I’m not sure there was better timing for two players who were once paraded around the field on the shoulders of their teammates: Griffey weekend in Seattle and Ichiro reaching 3,000.
It was the perfect end to a perfect sports weekend in this city.
From the Hydros on Lake Washington, to the Hod Rods in Kent, to the Seahawks holding another sold-out Training Camp in Renton and Griffey’s Hall of Fame weekend at Safeco, we again showed how special this region is – how supportive our fan base is across such a wide spectrum of competitions.
We proved once again how incredible – and diverse – this sports town can be.
And based on the goosebumps we all felt last night at Safeco Field, the Mariners deserve the biggest kudos of all.
I mean, we expected the M’s to pull out all the stops for Griffey – they always seem to on special occasions. But this one was simply incredible.
From the video tributes, to having not just his former teammates, but Seattle sports luminaries on the field as well – the ceremony to retire Junior’s Number 24 was one for the ages. From Spencer Haywood and Gary Payton to Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy (Remember, this was Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio! Instead of being in Ohio with other football Hall of Famers, Largent and Tez were here in Seattle, on hand to personally celebrate “The Kid.”).
And who knows? Junior’s powerful statement at the end might’ve actually had an impact on the current team.
"To the guys to my left, keep fighting. And to the fans, keep supporting these guys,” Griffey said.
They will. Just like they showed up in droves to honor Griffey this weekend, they’ll show up when the M’s finally make that postseason run - like they always show up for the Seahawks and Sounders and Storm - and like they show up each year on the water for the Hydros and in Kent for the NHRA.
Because this weekend once again showed the true value – and diversity - of local sports. Let me repeat: The VALUE of local sports.
Just look atop the Space Needle: The 24 flag waiving strong. I’m so incredibly proud of that – and proud of our city as a whole. And I know many others felt that pride this weekend too.