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Ken Griffey Jr. Way updateSeptember 7, 2010 @ 2:50 am (Updated: 3:46 pm - 3/28/11 )
A little over three months ago Ken Griffey Jr. retired from baseball in Seattle, with a simple statement: "I've come to a decision today to retire from Major League Baseball as an active player...My hope is that my teammates can focus on baseball and win a championship for themselves and for the great fans of Seattle, who so very much deserve one."
Griffey retired on June 2nd, 23 years to the day after he was drafted. As soon as Griffey announced he was done with baseball as a player, he was gone, on the road home to Florida. That same day, Seattle Mariner fan Glen Garnett started a campaign to rename a Seattle street after the baseball legend. Are we any closer to having it happen?
"I've loved this guy so much because he has a natural swing. He is amazing in baseball," says Garnett.
Garnett has never met Griffey, but he has been relentless in trying to get a part of 1st Avenue in front of Safeco Field renamed in honor of Junior - someone who was an inspiration to a generation of boys who were just starting to play baseball, he says.
"When kids played baseball in their back yard or out on the diamond they'd think 'I wanna be Ken Griffey Jr.' because he was so polite. He was so unique. He was so powerful," Garnett says. "People wanted to be like him."
Before there can be a Ken Griffey Jr. Way, about 10 businesses on a block along 1st Avenue would have to change their addresses. In hopes of convincing them to give in, Garnett launched a new website this week - KenGriffeyJrWay.com - where people can sign a petition supporting the name change.
And he's not stopping there. Garnett wants to start a non-profit foundation to raise money for a statue in Griffey's likeness, and later raise money to help children in Griffey's name.
A couple of Seattle City Council members support the idea of a name change, but they're waiting for businesses on that stretch of 1st to get behind the effort. In the meantime, they've suggested giving the Kid an "honorary" street name.
"People are saying they don't want that," says Garnett. "Edgar Martinez has his own street, why can't Griffey have his own street?"
In this photo from the AP's Elaine Thompson was taken one day before Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement on June 2nd of this year. Thompson also took the classic photo below on October 8, 1995 with Griffey smiling from beneath a pile of teammates after he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning against the New York Yankees in Seattle.
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