ended up.

Okay, the true story book ending would have been World Series rings all around for the navy and teal. But, hey, you can’t have everything ~ not in just one year anyway.

It really turned out better than anyone could have imagined. Sure, it would have been nice if Junior had been totally healthy and capable of playing like he did in his first ten years instead of the second ten. But, despite his limited playing time and declining ability, he was able to make a HUGE impact on what had previously been such a MARK HARRISON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

dysfunctional clubhouse. His mere presence – that smile and his unadulterated joy for game – acted as an elixir for all that ailed the young and scared, the old and injured and the just plain burnt out.

From all accounts it was, and is, all genuine. Junior truly cares about this entire organization, all his teammates and each and every person in it, from the clubhouse guy, to the PR people.
Junior, by word and deed, made the game what it is supposed to be, for the players one through twenty-five and for the fans. He made if fun again.

There are those who think, from a baseball standpoint, this is not a move that should have been made. I can understand that view, I just don’t happen to agree. Early indications, from reporters and even from his own agent, are that Junior is willing to play whatever role is best for the team – likely one more limited than even last season. This gives the M’s flexibility from a financial and personnel standpoint and is only going to serve to further strengthen what was started last season. In other words, this move is not going to hinder other moves – Jack Z is just getting started!

I, for one, am so very glad that the fans will be able to give Junior a season long send off. He deserves it. So do they.

And so we have one more year…
One more year to bask in that contagious smile.
One more year to savor that presence at the plate.
One more year to admire that sweet, sweet swing.
One more year to revel in that unadulterated joy of the game.

One more year to say goodbye.

btw ~ the Seattle Mariners won 24 more games last season than the year before. Some may deem it a coincidence. I think not.

09 ~ the year he came home….



And so it begins….

The season that will be forever known as “the year that Griffey came back“.
Well, absent of miracle occurrence surmounting the fact 😉

In case you missed it, here’s a rerun of the post that birthed this blog.

And, here are some other links to recent writings re: Junior’s return…


Ken Griffey Jr. returns to Seattle a grown man | Larry Stone

Griffey’s firm belief is that horseplay and ribbing in spring fosters meaningful dialogue when issues inevitably crop up.

“It’s all about getting together, making good friendships, and carrying that onto the field,” he said. “It’s trust — like, hey, if he can get on me, and I can get on him, we can talk later if there’s something I need to bring up. Instead of not talking to somebody, and all of a sudden you need to confront him on something. If you don’t have that friendship, they’ll look at you like you’re crazy.

“It’s a little different with me, because I have 20 years. People look at it a little differently than someone with four or five. But I’m not going to be the guy to embarrass somebody. I’ve never done that. If I have something to say, I’ll pull them aside. Because that’s the way I’d want someone to do it to me.

“We can agree to disagree, or come to some sort of understanding. But there’s not 15 guys trying to take sides. It’s just two guys. No one wants to be backed into a corner. First thing they do is come out swinging.”

After one game this spring, a weary looking Russ Branyan entered the clubhouse.

“Where do you find the energy to lift after these games,” he asked Griffey.

“You just got to dig deep. Dig deep,” Griffey responded.


Age 39 in baseball – is it good or bad? | Larry Stone
Favorite memories about Ken Griffey, Jr. |
The Seattle Times
Ken Griffey, Jr. trivia | The Seattle Times

Two HoF’ers ~ one elusive goal

This is going to be fun!

Griffey-Ichiro: Odd couple or dynamic duo | John McGrath

The Mariners marketing slogan for 2009 – “A New Day, A New Way” – might need to be expanded to “A New Day, A New Way – and a New Odd Couple.”They met in 1995, when Griffey already was renowned for his Spider-Man fence-climbing feats and Ichiro was an obscurity everywhere but in his homeland.

“He came over to see Michael Jordan and me,” Griffey recalled Saturday during his “introductory” press conference at the Mariners spring-training complex in Peoria, Ariz. “We knew what kind of baseball player he was going to be.”

By then, Ichiro knew what kind of baseball player Griffey was. He owned a Seattle No. 24 jersey, perhaps the only item in Ichiro’s eclectic wardrobe ensemble that his future teammate wouldn’t dare mock.

When Griffey goes casual, he wears warm-up jackets, nylon sweat pants and top-of-the-line sneakers. On those special occasions requiring him to dress up, he wears warm-up jackets, nylon sweat pants and top-of-the-line sneakers.

Ichiro? He prefers the look of somebody who’s been invited to the Grammy Awards. The, uh, 1984 Grammy Awards.

“We might have to change his wardrobe,” Griffey said. “He can’t wear skinny ties. Those went out with Duran Duran.”

It broke up the room, but couched in Griffey’s wisecrack was the promise the Mariners really might embrace a new day and a new way, at least in the clubhouse. When was the last time one of Ichiro’s teammates needled him about his colorful clothes? When Jay Buhner still had a locker at Safeco Field?


Imagine. A former superstar who once tied a big-league record by hitting homers in eight consecutive games, who surely regarded the concept of a “productive out” as the ultimate oxymoron, preaching the virtues of whatever it takes.

He’s remembered as a monster masher capable of taking four bases with one swing. He returns as a subtle tactician, content to sustain rallies one base at a time.

“I might not hit 50 homers,” Griffey said. “I might not hit 40 homers. I might not hit 30 homers. “But I can do the little things you don’t look at in the box score – the things that help win ballgames.”

If Griffey does the little things that help win ballgames, Ichiro will be happy to do the little things, too. And if two future Hall of Famers – with a combined 21 All-Star Games, 18 Gold Gloves, two MVP awards and 4,584 hits – are doing the little things, then undisciplined free swingers such as Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez will have no choice but to get on board.