I heard the news from three short words on Twitter.
With those three words I irretrievably lost a constant in my existence as a baseball fan. His sweet, sweet swing was no longer a given fact.
I’m not gonna lie, there was never a point where “Griffey” was my answer to the question “Who is your favorite Mariner?” I’ve always gravitated more towards the less sung heroes. I was one of those who thought he should have retired after last season and his continued presence in the dugout irked me because I felt like it was bad for the team.
Griffey is retiring.
Upon hearing those three simple words I was blown away by the emotion that washed over me. I can’t believe how emotional I still feel. The full impact of what he has meant to the Mariners, to Seattle, to baseball is overwhelming to take in all at once.
There’s nothing I can say about Junior that a million Mariners fans won’t already be saying. The smile, the backwards cap, his time with the Make A Wish kids, his mischievous practical jokes, those catches, that swing!
Ken Griffey Jr. is without a doubt the most naturally talented player I will see in my lifetime. I have been so incredibly lucky to be a Mariners fan and a part of his career from the beginning.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a baseball fan without him around, but because of Griffey there is still baseball in Seattle. What better legacy could he leave than that?