On June 2nd, 1987, with the first pick in the draft, the Seattle Mariners select Ken Griffey Jr. On June 2nd, 2010, Ken Griffey Jr announces his retirement from baseball.
Today is a legendary date in baseball history. Ready for all this?
- Lou Gehrig’s streak began
- Lou Gehrig passed away
- Babe Ruth retires
- Armando Galarraga loses his perfect game on a blown call by umpire Jim Joyce
But above all, I’d deem today Ken Griffey Jr day. In 1987 the Mariners selected Jr first overall out of Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, OH. Less than two years later, in 1989, The Kid made his big league debut, playing 127 games that year, and winning the Rookie of the Year award. Following that season, he went on to make 11 straight All Star Games, winning a Gold Glove in 10 of those years, and a Silver Slugger in 7 of them. What a streak.
On June 2nd, 2010, one of the most admired players in baseball history announced his retirement.
“I’ve come to a decision today to retire from Major League Baseball as an active player…This has been on my mind recently, but it’s not an easy decision to come by. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to play Major League Baseball for so long and thankful for all the friendships I have made, while also being proud of my accomplishments.”
“While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction,”
“I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be,”
Do we have the authority to make today the official Ken Griffey Jr Day? This commercial Nike ran when he retired still gives me goosebumps to this day.