Major League Baseball took another significant step forward in growing the game at the grassroots level on Friday, hiring Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as a senior advisor to Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Griffey will consult with MLB in a number of areas, with a special emphasis on baseball operations
Major League Baseball took another significant step forward in growing the game at the grassroots level on Friday, hiring Hall of Famer
Griffey will consult with MLB in a number of areas, with a special emphasis on baseball operations and youth baseball development, particularly on improving diversity at amateur levels. He’ll also serve as an MLB ambassador at youth baseball initiatives and at special events, such as the All-Star Game and during the postseason.
“I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role,” Griffey said in a statement. “It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today’s youth.”
“We are thrilled that Ken will represent Major League Baseball on some of our sport’s most important stages, alongside our current and future stars,” Manfred said in a statement. “We welcome the perspective and insights that Ken gained as an historic player, as a parent, and as someone who has spent his life in and around our great game.”
The 13-time All-Star and face of baseball in Seattle — if not the entire game — during the ‘90s has had a prominent presence since retiring in 2010, currently serving as a youth ambassador for both MLB and the MLB Players Association on their joint baseball development initiatives. He’s also been a special consultant to the Mariners since retiring.
Griffey jump-started the donning of No. 42 across MLB on Jackie Robinson Day, which has become one of the most prominent dates on the MLB calendar. Since 2007, all players wear the number that was retired throughout MLB in 1997 during the annual event that honors the Hall of Famer Robinson, who broke MLB’s race barrier in 1947.
Griffey was the 2011 recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, which marked just the 12th time that the honor was bestowed upon a figure in the game. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with a then-record 99.3% of ballots cat during his first year of eligibility in 2016.
The 10-time Gold Glove Award winner was drafted by the Mariners with the No. 1 overall pick in 1987 and spent 13 of his 22 big league seasons with Seattle. He also played for the Reds and the White Sox.