June 3, 2010

Ken Griffey Jr. retires; just too important to overlook

I’ve neglected to post significant outside-of-Yankeeland baseball news this year, such as the Rangers bankruptcy, Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter, Roy Halladay’s prefect game and the incredible amount of sub-3 ERAs you can find in baseball these days.

But when Ken Griffey Jr. says he is hanging up his spikes, I can’t overlook it.

And that’s what he did yesterday, the Seattle Time reported.

Google Trends It’s a shame he picked yesterday to retire, as first base umpire Jim Joyce missed an obvious call that cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga a perfect game. This snapshot of Google Trends (right) was taken at 11:27 p.m. EST last night, showing the world cares more about more about a blown call than one of the game’s best players retirement.

Griffey’s list of accolades over his career goes on forever, but just to name a few…

  • 13-time All-Star
  • 7-time Silver Slugger winner
  • 10-time Gold Glove winner
  • Named to All-Century team
  • MVP winner

But there’s one gaping hole on that résumé. A World Series ring. Do you think that’s going to keep him out of the Hall of Fame? Not a chance.

He is one of the few great sluggers to avoid any link to performance-enhancing drugs in the Steroid Era. If not for injuries in the prime of his career, he had a good chance to break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.

Griffey, “The Kid,” will be missed by baseball. His swing, his smile, and his class. Everything about him.

For a great testament piece on Griffey, check out Tom Verducci’s latest piece on the star.

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