Below the radar: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. solemnly read an e-mail handed to him Tuesday from public relations director Rob Butcher. It was from a woman named Katrina Marino, the wife of the late Kenny Marino, a firefighter for Rescue 1 with the Fire Department of New York:

"Ken Griffey Jr. was my husband's favorite baseball player. If Ken Griffey could hit an extra home run for Ken, I know he will be looking down with a big grin."

What does Griffey do?

He homers in his second at-bat, and dedicates the homer to the Marino family, sending an autographed bat to Katrina along with a videotape of the homer.

"I'm glad I could do it," Griffey said. "So many people lost their lives in that disaster and lives have been changed. Mine has changed since that day. So to be able to do something for somebody else and for somebody who said I was his favorite player is special.

"But no matter what, it doesn't amount to anything. This guy lost his life to save others and it means a lot that somebody took the time to send an e-mail to tell me to hit a home run, and I did it. I'm glad I was able to make her smile."

Back to main page