This weekend one of the most talented ball players of all time received a prestigious honor. Ken Griffey, Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. Griffey, Jr. had one of the greatest swings in all of baseball. With the Mariners he hit 417 of his 630 home runs. He help bring the city of Seattle on the baseball map.
Ken spent time with Seattle from 1989 to 1999 and then finished his career with Mariners from 2009 to 2010. The ten time Gold Glove Award winner was named the American League MVP in 1997. He was named the 1992 All-Star Game MVP and won the Home Run Derby three times. He also made it to the All-Star Game thirteen times.
One of Ken’s memorable Mariners moments was when he scored the winning run in the 11th inning of Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series against the Yankees. He never made it to the World Series with any team, but some of that is because of the injuries Griffey had to deal with in his career.
He was one of those players that fans and media always discuss what other milestones he could have broken if he had been cursed with the injury bug. Many feel that he would have hit over 700 home runs in his career. He will always be considered one of the all-time greats to play on the diamond.
With his history of injury the Mariners made one of the most talked about trades in baseball history as they opted to trade him to the Cincinnati Reds in February 2000. The trade brought in Mike Cameron, who helped did help the Mariners set a Major League record with 116 wins in 2001. Even with that record, many Mariners fans would have loved to have seen Griffey stay in Seattle. After his time with the Reds, Griffey played one year with the Chicago White Sox and as stated early went back to Seattle to book end his 22 year career in the majors.
Congrats to Ken “The Kid” Griffey, Jr. for entering the Mariners Hall of Fame. It is well deserved. Ken becomes eligible for Cooperstown in 2016. I am thinking he will be a first ballot hall of famer. Below is Griffey’s former teammate, Ichiro Suzuki with a special message for Ken.