Historic Achievement Award bestowed upon Griffey
Ken Griffey Jr. was honored with the commissioner of baseball’s Historic Achievement Award prior to Game Four of the World Series on Sunday for a superb career that began and ended with the Seattle Mariners.
“Ken Griffey Jr. was a gifted all-around player with a perfect swing, a brilliant glove and a childlike joy for the game,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “From the time he was just 19, Ken represented Major League Baseball with excellence and grace, and he was one of our sport’s greatest ambassadors not only in Seattle and Cincinnati, but also around the world.”
This will mark only the 12th time that Major League Baseball has bestowed the award, which was created in 1998 to recognize achievements and contributions of historical significance. Griffey is the first recipient of the Award since 2007, when Rachel Robinson was honored for continuing the legacy of her late husband, Jackie Robinson, and for her service to the league.
Griffey was a 13-time All-Star in his 22-year Major League career, playing for the Seattle Mariners (1989-1999, 2009-2010), the Cincinnati Reds (2000-2008) and the Chicago White Sox (2008).
“The Kid” guided the Mariners to the first two postseason berths in franchise history in 1995 and 1997.
With 630 career home runs, the unanimous 1997 American League Most Valuable Player (.304, 56 HR, 147 RBI, 125 runs) currently ranks fifth on the all-time list.
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE
When former President George W. Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4, he was a bit wide of home plate.
The ball flicked off the catcher’s glove and hit a photographer who was behind the plate.
The catcher was Nolan Ryan, a Hall of Famer and Rangers president who is more accustomed to throwing pitches than catching them. Manager Ron Washington and slugger Josh Hamilton were among those in the Rangers dugout who erupted in laughter when Ryan misplayed the ball.
While the photographer was OK and able to laugh it off, he’s probably thankful that it was Bush and not Ryan who made the errant throw.
Ryan and Bush both had smiles on their faces after the ceremonial throw when they posed for a picture.