King County Executive Dow Constantine today issued the following statement as the Seattle Mariners retire Ken Griffey Jr.'s number.
"Ken Griffey Jr. was perhaps the greatest player of his generation, and will forever be an icon of Northwest sport.
"He was the nucleus of the 1995 Mariners team that did nothing less than save baseball in the Pacific Northwest. He led that team in creating a profound, shared experience that will remain with all who witnessed it for the rest of our lives. If not for Griffey’s heroics, no one would ever have had the chance to enjoy a beautiful summer evening at Safeco Field.
"The Mariners were a mile out of playoff contention on August 24, 1995, when my father, brother and I decided to attend the game in the Kingdome against the Yankees. We sat down toward the right field corner. With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, and the game tied, Ken Griffey Jr. stepped to the plate. He was just back from a three-month stint on the disabled list, having broken his wrist in May making another spectacular play against the center field wall.
"Griffey promptly launched a walk-off home run right over our heads, and ignited one of the most improbable comebacks in major league history, leading the Mariners to their first playoff appearance.
"There was never any question that Junior would have a home in Cooperstown. But he will always have a home here in King County, in the hearts of the legions of fans who were fortunate enough to personally witness his greatness."
FOR MORE INFORMAITON, CONTACT:
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250