When my husband was twenty-one, he showed up at Safeco field early to catch the Seattle Mariners' batting practice prior to a game, in hopes that he would catch a ball. He sat in the left field area where the score board is. Sure enough, he wasn't disappointed. His favorite player stepped up to the plate and swung. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a ball almost directly to him – the girl behind him wound up catching it and keeping it.

It's no wonder that the Mariners would want to induct such a figure into their club's Hall of Fame. After all, Griffey Jr. spent 22 years playing ball on the field – that's a rather long run in the world of baseball. He started out as a young man of 20 in 1989 and continued to play his heart out for three teams over the course of his career: Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and a short stint with the Chicago White Sox. Griffey Jr. was a thirteen-time All-Star, and he has the sixth largest record for career home runs (630 after Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez – strikeouts reflect my personal qualms over giving records to players with suspected steroid use – sure they hit the balls out of the park a bunch, but would they have done so otherwise?).

Griffey Jr. was born in Donora, Pennsylvania on November 21, 1969. He had baseball in his blood. His father, Ken Griffey Sr., played for 18 years. Griffey Sr. started out with the Cincinnati Reds in 1973 and made his way around the major leagues before settling down with the Mariners in 1990. During this season, he and his son were one of the first father and son pairs to play for the same team during their careers. What's more exciting is that the father and son pair hit back-to-back home runs for the same team during the same game on September 14, 1990.