An old timer took advice from two Hall of Fame old timers to make his decision where he would spend his final days in baseball.
It was announced today on ESPN.com that Ken Griffey Jr. has chosen the Seattle Mariners over the Atlanta Braves contradicting speculation and early reports that he chose Atlanta.
Willie Mays and Hank Aaron helped him to choose.
Griffey’s agent, Brian Goldberg, told ESPN:
“[They said] ‘You have to do what you want to do…Go by how you want to be remembered for the next 50 years after you’re done.’”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
So Griffey signed a one year, $2 million deal with the team who got him started. He decided to return to the fans who celebrated with him as he became an All-Star every single year he was with them and a Gold Glove to match each year.
I think it is appropriate. I felt Griffey should have gone back to Seattle. He was loved there. Why go to a new city where, sure the fans would appreciate him, but not have any genuine love for him?
Seattle fans loved Griffey. They celebrated the accomplishments he had with them, with him. He already has a relationship with them. They are his family.
When he takes that final at-bat, it will be a sad day in Safeco Park. Yet it will also be a celebrated one.
For it will be these fans who will celebrate his accomplishments and his journey through baseball. They will be the ones to celebrate that moment when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Not only that, but I felt he belonged in the American League anyway. That boy just can’t field like he used to. It comes with the age buddy.