A Tip of the Backwards Cap

I heard the news from three short words on Twitter.

Griffey is retiring.

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?