Saturday, June 2, 2012

On this date in history: June 2nd

By Kshell

On this date in sports history some signficant events happened that I remember very vividly. The one event that happened was 16 years ago was when the Seattle Supersonics defeated the Utah Jazz in game seven of the Western Conference Finals 90-86 which was their first Finals appearance since 1979. I was in 4th grade and since the Sonics were going to play the Chicago Bulls I knew we had no chance so my dad and myself celebrated like we had one a title. That same school year the Mariners began the season with their magical 1995 run which saw the Mariners defeat the New York Yankees in five games. Edgar Martinez had the double heard around the northwest as Ken Griffey Jr scored the game winning run to defeat the Yankees. Sports was looking well for the northwest teams back then and on June 2nd the Sonics going to the Finals was one of the happiest sports days of my life.

Fast forward to 2010 and I was in Las Vegas, Nevada on a 10 day vacation. I was playing a lot of poker which you can see as I'm playing in a World Series sponsored sit and go(took 3rd place had chip lead got rivered back to back hands). Whenever I'm in Las Vegas with my friends I'm about having a good time and staying out late. Las Vegas is a great social city and this trip was no different than every other trip I've had down there. For whatever the reason whenever I'm in Las Vegas a major event happens in my life. The year before while I was in Las Vegas pop icon Michael Jackson had died and being in Vegas when that happened was a very surreal moment for me. Now in 2010 I didn't expect another big moment to happen. Instead I had two moments happen on the same day which was pretty crazy.

I woke up on June 2nd in the afternoon to a ton of text messages from my friends telling me that Seattle Mariners legendary outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. had suddenly retired without warning. Now there was rumors leading up to this as Griffey was struggling in 2010 hitting .184/.250/.204 on the year with zero home runs in 98 at bats as the team was experiencing a horrible season. There was no final goodbye to Griffey which was the sad part instead he retired. Griffey had retired with 630 home runs and a batting line of .284/.370/.538 in 9,801 at bats. Griffey scored 1,662 runs and drove in 1,836 runs in his future hall of fame career. Griffey had won an MVP in 1997 and finished in the top five in the MVP race in 1993(5th), 1994(2nd), 1996(4th), and 1998(4th). He was a 13-time all-star and had won 10 gold gloves. The Griffey retirement hit home to everyone in my age group who grew up with Griffey and was very sad to see the way he went out. Normally when a player of his calibar retires that is the big news of the day. Instead Griffey was overshadowed that day by a pitcher with a 26-30 record and a 4.69 ERA for his career.

Later that day I was watching the t.v. when sportscenter switched to the Detriot Tigers-Cleveland Indians game as Armando Galarraga was working on a perfect game. The Detroit Tigers had a 3-0 lead going into the 9th inning as Galarraga was three outs away from perfection. After recording the first two outs he was one out away facing shortstop Jason Donald. Donald hit a grounder inbetween second and first where Miguel Cabrera decided to snag the ball and toss it to Galarraga for the final out. As you can see Galarraga made the out but umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe. I screamed in shock waking up my friend who I was staying with who is a night shift poker dealer on the strip in Vegas. When he saw the replay he couldn't believe it either as Galarraga was robbed of the perfect game. He would record the next batter but that opportunity to be perfect was lost forever. That story was the story that everyone was talking about on national t.v. and later on that night on the strip in Vegas at the poker tables all anyone could talk about.

For whatever reason when I go to Las Vegas major events happen. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett die on the same day, Griffey retires same day as the perfect game was robbed by an umpire then last year when I found out I was going to be an uncle for the first time. This date in particular was special as the Sonics had clinched a trip to the NBA Finals back in 1996 and then the biggest Seattle sports legend we had ever seen retired on that same day 14 years later. June 2nd will always be a special date in Seattle sports history due to the Sonics and Griffey. I was just glad I can recall these moments so well and glad I can share those memories with you guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment