A Devout Baseball Fan
Kenny Marino was a Mets fan and a Seattle Mariners fan, but his all- time favorite ballplayer was Ken Griffey Jr.
So Katrina Marino, his wife, e-mailed the Cincinnati Reds wondering if Griffey could hit a home run for her husband because he would be "looking down with a big grin."
On Sept. 25, Griffey, in his second at-bat against Philadelphia, obliged Mrs. Marino. He said it would always stand out as one of the most memorable he had hit.
The bat was later given to Mrs. Marino and her two children, Kristin, 3, and Tyler, 1.
Firefighter Marino, 40, was with Rescue 1 in Manhattan. His family happened to visit him at the firehouse the morning of Sept. 11, shortly before the summons to the trade center. Firefighter Marino whispered into Kristin's ear, "If you are a good girl, when I get home I will get you a prize ‹ a Wizard of Oz prize."
A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Marino found the prizes, a Dorothy doll for Kristin and a Scarecrow for Tyler.
And there was a Fireman Santa Claus ornament for Mrs. Marino.
She mentioned those treasured final prizes at the memorial service for him on Long Island. As Rescue 1 led the mourners out, the organist played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
The members of Rescue 1 had to smile. They knew that was so Kenny.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 20, 2001.