Ken Griffey Jr. is retiring. Hats off to one of the greatest players ever.
Ken Griffey Jr. was as big a part of baseball as anyone in the 90s. It really is a shame that injuries have dominated the 2nd half of his career. He ends up with 630 career homeruns despite missing an average of 56 games a season after turning 30. That is as remarkable as it gets.
I have long had a rule that you can't be a fan of a division rival and therefore can't buy their jersey or any other merchandise. Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the few guys I would make an exception for. If you grew up in the 90s and liked baseball, you wanted to be Ken Griffey Jr. Whether it was the backwards hat in the Homerun Derby or his smooth play in Centerfield it was hard not to like the guy or root for him. He genuinely looked like he loved the game. He proved it again in 2000 when he probably could have landed a much bigger contract on the open market but requested a trade to the Reds so he could play closer to his home.
He will no doubt be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I would like the MLB to incorporate Darren Rovell's idea and put a backwards hat on his plaque! I would love to make the drive to Cooperstown for Griffey's induction.