Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Griffey Jr graced baseball with his presence

Another baseball great has left the game. Ken Griffey Jr announced the end of his Hall of Fame career after 22 years of gracing baseball with his presence.

"This has been on my mind recently, but it's not an easy decision to come by," he said. "I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to have played Major League Baseball for so long and thankful for all of the friendships I have made, while also being proud of my accomplishments."

It is fitting that Griffey retires from baseball after returning last year to his baseball home, to the place where he started his glorious career. "My hope is that my teammates can focus on baseball and win a championship for themselves and for the great fans of Seattle, who so very much deserve one," Griffey said. "Thanks to all of you for welcoming me back, and thanks again to everyone over the years who has played a part in the success of my career."

Even though his skills were in obvious decline, it doesn't take away from what was a spectacular career both from an offensive and defensive perspective. Griffey leaves the game fifth on the all-time home run list with 630 home runs. He knocked in an impressive 1,836 ribbies and scored 1,662 runs. He made the All-Star team 13 times and won 10 Gold Gloves. And he was a member of Major League Baseball's All-Century team.

Ken Griffey Sr recently said that he was proud of his son. And he is right to be proud of Griffey Jr, one of the few truly great sluggers who is believed not to have fallen prey to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He was one of the game's best role models and he will be missed.

Baseball was lucky to have him.

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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