Follow us:

Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

February 18, 2009 at 9:10 PM

Say hey! Give Mays an assist on Griffey

Many of you have probably heard the story by now, but it’s worth re-telling. Turns out that Harold Reynolds has been working feverishly behind the scenes trying to convince his old buddy Junior to sign with Seattle. His trump card was none other than Willie Mays, who ranks one slot ahead of Griffey on the all-time home run list (Willie is fourth at 660, Griffey is fifth at 611).

Chuck Armstrong, Mariners’ team president, was driving in Arizona Wednesday afternoon when Reynolds called with a question that astounded him.

“Would it be an imposition if you talked to Willie Mays?” asked Reynolds, a former Mariners’ all-star second baseman and close friend of Griffey’s.

“Of course not. I’d love to talk to Willie Mays,'” Armstrong replied immediately.

Reynolds had been acting all week as a liaison between the Mariners and Griffey, trying relentlessly to convince his buddy that Seattle was the place for him. And Mays was his ace in the hole.

“I called Willie, and he acted like an old friend,'” Armstrong said. “He talked about the importance of coming back, and asked if it would be an imposition if he called Junior and talked about it.

“I said, ‘Willie, you’re probably the greatest player ever, and the reason Junior wore No. 24.’ I gave him Junior’s phone number.”

Apparently, what the Say Hey Kid had to say hit the mark, because it was not too much longer before Griffey himself called Armstrong — who had just landed back in Seattle — to give him the good news.

“Ken said it was a legacy thing,” Armstrong said. “When he talked to Willie, that was the word he used – legacy, and what it meant to him and the Giants, and what Junior means to this franchise. He told him that would live on long after his own lifetime, and Ken’s lifetime.”

Hey, Hank Aaron was at Braves’ camp today. Bet the Braves wish they’d had him give Junior a call to plead Atlanta’s case.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►