Hall of Famer and Seattle Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. has joined the team’s ownership group, Mariners chairman John Stanton announced on Monday.
How fitting is it that Griffey Jr. buys into his former team which also happens to be full of MLBbros.
Players like Kyle Lewis and Allan Trammell and Shed Long and Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield and JP Crawford.
“The Kid” from Donora, Pennsylvania, was drafted by the Mariners at the age of 17, and patrolled center field for the ball club for more than a decade. His backward hat, sweet lefty swing, and defensive excellence was the essence of cool.
During his legendary career he was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time Silver Slugger winner, four-time American League home run champ, American League RBI champ, and American League MVP.
He was also named to the Major League All-Century Team, as one of the 100 greatest players of the 20th century.
Griffey has served as a special consultant to the Mariners since 2011, and is the first Mariners player to join as a partner.
“We’re going to win,” Griffey said during a press conference at T-Mobile Park. “I don’t like losing. The guys who played with me and the guys I played against [know] I’m a very bad loser. And I take this responsibility to the highest level. I think being a 17-year-old kid getting drafted, I consider this like the guy who started in the mailroom and now has worked his way up. This is an opportunity, like I said, that I don’t take lightly.”
Griffey has spent time since his playing days ended immersing himself in the business side of baseball. In addition to his role as special consultant, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, and is also working as a senior adviser to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Lots of franchises have former players as owners or partners. Their stakes are often minor, and they have little influence over actual decisions of consequence.
These moves are often PR stunts, or popular names added to the marquee for ulterior motives. But that may not be the case here.
“Ken is the second new investing partner in the Seattle Mariners in the last 30 years, and the first in over 20 years,” Stanton said. “When we look at any issue with the Mariners, we start with what our mission is. Our mission is to win championships, to delight our fans and to serve our communities, and Ken joining the partnership helps us do all three things.”
Regardless, Junior is joining the ownership group of a franchise many believe is on the come-up. They finished this past season at 90-72 just outside the second AL wild-card spot, and the farm system is ranked No. 2 in MLB.
Good things may be on the horizon.
Griffey comes from a baseball family that spans five decades. His father Ken Griffey Sr. was a baseball savant as well and they are the only father-son duo to go back-to-back in an MLB game.
Griffey Sr. played from 1973 through 1991, most notably as a key cog in the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine” dynasty that won three division titles and two World Series championships between 1973 and 1976.
Griffey Sr. instilled the life lessons outside of baseball that put Junior in a position to think ownership.
The other major piece to this story is Junior joins the ranks of Black people in sports franchise ownership. An extremely small club to be clear. But he’s grown the roster.
In a sport that has seen a precipitous drop in participation by Black players over the past 25 years, forget the coaching and executive ranks, Junior’s ascension hopefully will be the start of good things.
Before the season, LaMonte Wade Jr. was a player that was not on many people’s radar. Now, he’s one of the most popular players in the league. Wade has wasted no time impressing people this season with his abilities at the plate and on the field.
Now he’s getting ready to play in his first postseason of his career and he’ll be a key player going into the playoffs for the San Francisco Giants as they’ll look to make a run to the World Series.
This is Wade’s first season with the Giants and his third overall. From his teammates to the fans, everyone has enjoyed watching Wade go out there and play.
The only award named for a former player, the Willie Mac Award is the most special recognition a Giant can receive because it’s voted on by #SFGiants teammates, coaches and trainers, and by all of you, the fans.
He was recently named the 2021 Willie Mac Award winner. The award is named in the honor of Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, and is given each year to the most inspirational player in a vote by players, coaches, staff members and fans.
“I’m truly blessed and honored to receive this award,” Wade Jr. said during a speech before Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park. “I’d like to thank my family, my mom and dad, friends, the Giants organization, the strength staff, the training staff for keeping me healthy this season. And of course, I’d like to thank Willie, who I know is watching from above. Finally, I would like to give a shout out to the fans here in San Francisco. You guys have been great all year and we appreciate the love and support you’ve given us and continue to give us.”
What made it better was that his family was able to be in attendance when he received the award.
“The last few days have definitely been very special,” he told NBC Sports. “To get the hit yesterday and to celebrate with the fans and my teammates like that was a very special feeling, and to not even know that my parents were in the stands last night was kind of cool. It was just a very special day today and to have my mom throw out the first pitch was just the icing on the cake. That’ll be a day we talk about forever and we never forget.”
For our MLBbro to win this award in his first season with the team is a special accomplishment for Wade. Wade finished the regular season with a .254 batting average and .484 slugging percentage through 109 games.
He also hit 18 home runs with 56 RBI and had six stolen bases.
Throughout the season, Wade has come through in clutch situations for the Giants and that’s why he earned the nickname “Late Night LaMonte,” for his late-game heroics during the season.
One of those was a ninth-inning walk-off single on September 30th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Our MLBbro has been a key factor to the Giants success this season and he will look to make an impact in the playoffs. We all know the playoffs are a different atmosphere and there is a lot on the line.
But Wade will make the most of his opportunity in the postseason and don’t be surprised if he becomes a hero for the Giants.
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Giancarlo Stanton has 9 homers tracked at 470+ feet since 2015. No other player has more than 4. The red hot MLBbro hit a Darryl Strawberry-like missile 472-feet on Friday night to lead the Yankees to an 8-2 win over the Oakland A’s. The win was the Yankees’ 13th straight victory, the decorated franchise’s longest streak in 60 years.