06/03/10 3:45 AM ET
Griffey's best moments as a Mariner
By Jim Street / MLB.com
He hit baseballs into the Kingdome seats with regularity, made great catches time and time again, met and married a local girl, scored the run that capped a remarkable playoff comeback and then talked his way into being traded to the team his father played for more than 20 years earlier.
The best baseball player to put on a Mariners uniform -- before or since - called it quits on Wednesday, ending a 21-year, two-month Major League career.
Junior already had hit five home runs in the series when he came to bat in the 11th with Joey Cora on first base representing the tying run via a leadoff bunt single. Griffey sent Cora to third with a single up the middle. When Edgar Martinez followed with "The Double," Junior ran as fast as he could around the bases, sliding home with the series-clinching run.
The picture of him sprawled on the ground at home plate, at the bottom of the pile of players and that ear-to-ear grin wider than ever, said it all. It hasn't been quite the same since.The Walk-off
That home run sparked the Mariners' remarkable comeback from a 13 1/2-game deficit to the Angels in the AL West and an eventual division championship.An MVP
His best season started with a bang. Actually, a double bang, as he hit two homers off Yankees right-hander David Cone on Opening Night. He finished May with 24 home runs and hit No. 25 on June 2, missing by one day tying Babe Ruth for fastest to 25 dingers.The Series
After missing almost half of the '95 season with the shattered left wrist, Griffey was at the top of his game during a five-game Division Series against the Yankees.
Junior slugged two home runs in Seattle's Game 1 loss at Yankee Stadium. He gave the Mariners a one-run lead in the 12th inning of Game 2 with his third homer of the series, only to have the Yanks tie the game in the bottom of the inning and eventually win it in the bottom of the 15th.
After Seattle erased a five-run deficit in Game 4, Griffey put them ahead, 6-5, in the sixth inning with his fifth home run of the unforgettable seriesBack-to-back
"That's how it's done, son," Senior said.
Junior stepped to the plate and hit a ball to almost the exact same spot in left-center at Anaheim Stadium for his 20th homer of the season, and the Griffeys became the first father-son tandem in Major League history to hit back-to-back home runs.
To this day, they are the only father and son to hit a home run in the same game, let alone go back-to-back.The Wall Banger
Griffey, who had hit his seventh long ball of the season earlier in the game, sped toward the Kingdome wall in right-center, leaped, slammed into the barrier, caught the ball -- and shattered his right wrist.
Surgeons attached a four-inch metal plate with seven screws the next day, and Junior wondered if, not when, he would play again. After sitting out 73 games, he returned on Aug. 15 and finished the regular season batting .258 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs.The Homer Streak
Griffey had hit home runs in seven straight games, leaving him one shy of the Major League record shared by Dale Long (1956) and Don Mattingly (1987). Right-hander Willie Banks was facing Griffey for the third time in the game, after retiring him on a strikeout and a groundout. But this time Junior bashed a ball 404 feet off the third-deck facing in right field for his 30th home run of the season -- and a piece of the record.The Catch
But it wasn't until he returned to earth, took the ball out of his glove and showed the world he had made a home-run-robbing catch that he actually deprived Barfield of his milestone moment. It was the third out of the inning, and Griffey gleefully sprinted off the field, wearing that famous grin of his.How sweet it is
Opening Day at the Kingdome, 1989
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.