Ken Griffey Jr. Is An MLB Team Owner | The Kid Returns To Seattle To Guide Mariners Swag Attack

Ken Griffey Jr. Is An MLB Team Owner | The Kid Returns To Seattle To Guide Mariners Swag Attack

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.

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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.

Story via The Shadow League
Ken Griffey Jr. Is An MLB Team Owner | The Kid Returns To Seattle To Guide Mariners Swag Attack

Hank Aaron Invitational | Ken Griffey Sr. Talks The Future Of Black Baseball & Recalls His Greatest MLB Memories

Ken Griffey Sr. is one of the distinguished former MLB players, coaches and executives lending their expertise to the development of Black & brown players at The Hank Aaron Invitational in Vero Beach, Florida this week and next.

 

 

Ken Griffey Sr. was playing the outfield for the Big Red Machine when Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth on the all-time Home Run list with 714. He also caught the last out ever made by the great Willie Mays in 1973. The father of “The Kid” shares some of the most memorable moments of his 19-year career.

 

 

The Griffey Jr. and Sr. Air Max 1 Honors Baseball’s Royal Family

The Griffey Jr. and Sr. Air Max 1 Honors Baseball’s Royal Family

It’s been five years and Nike is finally bringing back the Air Griffey Max 1 in a host of original color schemes. This time the brand isn’t just honoring “The Kid.” The new  Air Force 1 will commemorate both Ken Griffey Jr. and his Dad, Ken Griffey Sr. who was also a dope MLB outfielder and teammate with his son for one season.

They remain the only father-son duo to go back-to-back in an MLB game.

 

 

The left and right shoe are dedicated to Jr. and Sr. respectively, with the suffixes appearing atop the Swoosh on the mustaches and on the insoles. Their numbers, 24 and 30, also appear on the lateral side of the heel, while the tongue lining is mismatched with blue on the left and yellow and the right. Red stitching on the heel mimics that of a baseball, cementing the Air Force 1’s connection to America’s pastime.

Nike doesn’t hitch its brand to Black baseball players often. In 2020, ESPN compiled a list of the top 100 most famous athletes around the world and not a single MLB player was ranked.

Tim Anderson has appeared in Nike ads and seems to be the “face of Nike” for baseball, but when it comes to being able to sell signature shoes, Griffey Jr. locked that down years ago when he transcended the sport and inspired generations of Black ballplayers. Too often, the father is overlooked when telling the story of the Black superstar, but Griffey Sr.’s role in Junior’s life is undeniable and he deserves to be honored as well.

Ken Griffey Jr. Sr. Nike Air Force 1

Back in the 90s, Nike was swooping in and hitching their wagon to the greatest emerging cross-training and captivating athletes. Griffey Jr. followed Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders as the face of the show giant’s cross-training line.

According to reports, when it came time to design his signature shoe, Griffey Jr. had one simple instruction for the designer: “Just make it loud.”

”At that time, I wanted to be different than everyone else,” Griffey Jr. told Sole Collector in a 2009 interview. “I think that was the one thing I wanted. A big ol’ Swoosh on there, too, and I wanted a strap. I think I was really adamant about the strap.”

Ken Griffey Jr. Sr. Nike Air Force 1

The Air Griffey Max 1 was a slow roller in the mainstream but quickly became a go-to hood classic in the streets of New York.  Later on, it would take on a more iconic status for sneakerheads — standing out more than any of his subsequent sneakers.

LeBron James even paid homage to the original “Fresh Water” color scheme with a pair of his limited-edition #LeBronWatch sneakers in 2018.

The Griffey Jr. and Sr. Air Max 1 don’t yet have a release date but should be dropping relatively soon. In the meantime, the Air Griffey Max 1 “Royal” is slated to release this week — and an Air Vapormax that commemorates Jr.’s iconic “Spider-Man catch” is also on the way.