Griffey Hits 583rd Home Run, Ties McGwire For 7th On Career List
Sunday, June 24th 2007, 4:36 pm
By: News On 6
SEATTLE (AP) _ Ken Griffey Jr.'s homecoming to Seattle got sweeter on its final day.
Griffey hit his 583rd home run in the first inning of the Cincinnati Reds' game Sunday against the Mariners, tying him for seventh on the career list with Mark McGwire.
Griffey hit a 2-0 pitch from Miguel Batista to left-center. He took a step and hopped in anticipation of a home run that he had said he hoped to hit this weekend at Safeco Field, ``The House that Griffey Built.'' The ballpark opened in 1999 _ the last full season Griffey played in Seattle before he was traded to his hometown of Cincinnati.
As Griffey's high drive dropped toward the wall, left fielder Willie Bloomquist leaped and appeared to catch it. For an awkward moment, no one knew if Griffey had homered or flied out to end the inning. Third base umpire Brian Runge was in the outfield but made no signal. He looked instead at his crew for help.
Bloomquist had no reaction. Griffey simply stood between first and second. And the third consecutive sellout crowd at Safeco Field stood in odd silence.
Finally, when Bloomquist began walking back to his position without the ball in his glove, Runge signaled home run and the crowd cheered Griffey's 15th career home run at Safeco Field. Griffey pointed to the stands behind the Reds' dugout after he crossed the plate.
The homer, his first against Seattle in six career games, leaves Griffey three behind Frank Robinson for sixth place. It also was Griffey's 1,653rd RBI. That gave him sole possession of 18th place ahead of ex-Red Tony Perez.