I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Ken Griffey Jr. show up at Mariners’ camp in Peoria, Ariz., at some point this spring, as he and the organization are working toward formulating a position for him. Team president Chuck Armstrong told me a couple of weeks ago that he envisioned Griffey as a “consultant on baseball,” and added that they were still working on the specifics of his role. “It’s all still to be deterimined. We have to talk to him about what he feels comfortable with. We want him to be comfortable, and he wants to be productive.”
I think having Griffey back in the organization will be a win-win. It’s time to put the messy ending to his career aside and remember that he was the most important player in franchise history (with due respect to Edgar Martinez, Ichiro or any other Mariner stalwart of the past. Griffey was, for a time, the most famous and popular baseball player in America, and he put the Mariners on the map when they were, to the vast majority of the country, nothing more than an afterthought). Having him play a permanent role in the organization, as an advisor/instructor/goodwill ambassador, is a no-brainer.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d share this photo sent to me by 20-year-old Tanner Detschman of Lynnwood, who is a junior at the University of Washington studying to be a history teacher.
Detschman writes that “growing up was amazed by Griffey and his work on and off the field. To me, Ken Griffey Jr. is Seattle so I had my tattoo artist, Jason Middleton of Deep Roots Tattoo in Seattle, place the Seattle skyline in the background of the tattoo.”
Detschman said that Middleton worked off a Griffey sketch he found online. Detschman adds that he has just one other tattoo — his last name. “This was a really important tattoo for me. In short, to me the tattoo is really important as Griffey is and always will be Seattle to me.”
Impressive work by Jason, and an extraordinary show of Junior support by Tanner. Me, I think I would have limited my devotion to a scrapbook.