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OnBaseMachine
03-14-2008, 01:45 PM
What a great guy.

Griffey gives ailing Xenia teen a day to remember
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By Hal McCoy

Staff Writer

Friday, March 14, 2008

SARASOTA, Fla. — The kinder, gentler side of Ken Griffey Jr. was in full-gale force, and Xenia's 13-year-old Andy Urschel was the beneficiary.

Urschel, who is battling Stage 3 melanoma, was at the Cincinnati Reds game Thursday, March 13, as part of the A Special Wish Foundation.

Griffey took batting practice, then joined Andy and his family near the Reds dugout for the next two hours, and the wide smile never left Andy's face.

First Griffey handed Andy his game-used bat and his batting gloves, then talked about siblings, cooking (Andy makes pancakes, Griffey loves chicken, but is allergic to fish), Tiger Woods, Shaq (his bad free-throw shooting percentage), amusement parks ("Ride the Tower of Terror in Disney World when you go there"), and on and on and on.

Andy handed Griffey a stack of yellow index cards with questions, and Griffey shuffled through them, answering every question, most of them with an abundance of humor.

"I like to do these, but I don't like the circumstances surrounding the kids," said Griffey. "But to me, it's necessary so the kids can come out and have some fun. Maybe it helps them forget for a little while about what's going on in their lives."

Andy turned 13 Wednesday, topping his day-after birthday party by throwing out the game's first pitch.

Andy, a seventh-grader at Xenia Christian, said he was most impressed, "When he told me he was a Christian and when he said he hangs out mostly with his family and kids.

"If they ever trade him, I won't like the Reds any more," he added. "I'll root for whatever team he is on. That was just amazing, and he is such a great guy."

He plans to put the bat and batting gloves in his bedroom and said with the smile still in place, "Nobody but Ken Griffey Jr. If I didn't get to see him, I didn't want to see anybody.?

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2008/03/14/ddn031408makeawish.html

redsmetz
03-14-2008, 02:34 PM
It's not surprising to me that he did this. My son had a friend his freshman year who had cancer and Griffey donated a signed jersey for an autograph. When the kid got to go on the field before a Reds game, all the players were coming up to him, "how you doing, Andy?" (also my son's friend's name), etc.

VR
03-14-2008, 02:36 PM
very special

Red in Chicago
03-14-2008, 03:55 PM
I enjoy stories like this. Griffey is awesome.

KoryMac5
03-14-2008, 04:41 PM
The media may get on him, as well as some fans but at the end of the day you have to tip your cap to a superstar that cares about kids as much as JR.

redsfan30
03-14-2008, 04:50 PM
Great, great stuff.

Vada Pinson Fan
03-15-2008, 07:43 PM
As far as what's been reported (not to slight any other Reds players, coaches, etc.) Griffey and Sean Casey have/had been the best at helping out with causes such as Make A Wish, Children's Hospital(s) visits, inner-city youth, spending the day at King's Island with disadvantaged youngsters , outdoor barbecues and countless others. Sitting with that young man (Andy) and his family for 2 hours is so great of Junior to do.

I remember the story a couple of years ago when a young boy was with his Grandpa at Great American and the Grandfather became ill (heart attack?) and later died. Junior and other Reds players took the young boy out to the bullpen and tried to comfort the child as his family was called to come to the hospital and ballpark right away. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Sean Casey when he helped a family out with money for burial expenses that had lost a family member. I'm so glad we have guys on the Reds such as Ken Griffey, Jr. that willingly gives of themselves to make a difference in so many lives!

Johnny Footstool
03-16-2008, 02:27 AM
As far as what's been reported (not to slight any other Reds players, coaches, etc.) Griffey and Sean Casey have/had been the best at helping out with causes such as Make A Wish, Children's Hospital(s) visits, inner-city youth, spending the day at King's Island with disadvantaged youngsters , outdoor barbecues and countless others. Sitting with that young man (Andy) and his family for 2 hours is so great of Junior to do.

I remember the story a couple of years ago when a young boy was with his Grandpa at Great American and the Grandfather became ill (heart attack?) and later died. Junior and other Reds players took the young boy out to the bullpen and tried to comfort the child as his family was called to come to the hospital and ballpark right away. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Sean Casey when he helped a family out with money for burial expenses that had lost a family member. I'm so glad we have guys on the Reds such as Ken Griffey, Jr. that willingly gives of themselves to make a difference in so many lives!

Thanks for reminding me about that story.

It's easy to forget that most of the pros actually *do* care about the lives of the fans.

redsfan4445
03-16-2008, 05:06 AM
Griffey is awesome !!!!! Iam one Reds fan that is VERY glad he is on the Reds.. He is a gentlemen, loves kids, doesnt cheat on the field or off the field and i pray the Reds win the World Series in 2008 with Jr hosting the World Series Trophy in the air with his huge smile!!

Caseyfan21
03-17-2008, 08:42 AM
As far as what's been reported (not to slight any other Reds players, coaches, etc.) Griffey and Sean Casey have/had been the best at helping out with causes such as Make A Wish, Children's Hospital(s) visits, inner-city youth, spending the day at King's Island with disadvantaged youngsters , outdoor barbecues and countless others. Sitting with that young man (Andy) and his family for 2 hours is so great of Junior to do.

I remember the story a couple of years ago when a young boy was with his Grandpa at Great American and the Grandfather became ill (heart attack?) and later died. Junior and other Reds players took the young boy out to the bullpen and tried to comfort the child as his family was called to come to the hospital and ballpark right away. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Sean Casey when he helped a family out with money for burial expenses that had lost a family member. I'm so glad we have guys on the Reds such as Ken Griffey, Jr. that willingly gives of themselves to make a difference in so many lives!

I was at that game, it was a heart attack. I was sitting one section over from where the boy and his grandpa were sitting out in the sun/moon deck. I remember seeing medical personnel going up to the seats and wondering what was going on before seeing them take someone out on a stretcher. Such a sad thing to have happen. Jr. stayed after the game with the kid until one of his family members was able to get to the ballpark. And after everything had calmed down Jr. invited the kid and his family back for another game. Jr. always is doing stuff like this and it's too bad the ESPN's and other national news groups can't do some stories on this sort of behavior instead of the latest Bonds/Clemens steroid stories.

RFS62
03-17-2008, 09:28 AM
Similar story a few years back in New York with the family of a 9-11 victim.

westofyou
03-17-2008, 10:04 AM
Saw this yesterday..

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7240


Cincinnati right fielder Ken Griffey told Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey during his visit to Reds’ camp that he would prefer to wear a Seattle cap on his plaque in Cooperstown.

OnBaseMachine
03-17-2008, 10:09 AM
Saw this yesterday..

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7240

Yeah I read that yesterday too. I can't really fault him for that. He spent, what, 10 seasons with the Mariners? He hit 398 homeruns for them, led them to the playoffs, and basically saved the franchise from moving. Let's face it, he has never been the same player in Cincy that he was in Seattle due to injuries. He's still reach many memorable milestones as a Red (career HR #400, #500, and soon to be #600), but unless the Reds win the World Series this year or next (if they pick up his option), I just don't him wearing a Reds cap.

Chip R
03-17-2008, 10:18 AM
Reds have a lot of guys in the HOF. SEA, not so much. But expect this to become a bit of a bruhaha here.

OnBaseMachine
03-17-2008, 10:31 AM
Reds have a lot of guys in the HOF. SEA, not so much. But expect this to become a bit of a bruhaha here.

The Mariners have zero but that should change in the next 15 years or so. Griffey will become the first most likely. Edgar Martinez may eventually get in. Ichiro will get in if he can continue to hit like he has in his first seven years. Randy Johnson had some great years in Seattle but I bet he would prefer to become the first Arizona Diamondback to get elected into the HOF.

BTW the Reds have eight in the Hall. I thought there were more than that until I looked it up.

redsfan30
03-17-2008, 11:14 AM
How many days until some writer turns this into "Junior wants a trade to Seattle"?

I say three.

westofyou
03-17-2008, 11:39 AM
How many days until some writer turns this into "Junior wants a trade to Seattle"?

I say three.


http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/


Cincinnati Reds: Will the Reds deal Griffey early in 2008?
Prospectus: Very doubtful.

Bill James in his Gold Mine has a fun essay about “targeting,” which shows how many more players in baseball history have had 100 RBIs (100) in a season vs. 99 RBIs (79), or hit .300 (195) vs. .299 (107) or won 20 games (251) vs. 19 games (216). It’s extremely rare, except around those target numbers, to find MORE people with the higher numbers. Well, that’s human nature.

Griffey is seven home runs shy of 600. He’s from Cincinnati. Because of this, the Reds are really in a position where they probably feel like they CANNOT trade him, even though he still has value, even though his contract is a burden, even though he would probably fit better in the American League where he could play at least some DH which might help avoid some injuries. It certainly would make a lot of sense, for instance, for Griffey go to back to Seattle, where his bat and persona could make a huge difference in a team that sees itself as a real contender (and should). Obviously, the Yankees would be in play too. The Reds could get something pretty good, I think.

But, again, can a team trade a hometown hero seven homers shy of 600? No. “It’s unlikely that Griffey’s going to be dealt anywhere in the immediate future,” the Beep says, “but once that milestone is reached, all bets are off.”

pahster
03-17-2008, 12:14 PM
I wouldn't bother waiting for Griffey to hit 600. If an acceptable deal is on the table, why wait?