Vote in Junior for the 2010 All-Star Game



Not sure how to really take the news yet. Might be a bit difficult for the next few days, but time and the countless video and tributes popping up on the Web from his countless legions of Nation-wide Baseball buddies and true fans of the game might ease the pain some what by the end of this weekend. For there is no more joy in SoDo, for the mighty enigma that was Junior has taken off his baseball uniform for the last time.

And as a Rays fan, I should hate Ken Griffey Junior and his Seattle Mariners, but they hold a special place in my heart. Seattle is not the city of my birth, but it was the city of my early youth, and a time when Tampa Bay was only a Spring baseball haven. I should hate Griffey Junior and what his Mariners’ team mate accomplished in the mid-1990′s , their insurmountable wins, the playoff fever, and even the final betray.

How many people outside of this two locales remember the bitter in-fighting for control for their lovable Mariners. How many remember the strife and quick search for a corporation to buy this cherished local icon and keep it in the Emerald City. And how incredible it was that a Japanese company that was based on the video game craze came to their rescue, along with emotional pleas from this great giant Junior who wanted the team to stay in this other “city by the bay”.

I could go on for pages and paragraphs for days on the heroics and the accomplishments of this icon of my generation. Be it his diplomatic mission for the United States, or maybe his ventures back to the city of his birth (Cincinnati) that formulated his middle years. It was this region of teal waters and blue skies that he made his mark. It was here in the Pacific Northwest that Griffey Junior moved out of his father’s giant shadow and brought his own flavor and panache to the game of baseball.


Always playing the game like he was still in his teens, even with countless injuries for reasons to slow down and take it easy. But he did not rest, he did not pout, he just threw out that million dollar smile and that splendid swing to take our breath away when we least expected it. Junior always seemed to keep that little boy in him, and that made him respect and honor the game.

I remember seeing him on the Visitor’s bench at Tropicana Field on May 14th and I called to him for an autograph. He looked tired, a bit drained but I told him it was my 50th birthday and the only thing I wanted was the signature of my generational hero. He chuckled and a friend who works in the Visitor’s clubhouse told him I was alright and he came over bouncing like a kid, smiling and happy at the praise that was raining down on him from the stands.

He did me a square solid, and now it is my turn to return the favor of him taking his time out for me. I propose that we, as a MLBlogs.com community unite and cast numerous ballots between now and the end of the voting period for Ken Griffey Junior for the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim, California. What better way to show the National respect and honor he has shown us than to get him elected to the 2010 American League All-Star game squad.

And this action might not take much more than being a bit more consistent with our voting power between now and the end of the voting period. Junior is already in second place in the American League Designated Hitters spot for the All-Star game, and our critical votes might just boost him into that coveted slot. Some people say that since he has “retired” he cannot be considered for the position, but I have it on great authority that he can still be selected, and accepted onto the squad.

Can you think of another player in the last 10 years who at the end of his career was still not a pleasure to see on a baseball field than Griffey Junior. The guy is a classic example oft he word “sports icon”. He has been graceful, spirited and totally a true ambassador of the game from Day One to the End. I should have a level of hatred or solid reasoning for not liking Junior because of what he did to ruin a chance for us to field a baseball team before 1998.


But I can’t hate a single bone in his body. Can’t find the reasoning or the seasoning to push him into the dark without wanting to see him again on top and get to say a formal goodbye to 30,000+ of my friends in Anaheim during All-Star week. In an era where cheating took a chemical advantage, his name was never mentioned or spoken about. In a time when distrust and hurt feeling centered all out hearts after the baseball strike, he just stepped to the plate and hit.

Junior is my Michael Jordan, he is my Tim Tebow, he has been that force in the game of baseball that seemed to remain pure and rightious for the sake of the game. Griffey Junior to me for so many years was the game of baseball, but the games will still go on without him.

And the American League pitchers’ no longer have to fear him standing in the On-Deck circle. But I think he needs to put that baseball uniform on one more time, just to see how it feels….during the 2010 All-Star game….Batter up!
 

7 Comments

Wonderful tribute to the kid Cliff and I think is a great idea to have him one more time at the All-Star game!
You have a way with words my friend! I LOVE your post in my blog about John Wooden. I can just picture him up there with that clipboard and whistle but you know he also loved baseball!
.
When I saw the All-Star special pepsi bottles at the market, I thought about you.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Emma,
Thank you for that, but Coach Wooden will hit his first love first….The ball might be a bit bigger, but it isn’t bigger than his heart for the game.
Way with words……Got to say I lost my way for 30 years, but I do love to write, especially about the things I enjoy in life.
The Kid deserved that tribute….but I might have missed the mark in time to be considered for the MLBlogs.com front page
But then again, it is a passion to love baseball and its players I enjoy, not the notable front page segments….

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Griffey Jr. just played the game right, and there is no other way to say it. Watching him leap up an outfield wall and snag the ball was amazing, but then to see him run off the field with the largest smile across his face just shows how much we enjoyed himself. He is an example that every ball player and person should follow. Nice signing story…
I will have to vote for KGJ for the ASG now, in honor of a great person. I just wish he could have gone more gracefully…
http://stlcardinals06.mlblogs.com/

Cards,
I hope more people take that stance too.
To look beyond just his achievements on the field, but see what he did to the game in the stands and in his diplomatic duties for his country.
Unlike his peers, Griffey Junior has never, ever been connected with performance enhancing whispers or thoughts. That in itself is amazing considering his HR total and his overall endurance in the game.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Do it!! Vote him him in. Like they did with Reggie Jackson and so many more heroes us fans wanted in the game to be able to give em that last bit of appreciation.
mike

Mike,
I knew that you would be the one eho remembers the fan homage to Reggie Jackson by getting him to the All-Star pedestal.
It is just something I firmly believed in, and support with my last breath.
He is a true First Ballot Hall of Fame member, and I look forward to him speaking on that day, and cherish the baseball more today than on my birthday.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Check out this site! http://vote24junior.blogspot.com/

Read past previous and future post. Help put Ken Griffey Jr. into the 2010 MLB All-Star Game.

Happy Voting Everyone!

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