Old Kid in town: Griffey Jr. snubs the ATL, heads back to Mariners

He took the Braves for a test drive before deciding to return home (one of them) to Seattle.

Ken Griffey Jr. is headed back to Seattle where his probable Hall-of-Fame career began in 1989. It seems like yesterday, or at least last week, that the kid was flipping his cap backward in BP, running into the fence in the Kingdome, or up the fence in Yankee Stadium, all the while displaying a joy and skill for the game few tried matching.

Here's initial reaction from Talking Chop and the U.S.S. Mariner.

Griffey spent most of the past 10 years in Cincinnati, another place he calls home, plus a brief stint with the White Sox in Chicago. Griffey had his moments in both towns, but he'll always be a Mariner first.

Like when he scored the winning run against the Yankees to win an unforgettable playoff game in 1995 that helped save baseball in Seattle.

That's right-hander Bob Wolcott, the top of Vince Coleman's head and the hair of a really young Alex Rodriguez (between Coleman's left ear and Wolcott's left arm) piling on.

And now, a Big League Stew photo essay, starting with a few updates from earlier in the day. For more photos of Griffey through the years, check out Sports Illustrated.

Earlier in the '95 season, Griffey made one of his best plays — that also happened to break his wrist.

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A season later in '96, Griffey was back flying through the air with the greatest of ease, this time robbing Tim Naehring of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. No broken bones, either.

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Yeah, he caught it (at Yankee Stadium in '97).

Photographers stand there for hours and take pictures just in case subtle moments like this happen between father (left) and son (in '90).

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"Uncle" Dave Winfield (center) wants to know what it is Ken Griffey Sr. (right) thinks he sees at the Big "A" in '90. Winfield played until '95 and the younger Griffey's still going at age 39.

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Spying on the White Sox dugout, in 1991, getting training for a second career he didn't need.

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This is the card we all wanted in '89, a Griffey Upper Deck Rookie.

Well, that and the Billy Ripken Fleer.

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The M's have improved on their caps SO much over the years.

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Hilarious look on Frank Thomas' face as Griffey gives him love about his possibly expanding waistline in '96. Griffey got a little chunky over the years, too, it turned out.

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He was baseball's freshest face in '89, wasn't he?

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And now, Griffey is right back where he started.