One of the greatest baseball players of all-time Ken Griffey Jr. has decided to retire.
The Seattle Mariners selected George Kenneth “Ken” Griffey Jr. with the first overall pick of the 1987 amateur draft and two years later he began to make an impact. “The Kid” became extremely popular in the ’90s because of his young, fresh personality on the field and his signature backwards hat. He hit towering home runs with his sweet swing and made stunning catches in the outfield. Griffey was the epitome of a great athlete and was as marketable as they came off the field.
Through the years Junior has had endorsement deals with Nike, Wheaties, Nintendo, Pizza Hut and Upper Deck to name a few. His signature grin, swagger and amazing play making ability on the field has made him one of the most loved baseball players ever.
Griffey is a 13 time All-Star, 10 time Gold Glover, 7 time Silver Slugger Award winner and a 3 time Home Run Derby Champion. In 1997 he won the AL MVP batting .304 with 56 dingers and 147 RBIs. Junior is highly regarded as having the sweetest swing the baseball world has ever seen.
Starting in 1993 Griffey had some amazing years in the home run category. He had an astonishing 7 years where he hit 45, 40, 49, 56, 56 48 and 40 home runs in a season. His 630 home runs rank 5th on the all-time list and even more impressive is that he doesn’t have a steroid cloud hanging above his head like most of the other big time sluggers. He also has 2,781 career hits and 1,836 career RBIs. There’s no doubt the sweet swinging lefty who has done it the right way will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
In the ’90s Griffey had his own Nike signature line of cleats and turf shoes. Nike has brought some of the models back in recent years including the Air Griffey Max I which has sold really well and the Air Griffey Max GD II.
Also check out Sole Collector’s interview with Griffey: