I went to an interleague game at Safeco last May. Giants at Mariners: Randy Johnson was looking for career win #299 in his final start in Seattle (he gave up one run in 5.1 innings and left to a standing ovation), and the game ended in 12 innings on Jose Lopez’s RBI single off the left field wall, but the most memorable part of the night belonged to Ken Griffey, Jr.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a tied game, the 39-year-old Griffey approached the plate to the loudest I’ve ever heard a sports stadium — and I’d seen Griffey hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie a game in the Kingdome some sixteen or seventeen years prior. For four pitches, we were all on our feet, refusing to stop screaming or clapping, generating electricity, doing everything we could do to will this aging hero to one more feat of greatness.
On the fourth pitch, Griffey unleashed that classic swing, hit a towering fly ball to deep center, and for a few breathless seconds, as I tracked the ball’s flight, I was a kid again, full of wonder at my childhood idol… until Aaron Rowand made the catch at the wall.