Hi everyone! I've been lumbering around on this site for a little while now and, until recently, I was content to read and occasionally inject a banal comment to further the discussion. I hadn't felt the desire to post anything until today, when I was making my rounds on Grantland, I saw this article.
It's a piece about Ken Griffey Junior, one of the greatest players in our beloved franchise's short history, written by former Seattle Weekly editor Mike Seely. However, it's not exactly an adulatory puff; rather, it seems to be analyzing the relationship that Seattle's fanbase seems to have with Griffey. In the article, Seely wades through an analogy to the Danny McBride comedy The Foot Fist Way, which I just found out is an actual thing that exists. It's a brief read, but one nugget stuck out in particular.
"If you were to boil down the relationships of the average Mariners fan to the team’s few-and-far-between stars over the years, you could say that Griffey was the shimmering first love who broke his heart; Randy Johnson was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks that he couldn’t take home to mom and dad; Edgar Martinez was his first wife; Ichiro Suzuki was a mysterious affair; and Felix Hernandez is being fitted for a ring as his second fiancée."
The analogy is a little odd, because baseball and romantic comedies have always been paired well since the groundbreaking Ben Affleck vehicle Fever Pitch, and because Felix has already been fitted for the ring we got him. However, the point behind it helped me to understand some of the obsession with Griffey. After all, I was born in 1992; I was 3 when Griffey ran from first to home on an Edgar hit, so my respective memory of his early accomplishments is appropriately hazy.
In full disclosure, my thoughts on Griffey aren't enormously positive. My defining Griffey memories aren't from '95, nor his 50+ homer seasons, but rather his trade demand, his time as a Cincinnati Red, and his last stint with the team that lasted a half season too long. However, this could be due more to my age and collective memory, rather than any reasonable bias.
So, on the eve of The Kid's Mariners HOF induction, the question I ask of you is a simple one: What do you think of Ken Griffey Junior? The goal of this post is to discuss, reminisce, and take a look at Griffey the Man versus Griffey the Myth.
I thank you for reading, and Go Mariners!