Ken Griffey Jr. has announced his retirement effective immediately, reports John Hickey of AOL FanHouse. He did not report to Safeco Field for the Mariners' game against the Twins tonight, saying "it's over." Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times provides a transcript of Griffey's statement.
Griffey has been in the news quite a bit this season, but not for the reasons the team hoped. There was talk that the Mariners could release him last month following an incident in which he slept through a pinch hitting appearance, and overall he hit just .184/.250/.204 on the year.
Regardless of what happened in 2010, Griffey was one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He retired as a .284/.370/.538 career hitter with 630 homers, good the fifth most all time. During his prime years from 1993-1998, Griffey hit .300/.388/.620 and played a Gold Glove caliber center field, which is the definition of a superstar.
After spending the first 11 seasons of his career in Seattle, Griffey was traded to the Reds for a four player package headlined by Mike Cameron. He signed a nine year, $116.5MM contract shortly thereafter, though his time in Cincinnati was plagued by injury. After a short stint with the White Sox, Griffey returned to the Mariners last season.
Junior earned more than $151MM during his career according to Baseball-Reference.com. The next stop for him is Cooperstown.