Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bringing back "The Grandpa"

I've been following with amused interest all the jibber-jabber about the Mariners possibly bringing back Ken Griffey, Jr., for a curtain call in 2009.

Blog posters and news site commentators are all atwitter about the idea, many positively weepy with sentimentality about the return of the great warrior, who will fill the stands with adoring fans and bring back memories of the good old days.


Weisenheimer is old enough -- but just barely! -- to recall the return of Willie Mays to New York with the Mets in 1972 and '73. Watching the Sey Hey Kid totter around under pop-ups was not a pretty sight. I'm not sure how the Big Apple reacted to the return. Folks there still go ape when Yogi doffs his cap on old timers day, but I'm pretty sure they don't want him to suit up and get behind the plate.

Furthermore, the hero's welcome Griffey received on a return to town a couple of years ago puzzles me. For all of his greatness in the field, Junior always seemed to go out of his way to give you a reason to dislike him, right up to his messy and acrimonious departure. Despite his immense talent, he never became a beloved figure; at least two teammates -- Edgar and Buhner -- were and are far more appreciated in town. Griffey got the photo op (above from the PI) for the play that saved baseball in Seattle, but it was Edgar's moment.

I'm ambivalent about Griffey's return. I haven't purchased a ticket to see the Mariners for several years, and Junior will not make it more or less likely that I will do so in 2009. He may well be the best "veteran" lefty bat out there.

In the spring 20 years ago Griffey crashed the lineup at age 19 and stuck with the Mariners for 11 seasons of often electric performances. I prefer to remember the Kid.

1 comment:

Sweetie the Official Scorer said...

I'm with you. All the talk of a possible return does have me remembering the days when we bought 20 game packages (and could afford it, even early in our careers!) and went to the Kingdome for our baseball dates. And of course we still have all my scorecards from those games. He was beautiful to watch. But -- he's my age! That means he's washed up! Wait a minute...