Major League Baseball announced Friday that Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. has been named a senior advisor to commissioner Rob Manfred. In his new role, Griffey will place an emphasis on “baseball operations and youth baseball development, particularly regarding improving diversity at amateur levels of the game,” although he’ll work with Manfred’s office on various other baseball operations issues. He’ll also serve as an ambassador at youth baseball initiatives and at events such as the All-Star Game.
“We are thrilled that Ken will represent Major League Baseball on some of our sport’s most important stages, alongside our current and future stars,” commissioner Manfred said in a prepared statement within today’s press release. “We welcome the perspective and insights that Ken gained as an historic player, as a parent, and as someone who has spent his life in and around our great game.”
Griffey offered his own statement as well: “I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role. It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today’s youth.”
The 51-year-old Griffey becomes the second high-profile name to join the commissioner’s office in an advisory capacity in recent weeks. MLB announced not long ago that Theo Epstein, former Cubs president of baseball operations and Red Sox general manager, would be joining the office as a consultant regarding on-field matters such as rule changes and pace of play initiatives.
Ken Griffey Jr. Senior is my favorite ballplayer.
Excellent. I really hoped Griffey Junior Senior the 3rd would get in on the family business but alas…
That’s Ken Griffey Jr. Junior
They went with Trey… but some people say 3 that way… so yeah, they did it.
YES! YES! YES! I know I say “YAY” a lot, but this is FANTASTIC for the future of the game. He’s an oldie now, but he KNEW what it meant to get young people interested in the game back in his prime. This is great! I love it!
51? I feel older than dirt now
He is one of the best ever in this game. Hated what he did to the Rangers all those years, but everything he did was done with class..This is great for the game and its youngest enthusiasts.
Hosmer for HOF
I’m just disappointed it’s not a junior position! Pay him the same but label it as junior!
Will Ken Griffey Senior be a Junior advisor?
He has been for all of Junior’s life…
Official title is now Ken Griffey Senior Advisor to Ken Griffey Jr Senior Advisor
Office of Redundancy Office
You can say that again!
This is what baseball needs. He might not have played for your favorite team but he was damn near everyone’s favorite player! The Edgar Martinez double and him flying from 1st to Home is top 5 memorable plays of my lifetime.
Quite simply… the greatest I’ve ever seen.
Wow! Baseball did something smart.
I hope they don’t let it go to their heads.
Perhaps some Manfred damage control.
Perhaps Jr. Senior can act as a mediator between Manfred and the Players Association.
Can adults act like adults? Is this possible?
Here’s hoping for much needed resolution on many fronts to avoid a walkout next year.
We need baseball in our lives. Not bickering.
Everyone like that
The kid now helping the kids. Full circle at its best. Kudos Jr
Good dude and was loved by fans all across baseball. Hopefully he really has Manfred’s attention and can help him learn how to promote the game and it’s stars.
The Kid is 51? Man, I’m old.
Greatest player of all time
The term “diverse” is just a code word for black. MLB is diverse in that it literally has players from more than a dozen countries but it has fallen off a cliff in the black community. There were roughly 80 African-American players on MLB rosters this season, which in and of itself is an uptick from years past, comparing that to 1993 when Ken Griffey Jr. exploded to really being the biggest star in Baseball there were 147 African-American players on MLB rosters (and countless others in MiLB) that represents a two and a half roster difference. While I’m sure Griffey Jr. will be a nice addition to the Commissioners office he is a far cry from being the backwards hat wearing, coolest guy on the field “The Kid” that many of us remember. Baseball is a hard sell in a community that the NBA/NFL seems to have monopolized over the past few decades. Both of those leagues offer instant gratification, a big paycheck and thrust right into the spotlight, wheras MLB requires (years of)patience just to get to the show, and years more to cash in, if at all. Both of those leagues have also embraced the urban/street/hip-hop lifestyle while MLB is still much quieter so to speak.
Rsox – that’s a pretty good take on things. So if it were reframed that way how do you move forward? It’s not like college, employment or entitlements where you can just lower the bar.
Also interesting- are they selling something that that audience wants ? Similar to marketing to millennials- do they really care or have they already made a choice they’re happy with?
That is an interesting question. Its unfortunately like asking how to make chess appealing to “Connect Four” players.
The second part of “are they selling something the audience wants?” The NBA is like popular 1980’s cartoons=a 22 minute two commercial. They have become “House of Style” as every game features new jerseys, new sneakers, its just merchandise with a game and some rap music in the background. MLB is too slow paced and can’t sell itself as a three hour long commercial
Wouldn’t he be Junior Advisor? Ken Griffey Jr. Senior Advisor just sounds wrong.. lol
I cant handle all the puns. :’)
I played baseball throughout the 90’s on a slightly diverse team, in a town that was very diverse. I had no trouble getting to the games on time but some of my teammates would be late because they were pulled over. One became a professional arena football player, another became a winter Olympic athlete, but they were black men driving nice cars. Other teammates would talk about the next generation not being interested in baseball and how the facilities were just left in decay. One of my teammates parents ran a tennis program because there were nice tennis courts in the town. It was a town that was decimated in the 60’s and was struggling to survive. Some great athletes came from that area. In fact, Joe Black pitched for the team I played on when he was young. Look him up if you don’t know who he was. If you don’t think systemic racism is every bit as bad as it’s always been you’re just living in a self made bubble. Ignorance of reality is not a badge of honor. It’s a national embarrassment.
Zzzzzzzzz. Don’t do crime, you won’t go to jail.
Yes to WhyHazee. Current example is that black and latino communities are the hardest hit by covid, yet have the least availability to the vaccine.
For those of you sick of hearing about racial disparity, imagine living it everyday of your life.
Baseball is diverse. However, the problem begins at the youth level. Can baseball compete with young athletes looking toward basketball, football or another sport? Will millionaire baseball players start building programs for youths looking for guidance?
In Canada, private funding has gone into prep schools for basketball. Youths become student-athletes, play high level basketball in front of scouts, land a scholarship and either play professional or lock down a free education. Now Canada produces basketball talent worthy of notice on the international stage while pulling kids out of a bad situation.
That is what baseball should be doing. Build ball players and build better young men.
Love Grif; this is a great move. Find it impossibly ironic that a single utterance of the word “diversity” sends trigger signals throughout the comments sections.
Hopefully Griffey can help MLB better market its stars. This doesn’t apply only to superstars as baseball has plenty of fun and safe personalities. Ask anyone who doesn’t follow baseball and they would have trouble naming a single player. Meanwhile, Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Serena Williams are household names.
To really get youth involved, diverse or not, they are going to have to figure out how to get away from three true outcome baseball. There’s just not enough action compared to something like basketball. Then start marketing players.
I agree…let’s cut to two people playing defense like the NBA.
if anyone can market baseball, Jr. can
Ken Griffey, Jr. is the biggest “What if?” player ever, IMO. By going to Cincinnati when he did he became irrelevant for the back half of his career. I realize Cincinnati has since improved drastically and have made some playoff appearances, but for the bulk of his time there they were a bottom half, irrelevant team without the pieces around him to offer line up protection or get him to the playoffs and it’s always so frustrating to me that it worked out that way.
If he’d gone to many other clubs it would’ve been a different story. He had the potential to be considered not just one of the greatest but the most prolific players of all time and…. it didn’t work out that way, IMO.
Just really frustrating. I know it was his choice. I know he was happy to do it and doesn’t express any regrets and had a lot of injury shortened/limited seasons during his run with Cincinnati anyway, but still.