Ken Griffey, Jr. elected to the MLB Hall of Fame

Griffey back when he played for Moeller high school

taken from the Internet

Griffey back when he played for Moeller high school

Rocco Salamone '16, Online Co-Editor

Ken Griffey, Jr. spent all of his life working to excel in the sport of baseball and made history while attaining one of the sport’s highest honors. In his first year of eligibility, Griffey was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame with the highest percentage ever.

Before giving the numbers, let’s take a look back at the marvelous career of Ken Griffey, Jr.

Griffey was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, but moved to Cincinnati when his father, Ken Griffey, Sr., played on the Big Red Machine. When Griffey was six years old, he was in the dugout when the Redlegs won back-to-back World Series Championships in 1975 and 1976. When he was a teenager, he attended Elder’s archrival Moeller High School. There, he played with his future teammate Barry Larkin and was an exceptional player. He also played running back for Moeller and was recruited heavily by D1 football programs.

From high school, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in that year’s Amateur Draft. He was the first pick, and that ended up being the best pick for the Mariners. Griffey, Jr. rose to prominence with the Seattle Mariners. While playing with the team for 10 years, he racked up 1,752 hits, 398 home runs, 1,152 RBIs, and 167 stolen bases. He was also a master in the field. His impressive speed and range allowed him to continuously make diving catches that stunned the nation. He was known as the superstar of Major League Baseball at the time.

My dad told me, “In my lifetime, I have watched some of the greatest baseball players ever play, but Griffey always seemed way better than them when he was in Seattle. Every day you would hear about something that he was doing on the field.”

In 1999, Griffey decided that he wanted to be closer to his family (who lived in Florida) and wanted to be close to his relatives in Cincinnati. So he was then traded to the Reds. He switched his number from 24 to 30 (the number that his father wore as a Red). Although he had nine great years as a Red, many baseball writers and historians dub his first year in Cincinnati as the beginning of the end for Griffey. His numbers were above average for an average player, but they weren’t “superstar” worthy.

Senior Brian Smedley told me, “I loved Ken Griffey Jr. He was my favorite player and I had his jersey. Even though he may not have been as good as he was in Seattle, he was still very good.”

After a solid nine seasons in Cincinnati, he was traded to the White Sox for a year. After that, he went back to the Mariners for half a year before his retirement.

Throughout his 21 year career, he was a 13 time All-star, the AL MVP in 1997, 10 time Gold Glover, 7 time Silver Slugger, the MLB All-star game MVP in 1992, NL Comeback player of the year in 2005, 4 time AL home run leader, the AL RBI leader in 1997, 3 time Home Run Derby Champion, he is in the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, and finally, for his efforts in his first ten years with the Mariners, he was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

This is quite an illustrious career. There is no question that he should be elected into the Hall of Fame. Maybe that is the reason why he is the first Hall of Fame member to be elected by a 99.3% vote. Many thought he would go unanimously, but the Kid will have to just be happy with the history that he made.

If you want to watch how he reacted to getting the call, click here.