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Ken Griffey Jr. – Hall Of Fame Preview

Ken Griffey Jr. Chinna Graves via

MLB – Ken Griffey Jr.

With A Record 99.3% Of The Vote, Ken Griffey Jr. Has Been Elected To Cooperstown

In 1987, the Seattle Mariners drafted Ken Griffey Jr. number 1 overall. Griffey was right out of high school but all the scouts knew he could play ball. He won U.S. high school baseball player of the year in 1987 which increased his draft stock and lead to him being drafted number 1.

Griffey did not disappoint when he finally got called to the majors in 1989. In his first major league at-bat, “Junior” recorded his first big league hit and a week later he recorded his first homer. Griffey’s quick start proved to be a sign for what was to come in his career.

In the ten years that followed, “The Kid” recorded over 1,700 hits, almost 400 homers, over 1,000 RBI’s, and more than 150 stolen bases. He built a reputation of a power-hitting gold glove outfielder. One can see that from the 10 straight Gold Gloves he won from 1990-1999.

Griffey lead the Mariners to the ALDS in 1995 where he would score the iconic winning run in game 5 to beat the New York Yankees. The Mariners would eventually fall short in ’95 but were back in the playoffs in 1997. It took an MVP season from Griffey to propel the Mariners to the AL West title. Griffey hit .304 with 56 homers and 147 RBI’s in 1997 in route to his first MVP award.

As the 2000 season rolled around, Griffey found himself traded to the Cincinnati Reds where he would sign a nine-year deal worth around $112 million. It didn’t take long for Griffey’s production to start falling off. He hit 40 homers in 2000 but from 2002 to 2004, he missed roughly half of his games with injuries.

Four years after being dealt to Cincinnati, Griffey hit his 500th career homerun. That would be the only bright spot for Griffey in 2004 as he suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to the DL for a big chunk of the year.

2005 proved to be a better year for Griffey. He hit 35 bombs and finished the season tied on the all-time home run list with Mickey Mantle. His return to superstar form earned him Comeback Player of the Year. By the end of the 2006 season, Griffey had moved into a tie for 10th on the all-time home run list.

Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the 2008 trade deadline. A day before, he hit his 608th career home run which ranked him 6th on the all-time list. Griffey and the White Sox made the playoffs in 2008 thanks to Griffey throwing out Michael Cuddyer in a decisive game between the White Sox and Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central.

After falling to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 playoffs, Griffey became a free agent and was signed by the Seattle Mariners. It was the perfect end to Griffey’s hall-of-fame career. He would get to retire with the team that drafted him all those years ago.

Ken Griffey Jr. ended his career in 2010 after racking up 630 career home runs. He also finished his career with 1,836 RBI’s and a career batting average of .284.

The 13-time All-star and 10-time Gold Glover will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 24th. Fans can watch the ceremony on MLB network beginning at 12:00pm eastern time.