Ken Griffey Jr retiring at age 40

09:37, June 04, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Seattle Mariners slugger Ken Griffey Jr the "heart and soul" of a franchise whose 630 career home runs rank him fifth on the all-time list, retired after a 22-season career, the team said on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old, 13-time All-Star outfielder was selected first overall by Seattle in 1987 and also spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox before returning to the Mariners in 2009.

"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," Griffey said.

"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 team is what the ultimate goal should be."

Griffey thanked the Mariners for allowing him to finish his professional career where it started and said he looks forward to a continued relationship with the organization.

Earlier this season Griffey denied a report he had fallen asleep in the team's clubhouse during a game.

He ends an illustrious career trailing only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660) for home runs. The outfielder also won 10 Gold Gloves.

In 2,671 games, Griffey batted .284 with 1,836 RBIs.

The Mariners said Griffey's performance was a big part in getting the team a new ballpark in 1999 and felt he was also key in ensuring the team remained in Seattle.

"Ken is truly the heart of soul of this franchise. Without his contributions there is little doubt that Safeco Field would not exist and, almost certainly, baseball would have left the Northwest," said Mariners president Chuck Armstrong.

"He always gave his all on the field and quietly was a force for good in the community."

Griffey spent 11 seasons with the Mariners before going to the Reds in 2000. After a brief stint with the White Sox in 2008 he returned to Seattle the following season but knee problems limited him to just 11 games in the field.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:intern1)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Giant red lantern lights up in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the coming National Day on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
  • A ceremony is held in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, on Sept. 28, 2011, to commemorate the 2,562nd birthday of Confucius (551-479 BC), a Chinese thinker, educationist and philosopher. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)
  • The world's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for delivery arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, capital of Japan, on Sept. 28, 2011. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose buyer is All Nippon Airways (ANA), will implement a flight of ANA on Oct. 26 from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Hong Kong in south China. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
  • A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows what is believed to be human jawbone found inside a mass grave near Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, Spet. 27, 2011. The NTC on Sunday said they had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gaddafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison in southern Tripoli. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
Hot Forum Discussion