Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MLB Blog-Ken Griffey Jr. Retires

Today George Kenneth Griffey Jr. officially closed the book on his storied 22 year Major League Career. And one can't help but think of that sweet swing that sent baseballs farther than horizon lines. Griffey was a rare breed. A 5 tool player that made the absolute most out of his talents. He finished his career hitting .284 with 630 home runs (5th all time) and 1836 runs batted in. But what Griffey should be most remembered for was saving the Seattle Mariner franchise. For most Seattle fans 1995 would be the year the Mariners were saved, as the M's made a improbable run to the ALCS thanks to a Edgar Martinez double, scoring the speedy Griffey. But, had Griffey not blossomed into that feared hitter, he never brings the respectability back to Seattle, and Seattle probably would of up and moved to a new city (The M's were pushing for a new stadium at the time). Griffey needed Seattle and Seattle needed Griffey. And when Griffey was traded to Cincinnati in 2000, it just seemed like the wrong fit for both sides. In Griffey's first 11 seasons with Seattle he was averaging 36 HR and 104 RBI per season, but after his trade to Cincinnati he just averaged 25 HR and 67 RBI in 8 and a half seasons there. And in four of his first seven seasons in Cincinatti Griffey missed at least 50 games due to injury. It was just never right watching Griffey play for someone not named Seattle. But he made one last right in his career by playing his final year and a quarter with Seattle. But as we saw Griffey was so worn by age that the Seattle magic he once had there was gone. And he chose to ride off into the sunset on his terms. Ken Griffey was this writer's baseball icon growing up. And you couldn't of picked a better one to have during the steroid era, when all the games greats had fallen out of respectability, with the exception of Junior himself. Our final shot of Junior will be in 2016 as he recieves his plaque in Cooperstown with that infamous ear to ear grin on his face(No doubt he will have Seattle on his cap). And he will go down as one of the best centerfielders in baseball history, rivaling Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb for that honor.

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