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Ken Griffey Jr. as told by the people

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We asked and you responded. Dozens of anecdotes about The Kid to peruse on this, his Hall of Fame weekend.

Last month we solicited you, the community of Mariner fans as a whole, to share with us your experiences, stories, and legends of Ken Griffey Jr. The idea was to compile something that serves as a sort of collection, or storybook. While Lookout Landing is a place whose foundation is built on logic, and the application of the scientific process, that it uses those skills to try and better understand a futile and meaningless enterprise like baseball is a testament to something beyond that data, and perhaps even science.

Heroes are the things of children's fables, unwashed, illiterate peasants, and rubes, but they nonetheless capture something within us. Something that wants us to believe that there are those among us capable of better, something that longs to be inspired, something that yearns for greatness.

Time and cynicism may have largely stripped away my ability to believe in and create new heroes, but for myself, and I think many others, the impression that Ken Griffey Jr. left upon my childhood is incalculable, and incomparable. He was larger than life, our region's first true Superstar, and one of baseball's biggest, and last, national stars. Washing him clean of his failings in the public sphere, or for leaving the team twice under less than pleasant terms, is intellectually dishonest. However, so is focusing on those failings at the expense of appreciating the overwhelmingly positive impact he has had on baseball locally, regionally, and nationally.

You responded to our call, with dozens upon dozens of stories. As the Mariners take on the Blue Jays this morning, and a few hundred miles away Mariner fans from across the world gather to honor the franchise's first player inductee, take a peek through the digital pages of this, an online storybook.

If there's any truth in Jackie Robinson's words: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." then Ken Griffey Jr. has already lived a very important life indeed.

Happy induction, Junior. You'll always be my favorite, and there'll never be another.

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