Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Everyone's Favorite Baseball Player

I remember that night, in early June of 2010, when Junior announced his retirement. It was very unexpected (to say the least), and I wrote about it then, because I like to write my way through emotions. Now I'm not sure what else I have to say, but I still have these emotions...

Kirby Puckett has been my favorite baseball player since I could even have a favorite baseball player. Same goes for most kids born and raised in Minnesota at that time. Don't believe me? Go ask Joe Mauer who his favorite player is. But anyway... ever since I could have a second favorite baseball player, my second favorite baseball player was Ken Griffey Jr.

He was just too damn cool. The backwards hat. That smile. The swing.


I know I'm not alone by any means. There are Orioles fans whose favorite player is Cal Ripken Jr. ("But I loved Griffey"). Padres fans whose favorite player was Tony Gwynn ("But I loved Griffey"). Braves fans whose favorite player was... one of any number of players ("But I loved Griffey"). Cardinals fans whose favorite player was Mark McGwire ("But Griffey was awesome"). Giants fans whose favorite player was Barry.... ok, you get the point.

In the spring of 2011 I was at my Dad's house in Arizona with my older brother, and we were watching the Arizona D-Backs pre-game show on TV. One of the features was a kid interviewing their star, Justin Upton. The kid asked him, "Who was your favorite player growing up?" and before Justin answered I said, "Ken Griffey Jr." And then Justin said "Ken Griffey Jr." My brother was astounded. "How did you know that?"

It was just one of those moments where you smile, sigh, and shake your head.

Congratulations, Junior, on your Hall of Fame induction, everything you went through to get there, and getting there with the highest percentage of votes of any National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee ever.




(P.S. - And I will never, ever, EVER forget this.)

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