Count me in the group that either knew Ken Griffey Jr. attempted suicide as a teenager and forgot or just never knew it happened at all. A tweet from SB Nation's Jon Bois, linking an archived story from 1992 by the New York Times about Griffey, caught my attention today. In the story, Griffey recalls swallowing 277 aspirin in an attempt to take his own life.
SB Nation's Rob Neyer beat me to the punch, summing up my own thoughts on the story perfectly.
But arrested adolescents are people, too. And I'm left to wonder how many different memories I would have if Junior hadn't been such a terrible failure at suicide. Thankfully.
What would life have been like had Junior succeeded in his attempt to take his own life? Those magically seasons would have never happened, in all likelihood, and the biggest Mariner memory I have -- The Double -- would have never came to pass. Junior was a hero of mine growing up -- the only athlete I can remember idolizing.
We all remember Junior motoring around third and sliding into home in 1995 as Dave Niehaus makes the call with sheer excitement in his voice. He may not have been perfect, but boy did he put on a show, entertaining fans in Seattle for years.
The story serves as another reminder that these larger than life athletes are human, just everyone else. Even though many are blessed with incredible physical skills, they still struggle with the same feelings and emotions as the rest of us.