Happy 25th anniversary, Ken Griffey Jr's MLB debut

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

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Let us now celebrate the start of something most excellent: Ken Griffey Jr.'s major-league career.

It was April 3, 1989, and Griffey Jr., age 19, was in the Mariners' Opening Day lineup -- batting second and manning center. Junior was of course the son of an accomplished big-leaguer, the ballyhooed top overall pick of the 1987 draft and the author of some highly impressive minor-league numbers. Needless to say, his arrival in the majors, 25 years ago Thursday, was hotly anticipated.

As first impressions go, Junior made quite an auspicious one ...

That's a ringing double off Dave Stewart of the Athletics. Stewart, it so happens, would finish second in the AL Cy Young balloting that season. His A's would win the World Series. As for Griffey, that two-bagger was the first of 524 he'd hit in his career (to go with 2,781 hits; 630 homers and 10 Gold Gloves).

These days, "Junior" is 44 and, provided common sense and a grasp of the obvious prevail, slated for election to the Hall of Fame in 2016.

When he was young and healthy, Ken Griffey Jr. was like nothing you'd ever seen. Here's to having watched him play.

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