Griffey return, Part II
The ovation Ken Griffey Jr. received from the fans before ranks as one of the sweetest moments you'll see in the baseball.
The fans were on their feet before the ceremony began. The cheers were deafening. There were a few wet eyes in the house when Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner came out to present Griffey with a framed photo of Safeco Field, or as announcer Dave Niehaus called it "The House Junior Built."
Griffey kept it together during his remarks. He did take a couple of deep breathes, and bit his lower lip a few times.
He mostly said thanks:
"Never could I imagine that it would be like this coming back. I spent eleven years here, eleven wonderful years here. I met my beautiful wife here, two of my three kids were born here. This place will be home.
"Everybody talks about ’95, me running around the bases, but to tell you the truth, it was Jay. He was in there everyday in the locker room telling everybody, ‘screw the wild card, we can win this.’ We were all young and didn’t really know any better and Jay said ‘Let’s do this!’ and I said ‘alright, let’s do it’.
"Edgar was the motor behind it because he protected me. I owe it all to these guys, these guys right here. These guys have been my supporting cast since 1989, on and off the field. I love Jay and Edgar to death, without those two guys, who knows where I’d be because they mean so much to me.
"And last, I just want to thank you guys (the fans), for being in the outfield and supporting us when we were terrible and not giving up on us. [Then came] the 1995 season and you guys are here 40,000 deep every night rooting us on. I don’t know too many of the guys over there, I haven’t played against many of you guys, but every day I look in the box score to see what you guys do. I get a couple of phone calls from Rick, letting me know what’s going on. Y’all just keep pushing because this city is all yours.
"I didn’t realize how much I missed being in Seattle. Flying in from Oakland, coming in over the mountains, [seeing] how pretty it was, landing at Boeing Field, driving up I-5, passing the ballpark, brought back so many great memories of being here.
"And last, I’d just like to say thank you for allowing me to go out there and do what I do."