Griffey's Leadership Propels Mariners to Opening Day Win

Matt BakerContributor IApril 7, 2009

14 Jun 1998: Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in action during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Mariners 4-3.

Ken Griffey Jr. came out on Opening Day first and foremost to get his team a win.

In his first at-bat against Minnesota, Griffey grounded out to second to advance Adrian Beltre to third base. Griffey showed his teammates that he is worried about nothing other than helping his team win the game.

As he said in his post-game interview, "You think I know stats?"

Where his groundout was a clear message to his devotion to his team, his home run in the fifth was the exclamation point.

Everybody knew it was coming except Junior. We keep waiting for him to claim he was "just trying to make contact."

His first shot of the year, eighth on opening days, and 612th overall, Junior brought the magic that Seattle has been waiting for all spring training long.

Believe it, Mariners fans. The Kid is back. The magic is back. After 2009, Opening Day gives Seattle hope. Enough hope to pick up this team and carry them back into a winning season, if not the playoffs.