Blue Angels add flair to Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. tribute

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor

Seattle is the place to be this weekend as the city prepares to honor Ken Griffey Jr. in a weekend long celebration of his Hall of Fame career. That will include Griffey’s No. 24 being retired in a highly anticipated ceremony prior to Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Speaking of Angels, that’s not the only thing going down in Seattle. The Blue Angels are also in town for the Boeing Seafair Air Show, which means the U.S. Navy stunt pilots will take over the skies above Safeco Field for performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The two events are not officially intertwined. It’s just the way the schedules worked out. However, for one very brief but entirely awesome moment on Friday, they did intersect as the Blue Angels added some flair to Seattle’s most noted Griffey tribute atop the Space Needle.

Much like when Griffey was elected to the Hall of Fame in January, Seattle hoisted his number to the very top of the Space Needle in tribute. It’s the same way they’ve honored recent Seahawks teams as well, with the No. 12 being raised to acknowledge Seattle’s 12th man.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s No. 24 flies high above Seattle on top of the Space Needle. (Mariners)
Ken Griffey Jr.’s No. 24 flies high above Seattle on top of the Space Needle. (Mariners)

It has an entirely different meaning for Griffey though, as his number will never be worn again by a Mariners player. He’s solely responsible for bringing that number to prominence, and by hanging that number the city that first embraced him as a 19-year-old player is reminding us one more time what his contributions meant.

It’s a pretty cool gesture and an epic scene that’s probably too amazing to even dream of becoming a reality. It is now though, and the unexpected special effects made it even grander.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!