Ken Griffey Jr. spent the first 11 years of his career with the Seattle Mariners. In 2000 the Mariners traded Griffey to the Cincinnati Reds due to Griffey’s impending free agency. The Mariners received four players in return, Mike Cameron, Jake Meyer, Antonio Perez and Brett Tomko. Griffey would spend nine years in Cincinnati, but only two of those were not marred by injury. Six times Griffey had topped 40 home runs in Seattle, but he did so only once in Cincy.
Griffey played 22 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for three teams (1989–2010). He spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, along with a short stint with the Chicago White Sox. A 13-time All-Star, Griffey was one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history; his 630 home runs rank as the sixth-most in MLB history. Griffey was also an exceptional defender and won 10 Gold Glove Awards in center field. He is tied for the record of most consecutive games with a home run (8 games, tied with Don Mattingly and Dale Long).
Although popular with fans and a fan favorite around the league, Griffey was unable to shake reports of petulant demeanor throughout his major league baseball career. Griffey signed lucrative deals with companies of international prominence like Nike and Nintendo (owners of the Mariners); his popularity reflected well upon MLB and is credited by some with helping restore its image after the 1994 labor dispute. He currently works in the Mariners’ front office as a special consultant. Griffey is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four different calendar decades. On January 22, 2013, the Mariners announced Griffey would be the seventh person inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. He is the son of former MLB player Ken Griffey, Sr.