Ken Griffey Jr. Retires

Ken Griffey Jr., the man credited for saving the Seattle Mariners from relocation, has decided to end a brilliant and steroid-free baseball career. In a statement released through the Mariners, Griffey said that although he believes he can still contribute to his team’s cause, he doesn’t want to be a distraction.

“I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be,” he said in the statement announced by the Mariners before they faced the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

And with those words, end a career that saw Griffey rise to the fifth of the all-time home run list with 630. Even more amazing is the fact that Griffey collected those homers without being implicated in any steroid-use scandal unlike other home run leaders of his time like Barry Bonds, the all-time leader, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire.

The 40-year-old Griffey was drafted first overall by the Mariners in 1987 and made his big league debut in 1989, quickly making an impact so big that the Mariners were saved from being relocated. Aside from his batting prowess, Griffey was also known for his defense, which won him 10 Gold Glove awards in his almost 22-year career. He collected 1,836 RBIs and 2,781 hits with a lifetime batting average of .284. He played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox after leaving Seattle in 2000 but signed back with the Mariners last year.