The Seattle Times
Friday, September 28, 2001 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific

Griffey hits a homer for missing New York firefighter

By Seattle Times staff

New York firefighter Kenny Marino, part of the elite Rescue 1 division, was one of the first on the scene when a United Airlines jet hit the city's World Trade Center south tower. His wife and children had just visited him at the fire station that morning, and watched in horror as the buildings exploded, said Victoria Klyce of Bellevue, Marino's cousin by marriage.

He has not been heard from since.

But, according to news reports, he was such a fan of Ken Griffey Jr., that his wife, Katrina, e-mailed the Cincinnati Reds and asked if Griffey could hit a homer for Marino because he would be "looking down with a big grin."

Wednesday night Griffey put one over the fence, for Marino.

"Something wonderful happened last night," Klyce said yesterday.

Four years ago Klyce went to cousin Katrina's wedding to Marino, and she remembers his fellow firefighters, standing tall in their uniforms. "They were like a brotherhood," she said.

Klyce said Katrina and her children, Kristin, 3, and Tyler, 1, saw the trade-center buildings collapse. While she rushed her children to safety, she frantically paged her husband, but got no response. She was told his unit was the first on the scene.

"He's a huge bear of a guy who loves everybody," said Klyce, who said Marino drove a school bus when off duty.

Katrina Marino was a flight attendant for TWA Airlines, and helped counsel family members after the 1996 TWA Flight 800 airplane crash. "She's really strong," said Klyce, "one of the sweetest people you'd ever meet.

Griffey told reporters that he hopes to meet Marino's family next year in New York.

Copyright 2001 The Seattle Times Company

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