Tag Archives: Ken Griffey Jr.

Reliving The 1995 ALDS, Game 5, Yankees vs. Mariners

griffey95It has been exactly 14 years and six days since that fateful evening in October when the Mariners toppled the mighty New York Yankees to advance to the 1995 American League Championship Series.

In honor of the annual playoff atmosphere consuming Major League Baseball this time of year, MLB Network broadcast the original footage of the final game of the ’95 American League Divisional Series between the M’s and Yankees earlier this afternoon. In its entirety, the contest was absolutely spectacular, culminating in Edgar Martinez’s historic double and Ken Griffey Jr.’s franchise-altering slide.

I was able to catch the second half of the game on TV today (originally broadcast on ABC, and narrated by veteran play-by-play man Brent Musberger) and noticed a few interesting things that may have been forgotten over time. It’s a trip down memory lane, and if you’re a Mariners fan, you’ll love it. My observations, in bullet point format:

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In The End, Griffey Experiment Worked To Perfection

APTOPIX Rangers Mariners BaseballThey celebrated like a playoff-bound team, despite the fact that their season had just come to a close. A third-place finish in a four-team division is not often cause for celebration, but for all accounts and purposes this ballclub was a winner.

Before the year began, forecasters pegged the Seattle Mariners for a .500 record or worse. An 81-81 showing would be a 20-game improvement over the year prior, and a positive step in the right direction.

By Sunday afternoon, when the 2009 season ultimately came to its conclusion, the M’s had posted a record of 85-77. They finished eight games over .500 and 24 games better than a miserable 101-loss 2008 campaign.

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Coming To Grips With Ken Griffey Jr.’s Impending Retirement

griffeyms2Often times in journalism we tend to settle for objectivity when passion is more apt for the situation.

So when we hear the realists and the fact-mongers going off about Ken Griffey, Jr. and his all-but-sealed fate — retirement — it can sting those of us who lack the objective nature to evaluate a passionate situation through a gray lens.

If you grew up in the late-’80s and early-’90s in Seattle, chances are you formed a bond with Ken Griffey, Jr. that cannot be evaluated by any statistic or rational explanation. We all know that Junior has a special relationship with the people of this region, but none moreso than with the children who idolized him during a period of mutual growth.

While we were in elementary school and junior high, The Kid was a babyfaced teenager roaming the Astroturf outfield of the Kingdome. As we evolved, so did he. And together we endured life on separate plains, albeit in close proximity to one another.

He was a superstar, a millionaire, a budding legend. He had his own shoe, a video game, even a candy bar. He hit home runs, won MVP awards, and struck fear into men twice his age.

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It’s August, Junior Is Batting .220, And We Don’t Care

griffeynewKen Griffey, Jr. is batting .220 and I don’t care.

You shouldn’t care either.

Who really gives a damn what Junior hits? The dude is playing and he’s playing in a Mariners uniform and that’s all that really matters.

Yeah, I guess it’d be nice if he was hitting a little better, but even six months after we brought the guy back, all I care about is that he’s still here.

Whether you’ve been out to Safeco Field twenty times, ten times, or even just once, seeing Junior in an M’s jersey is still a surreal moment.

If you grew up on Junior’s heroics in the Dome, you appreciate the man simply for playing the game in front of you once again.

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