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Griffey Hits Home Run in Opener

April 6, 1999

SEATTLE (AP) _ Ken Griffey Jr. homered in his second at-bat of the season Monday night, connecting after career home run king Hank Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Kingdome.

Griffey, who led the American League with 56 homers last season, hit a 401-foot drive over the right-center field wall in the third inning. The Seattle star homered off James Baldwin of the Chicago White Sox.

After crossing home plate, Griffey gestured to Aaron in the Mariners’ broadcasting booth. The shot gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

Griffey hit his seventh opening-day home run, tying the record shared by Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews and Carl Yastrzemski.

Griffey, 29, starting his 11th major league season, hit his 351st career homer. He is given the best chance among active players at catching Aaron’s mark of 755 set in 23 seasons.

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