20 Years Ago Today, Griffey Closes Kingdome In Style
Twenty years ago today (June 27, 1999) the final ballgame was played in Seattle's Kingdome.
The Mariners faced AL West rivals the Texas Rangers and Poulsbo native (and future Mariner) Aaron Sele dueled M's starter Freddy Garcia. But it was, naturally, Ken Griffey, Jr. that put the exclamation point in the last chapter of the dome's history with his own unique stamp.
In the bottom of the very first inning, Griffey gave the sell-out crowd exactly what it paid to hopefully see - a bomb from "The Kid". It turned out to be the last homer ever hit in the Dome. As Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs comments in the video below, "Baseball theater, folks. Baseball theater." The dinger was his 27th of the season and 377th of his career, scoring Brian Hunter and Alex Rodriguez ahead of him for a 3-0 lead.
But Junior Griffey wasn't done just yet.
The now Hall-of-Famer was known as much or more for his Gold Glove centerfield play and when Texas slugger Juan Gonzalez stepped to the plate in the top of the 4th inning, Griffey made sure that he himself would be the last man to ever hit one out of the park by robbing "Juan Gone" with one of his patented leaping robberies above the fence to keep the contest at 3-2.