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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

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."


at 10:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

great - go back to seattle then, jr. we'll buy your plane ticket. please. seriously. just go.

at 10:59 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Mr. anon 937 why don't you just go and we'll buy your one way plane ticket to parts unknown. Please just go!!! Jr will get #583 tonite!

at 11:08 PM Anonymous Sedi said...

I watched it...The thought that came to mind is; will we ever see a moment were a player has that kind of impact on an organization and community since Rose?...Would you elect Griffey to the Cincy Reds hall of fame?? It was very nice and I'm glad for him, but at the same time, I think he might have been better off somewhere else.

at 11:13 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think the stuff he said about '99 and being seperated from his family is very telling. I don't think he regrets the move. I think he's enjoyed his time with the Reds, despite the injuries. I equate to a college reunion. You don't want to go back to college, but when you go back to the place and the people, it stirs something in you.

at 2:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you really think he would get anything but the reception he got?
Ive been waiting 8 years to tell him thanks for the best 10 years in Seattle sports.
Seattle fans deep down knew when he left it was about family. Who can be mad at that?
I hope Jr. has 5 home runs, but the Mariners sweep Cincy...

at 3:24 AM Blogger Pat said...

i agree with dan h.

at 3:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 9:37.

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