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The Griffey I Remember

The Griffey I Remember

Ken Griffey, Jr. was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Sunday. Accolades abound. The Seattle Times published a special section that chronicles his accomplishments on the field, his shenanigans in the clubhouse, and his commitment to

Make a Wish

I grew up in a baseball family. My dad tried out for the Seattle Rainiers after his stint in the Navy. He originally dreamed of having nine daughters for his very own softball team. I have fond memories of attending Cubs and Twins ball games at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma where I learned to keep score and recognize subtleties of the game. I was born a bit early to reap the benefits of Title IX so didn’t have the opportunity to play softball in high school but I did enjoy playing in tavern leagues in high school and college.

Of course, my kids would play, and come to love, baseball! And it was so easy with a guy like Griffey! For our children, especially our son Andy, Griffey was baseball. He and his friends emulated the swing, practiced (yes, practiced!) the drop of the bat while watching the imaginary home run, and, of course, wore their hats backward. Number 24 was the most sought after jersey in little league! For me as a parent, Griffey was, and remains, just the Kid who loved the game. He played with panache, with swagger, and with humility…he just played. But best of all, Griffey was a hero off the field too. As a parent I never had to make excuses for his behavior, never had to explain to my kids why he was arrested. Too bad that’s so rare.

The smile. The grin. The laugh. The play. Thanks for the memories, Kid. Congratulations!

- Staci Sleigh-Layman
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