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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Griffey battles through difficult life events

If I had a chance to say just one thing to Ken Griffey, Jr. right now I can honestly tell you that I would tell him that I’ll be praying for him and his family. That says it all; everything that rushes immediately to my mind after reading ESPN.com’s article entitled Griffey struggles as both parents battle health woes.

So why is this my initial reaction you may ask. Well not only is it because Griffey has been my favorite player since even before his days in Cincinnati, but also because I feel as though I can relate to his current situation (the family illness part, not the baseball part). In February I had my own personal experience with cancer striking my family when my father was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. In the year prior to my father’s diagnosis my family was rocked by two Aunts having breast cancer and both of my grandmothers have spent time in the hospital in 2006 as well. So when it comes to dealing with tough times, especially when cancer is involved, I have a fairly strong resume. But it is not how you deal with the good times that defines who you are, but how you deal with the tough times. Griffey is dealing with those tough times now, and while he prefers to keep to himself and not share his life with the media, his actions on the field are the only true example of how he is dealing with this. In today’s game Griffey just hit a homerun in the top of the 7th inning against the Cardinals to break a 0-0 tie. Last night Griffey hit his 560th homerun of his career, both of which likely put a smile on his mother’s face. Both of these homeruns come in what could be the biggest series of the year for the Wild Card-leading Reds.

Griffey’s positive influence on my generation cannot be discounted. He played at a level few have ever seen for much of the 1990’s. Of all of the most recent 500 homerun club members, a list that includes Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Junior Griffey, only Griffey has NOT been somehow linked to steroids. This is the way it is supposed to be; living the life that is respectable and fair. While others “cheat” or bend the rules and find loopholes, it has been Ken Griffey, Jr. who has risen above all of this. It has been Junior who gets razzed by the fans because of injuries. Could he have used special (illegal) drugs to help speed up his recovery process? Probably so, but I am not a medical expert. I just know that on the surface Ken Griffey, Jr. has done things the right way and should be rewarded in life, and in baseball, for doing so.

So Junior, in case you read this, I’m praying for you and your family. I will likely never shake your hand or meet you in person, but I understand the power of prayer and positive thinking and if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know.


  • At 8/18/2006, Blogger RW said…

    Good point about Griffey not being put into the same company as McGuire, Bonds, and the others.


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