Ken Griffey Junior’s induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame last night was fascinating. The energy inside a sold out stadium was unmatched. Junior’s presence alone was enough to command the crowd. But the induction ceremony did the moment justice, leaving few dry eyes in a house full of fans re-living their youth and re-living some of the best moments in franchise history.
The Mariners have always been good at that. Putting on classy, memorable events that capture the essence of the moment.
A shame we don’t have more recent moments to re-live.
The image of Junior’s teary-eyed face after a video tribute from his son, Trey, was heartwarming. So was the moment when Jay Buhner used his own tie to wipe his tears. And of all the video tributes – from Bud Selig to Willie Mays, Ichiro’s words might have been the best of all.
Kudos to the marketing and event staff for another stellar job.
But crowds like last night remind us how much of a baseball town we are. How much energy a pennant run can galvanize this entire city.
It’s been too long and we deserve more.
Which brings me to one of the more awkward moments of the night – Griffey’s praise of Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong. For all the negative feelings toward both men from the fan base only Griffey could make a crowd applaud their efforts – eventually at least.
Best part is I couldn’t agree more. Check our past commentaries – my asking them to resign has nothing to do with their passion for the Mariners or their desire to win games. It has everything to do with results.
Of course they want to win. So did Tyrone Willingham with the Huskies. So did Jim Mora with the Seahawks. And every Mariners manager since Lou Piniella.
The key word is accountability. They’re not being held accountable.
The plane flew high above Safeco Field on a magical night, barely visible, but the sentiment rang true.
“Congrats Jr. But Lincoln and Armstrong gotta go.”