Griffey's Curtain Call? Not So Fast

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IFebruary 22, 2009

Yesterday was a day to celebrate, even if your not a Seattle Mariners' fan. If your a baseball fan, watching the Ken Griffey Jr., press conference meant something to you.

It meant the world to me seeing the man who made baseball fun for so many years return to where he belongs.

Junior reflected on his career in Seattle and made it known that Cincinnati is where he's from, but Seattle is where he grew up.

"I was raised in Cincinnati," he said. "But I grew up here."

That meant a lot to not just the organization, but to Griffey's fans as well. Everyone who has followed Junior's career will collectively drew the same conclusion, as we all really hoped Griffey finished his career in Seattle. It would only be right.

Finally, we will get our wish.

"We just need to have people feel good," Mariners President Chuck Armstrong said. "People need something to feel good about. And you know, I think it's good he had a choice, the fact that Ken had a choice and Seattle won."

"This will be a historic moment," added Armstrong.

But how close was Griffey's decision to choose the Braves?

"It was 50-50, 60-40, 30-70," Griffey said. "It was all over the place."

The more Griffey talked about the process, the more you got the idea that he just wanted someone to tell him it was alright to follow his heart.

His 13-year-old daughter Taryn told him, "Go to Seattle."

"Once she said that, I knew it was going to be OK," Griffey said.

It was a heartfelt moment because everyone who knows Griffey also knows how important his kids are to him. The main reason why Junior left Seattle almost a decade ago was to be closer to his kids.

This time, however, his kids knew where there dad belonged.

Furthermore, is this year the final one for Junior? Yes, Junior said he wants to end his career as a Seattle Mariner, but does that mean this is "the year"? It didn't sound like that.

"I think this is a step in the right direction," Griffey said

"Every play could be your last," he said. "That's the only thing that I've learned, that you're not promised tomorrow, so go out and play as hard as you can. At the end of this contract it will have been 20 years. So there's just a few years left. You have to figure out what you're going to do in the future."

"You only get one chance, you get one career. I'm going to play as long as I can."

Those words ring true for a lot of athletes, but for Junior, its because he still loves to play the game of baseball.

In the end, we all still love to watch Ken Griffey, Jr., with his hat backwards and his ear-to-ear smile.



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