KEN GRIFFEY JR. clearly saw his 500th homer as a special
occasion. Last week, shortly after hitting number 499, Griffey
phoned Reds COO John Allen and requested that one of the team's
longtime radio announcers, Marty Brennaman or Joe Nuxhall, not
its first-year man, Steve Stewart, be behind the mike for the
landmark dinger. "It's no disrespect against Steve, I just felt
that when it's done, it should be [called by] someone who'd been
there," Griffey said. So starting last Friday every time Griffey
came to the plate, Stewart graciously stepped aside. (Griffey
ended up hitting number 500 during an inning in which Brennaman
was scheduled to be in the booth.) Brennaman and Nuxhall,
meanwhile, were left flattered--but a bit uncomfortable. Said
Brennaman, "It's not my idea. I made the biggest call in history
[Pete Rose's 4,192nd hit] when it comes to milestones, and I
don't need this."

--Adam Duerson