Keith Olbermann's Letter From New York

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2001

PM

A few years ago, a man named Kenny Marino went from here to Seattle to watch his favorite baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr. He even got to present Griffey with a t-shirt for Griffey's son. The shirt was from where Kenny Marino worked. The New York Fire Department's Rescue One. Rescue One was at the World Trade Center early on the 11th. Kenny Marino didn't come home.

His wife, holding on to the things her husband loved, took a chance and sent the Cincinnati Reds an e-mail, asking if Griffey could hit "an extra homer" because her husband would be "looking down with a big grin."

Tuesday, Katrina Marino came here from her home in the suburbs and filled out all the forms enabling her to get a death certificate for her husband. That night, back upstate, she turned on her computer and couldn't believe what she saw. Griffey had hit a homer.

Moreover, before their game in Philadelphia, the Reds had shown him her e-mail. "I was so excited," she told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I knew Kenny was very happy somewhere."

Of the home run, Griffey said simply, "Only god knows why." He told the New York Times he wants to meet Kenny Marino's family when the Reds come here next season.

Yesterday, a Cincinnati reporter told Griffey about the start of the story, about the day Marino saw him play in Seattle, and gave him the Fire Department t-shirt. Griffey was stunned.

"Oh my God," he said, "I remember that. I still have that shirt."

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