The Mariners announced Monday that club icon Ken Griffey Jr. has purchased shares in the franchise and joined the Mariners Partnership Group.
“On behalf of all of the partners, I want to welcome Ken,” said Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton. “Ken has been an icon of our franchise, on and off the field, for over three decades and we are thrilled that he is joining us as a partner. His knowledge of the game, love of the Mariner fans, his experiences as a player, his passion for community service and his desire to help grow our sport will be a welcome, and invaluable, additional voice.”
Drafted by the Mariners with the No. 1 overall pick back in 1987, Griffey Jr. made his Major League debut as a 19-year-old in 1989, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting and taking his first steps of an iconic run with the franchise. Over the next 11 seasons, “The Kid” would be named to 11 All-Star teams, win 10 Gold Gloves, win seven Silver Sluggers and finish among the Top 5 in AL MVP voting on five occasions — including a first-place finish in the team’s 1997 season. During two of those seasons, 1990-91, he had the rare opportunity to team with his father, Ken Griffey Sr., even clubbing back-to-back home runs during the 1990 season.
Griffey was traded to the Reds in a deal that brought Mike Cameron to Seattle back in 2000, but he returned to the M’s to close out his career, playing his final 150 big leagues games back in a Mariners jersey from 2009-10. Griffey put the finishing touches on a Cooperstown career when he swatted a pinch-hit, walk-off single on May 20, 2010 — the last of his 2781 knocks at the MLB level. He announced his retirement just a few days later. In parts of 22 big league seasons, he batted .284/.370/.538 with 630 home runs — still the seventh-most in MLB history.
Griffey was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, appearing on 437 of the 440 ballots and narrowly missing the honor of being the first unanimously selected Hall of Famer. The Mariners retired his No. 24 later that summer. Since retirement, Griffey has worked as a special consultant with the Mariners and, more recently, as a senior advisor to commissioner Rob Manfred, focusing on youth baseball development and diversity at the amateur levels of the game.
“As I said in my Hall of Fame speech, I’m very proud to be a Seattle Mariner,” the now-51-year-old Griffey said in a statement within today’s press release. “I’m excited for this incredible opportunity to join John and the rest of the Mariners Partnership Group. This is a dream come true because of the relationship I’ve always had with the team, its fans, and the city of Seattle. I view this as another way to continue to give back to an organization and community that has always supported me, and my family. I’m looking forward to continuing to contribute to this organization’s success in any way possible.”
Fantastic, awesome, and completely unexpected to my dull mind.
This will change the Mariners image in ways we can’t even guess.
This made my day! I couldn’t be happier for him.
Fever Pitch Guy
I’m happy for him as well. He is to the M’s what Big Papi is to the Red Sox.
The most important question I have, will this increase the value of my 1989 Griffey Jr Upper Deck rookie cards?
The Mets "Missed WAR"
Man. Griffey has incredible stats even with all those injuries. It’s hard to imagine what his career stats would have been had he actually been able to stay healthy his entire time with the Reds. I remember he missed a ton of time. 630 home runs is a lot. Anyone think he would’ve beaten the all-time home run record if he had stayed healthy?
More than likely yes. Very unfortunate. I can still remember clearly watching him round third base on ESPN and going down with his torn ACL
Welcome home! So happy you are part owner in our team! Banner day in Seattle!
Probably a small share, but the amount of shares doesn’t matter. He’ll have access to the Front Office and will probably get some input on baseball decisions. Jerry obviously gets the final word and most of the baseball decision-making, but Junior being apart of the ownership group gives us a real voice from ownership (not John Stanton).
I doubt he’ll have much of a contribution outside of hanging out with players and giving advice to them. If contemporary baseball tells us anything it’s the front office and analytics departments directing most decisions.
And who puts the front office and analytics department teams and budgets together again?
Those with a majority stake in ownership.
Tigers have given Al Kaline (RIP), Willie Horton, Allen Trammell, Jim Leyland, and other Tigers the opportunity to have a say by HIRING them. Guess in Seattle you gotta pay to get a say.
Griffey was already being paid to be a special consultant for the M’s.
Bearded Texas Hulk
However many shares he does (or doesn’t have) is unimportant… this is a great move no matter what!
Totally for PR purposes and nothing more. Maybe Jerry will ask him to talk to the players so he doesn’t have to.
It’s Griffey’s financial choice. It’s not a PR move by the Mariners.
Almost every decision in every organization that is public is a PR move.
Great move by the him and M’s. Oh what could have been, were it not for the shortened 1994 season.
Aside from my Braves, the Mariners are probably the team I would most like to see win a World Series. They are basically isolated from the rest of the league and a WS title in Seattle would probably help grow the sport in the Pacific Northwest, which would open the door for a franchise in one of Portland/Vancouver.
Portland will never get a team. The M’s own their media rights and there is nothing MLB can do to force them to relinquish those rights.
Vancouver would be interesting, but you would figure Montreal would get the first shot if they were going to have another team in Canada.
And your Braves hopefully are going to win!
Dr. Chim Richalds
Did anyone seriously not like Ken Griffey Jr.??? I’m a life long Cubs fan, but I was about 10 when The Kid came into the league, and me and all my friends loved this guy. One of the sweetest swings in baseball history.
It would have had to be a pretty jaded person to not like The Kid!! Every true baseball fan loved him…he was great for baseball! Who wouldn’t have been taken by his infectious grin! He loved playing the game, and we loved watching him.
Turn your hat around. Show some respect for the game! Lol. Only thing I didn’t like was the constant Gold Glove accolades. He was a fine CF for most of his career, but was given a few too many because he could hit (see Jeter).
You’re completely wrong. Your comment is asinine. Go type in Griffey defensive highlights on YouTube and then come back and tell me I’m wrong. You couldn’t be further from the truth
Best news of the day!
Dear Mr Griffey,
please get Jerry to add Seagers to the team this off-season rather than subtract one.
Good for Griffey, but he’s simply one of many minority investors in baseball teams. It’s a sign he has some cash for an investment. He’ll have no influence over the team.
What 3 voters left him off their ballot???
People who want to make a point about Babe Ruth. It was dumb.
Cobb got more votes
Ruth was great in his era, but he didn’t see the same level of pitching. The first slider wasn’t thrown until the 20s and the first changeup wasn’t tossed until the 40s. I don’t get why some writers clutch so tightly to Ruth as the best ever. I’m not trying to slight Ruth but it’s just weird to me.
I think they refer to him as the best hitter ever, not necessariiy the best player ever.
Fever Pitch Guy
Outlaw – Check out Ken Burns’ “Baseball” or read up on the history of the game. Back in Babe’s day the baseballs were a lot softer, loosely woven, dirty and worn from repeated use. The outfield walls were a lot farther out, and some parks didn’t even have walls. So for him to be way way better at hitting homeruns is a testament to his greatness.
The best way to measure greatness is to analyze how much better a player was compared to his peers.
Ted Williams was the best hitter ever.
Just ask his frozen head.
He is a Hall of Fame hitter who could have been a Hall of Fame pitcher if he stuck with it.
Also, as a comparison, Ruth was a better more productive as a power hitter than entire teams. It would be the same as a player in 2021 hitting more home runs etc. than say the Nationals or Angles.
Babe Ruth also still holds records for Pitching, too. Ruth had seasons where he hit more home runs by himself, than other Teams hit. Yes things were different. But that is a whole lot of separation from the crowd.
Mariano was the best closer but should he of been the first unanimous in the HOF? A closer over one of the best CF of all time?
It’s still crazy and will always be crazy to know that a closer was the first player to get 100% votes for the Hall of Fame. It makes no sense
Mariano was on a whole different level than any relief pitcher ever. He deserved to be a unanimous pick to the HOF. But so did Ken Griffey Jr.
2781 hits and 630 HR in a career that we remember as cut short by injuries. Those are still impressive counting stats…
Jr——-22 years 2700-plus hits
Puckett–12 years 2300-plus hits
Through his age 30 season, one of the best and most exciting players of the last half-century. He’s not the only player who signed a big free agent contract in his 30’s and underperformed. No reason to trash him.
Underperformed would be an understatement here – 95% of his production (fWAR) came before his age 30 season, He was great for the game while in Seattle; on the other hand he’s an example of how free agency and lopsided baseball economics can rake a smaller market team across the coals. Without a doubt it alienated fans from both the team and the sport.
It doesn’t matter how little his share in the team is, he was one of the most exciting players, to watch, in the history of baseball. He had fun playing, and you could tell it!
He made Mariners baseball exciting and fun to watch like no other.
Griffey will be for the Mariners ownership what Magic Johnson was for the Dodgers; someone to make public appearances, take photos, and sign autographs at team functions and local events.
That said, you can’t go wrong having the face of the entire franchise (even still today) around for whatever purposes
I’m really happy about this move. If not for injuries I still believe that Griffey would be the sole member of the 800 Home Run club and the greatest player to ever play the game.
If Ted Williams didn’t miss four years military he would have had 800 HR and be considered best ever. ⚾️
lady1959, I would possibly modify that to say “might have had”, but with a strong “might have”.,
‘but what you say is mighty relevant and right on..
Many experts have commented on Ted’s amazing eyesight, which of course contributed to his flying Marine Corps fighters. 40-20, I think it was. Twice the normal accuity.
Two separate wars!, can anyone imagine that?
He flew in WWII and then volunteered again during the Korean War.
As far as “who was the greatest hitter ever”, I have to come down on the side of Ted Williams.
As far as the “greatest baseball player ever”, though, we have to talk about Joe diMaggio, because Ted was a bit weak as a fielder..
In 1946, of course, Joe had the best BA ever.
Babe Ruth was back in an earlier, more innocent time. After Ruth and Gehrig, the game changed, the ball changed, bats changed, and training regimens changed.
Comparisons can be fun, but we soon have to leave off with the comparisons most of the time.
Will there be players greater than Junior?
Sure. If the world still exists, if the game still exists, most probably.
One my my favorite players. I was so into baseball during that time. Now, I’m a fan on the periphery since they’re all about being SJWs. Entertainment doesn’t need to intersect with politics.
This is a great move by The Mariners. It wouldn’t surprise me if he paid a minimum to by in or even that the ownership gave him a stake at no cost to Ken just for the PR.
Outstanding for everyone all around!