I remember the first year. He was about as far away from Southwest Ohio that you could get while still being in the United States, back before teh internets, when newspapers were still the way people got their news. The time difference made all but highlights nearly impossible to watch, but I always checked to see what he had done.
In a way, the distance already made him a legend in my mind. He was this guy I never saw who was supposed to be the greatest baseball player since Willie Mays and whose hometown was Cincinnati - was he real? I had a poster of him over my bed (that was stolen when my sister had a party when everyone was out of town) and pages of his baseball cards. I often thought about how great it'd be for him to come to the Reds - we hadn't had a true superstar in my lifetime, the kind of player that would draw national attention to the team.
And then it happened. It was a holiday, an unbelievable feat accomplished by Leatherpants Vampire. Ken Griffey, Jr. was a Red. He was going to break Hank Aaron's record in the hallowed uniform. He was going to bring our team some championships after narrowly missing the year before. He was going to walk on water, turn the Ohio River into beer, and take us during the Rapture.
Of course, we all know what happened next. Still, Junior moved into the top ten all time while donning the wishbone C. This was a fun win, but damnit, it reinstilled that illogical sense of hope in me. Cardinals lost again. Reds 3.5 games back with six games to play.