Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Major League Baseball has named Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Griffey will consult with MLB on a number of issues, with a special emphasis on baseball operations and youth baseball development, particularly regarding improving diversity at amateur levels of the game. Griffey also will serve as an MLB ambassador at youth baseball initiatives and at its special events, such as the All-Star Game and during the Postseason.
Commissioner Manfred said: “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. 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.”
Griffey said: “I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role. It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today’s youth.”
Griffey was a 13-time All-Star in his 22-year Major League career with the Seattle Mariners (1989-1999, 2009-2010), the Cincinnati Reds (2000-2008) and the Chicago White Sox (2008). “The Kid,” who guided the Mariners to their first two Postseason berths in franchise history in 1995 and 1997, was the youngest member of MLB’s All-Century Team, which was unveiled in 1999. With 630 career home runs, the unanimous 1997 American League Most Valuable Player (.304, 56 HR, 147 RBI, 125 R) ranks seventh on the all-time list. One of the most popular players of his generation, the 10-time Rawlings Gold Glove-winning center fielder concluded his career in 2010 with 50,044,176 All-Star votes from fans, the most of any player in the history of Major League Baseball.
In 2007, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig expanded Griffey’s idea to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day to allow on-field personnel throughout Major League Baseball to wear Jackie’s number as part of the festivities, a tradition that has continued annually since then. In 2011, MLB presented the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award to Griffey, marking only the 12th time ever that the honor has been bestowed on a figure in the game. Griffey was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 after being named on 99.3% of the ballots, a record at the time. Since 2016, Griffey has served as a youth ambassador for both MLB and the MLB Players Association on their joint baseball development initiatives.