Former mates among those reacting to Griffey
Mariners star announces retirement after 630 career home runs
SEATTLE -- A former manager and several past Mariners teammates were among those discussing the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr. on Wednesday.
Griffey retired on the same date Randy Johnson pitched the franchise's first no-hitter -- against the Tigers in 1990 at the Kingdome, and the same date that Junior was selected as the first overall Draft choice, in 1987.
Here are some comments:
Edgar Martinez: "It was my pleasure to play with Junior for many years. What I remember the most is his talent, his great sense of humor, his personality and his love for the game. He wanted to play the game and he did it the right way, hard daily."
Mike Blowers: "Well, I think it's a bit of a surprise for myself, like everybody else, but when I look back on Kenny's career a big smile comes over my face. And the biggest reason why is because he was one of the best teammates I ever had. I know everybody can look at the numbers he put up, first-ballot Hall of Famer and all that stuff, but he was also a great teammate and a great friend to have. For me, although a lot of people are going to be sad on this day I have a lot of fond memories for Kenny. I wish him and Melissa well, and hopefully he gets back to Orlando in good shape and gets back to flying his airplane. I think overall this city was very fortunate to have Kenny in it for the amount of years they had him."
Lou Piniella: "Junior was one of the finest young men I've ever had the opportunity to manage. When we were in Seattle together, I believe he was the best player in baseball and it was truly an honor to be his manager. As great a player he was, he is an even better person. I salute his Hall of Fame career."
Jay Buhner: "Well, obviously he's the greatest Mariner of all time, and he was a great teammate. Ken was always a team-first guy, and this is a perfect example of that. He felt like it was best for team to walk away from the game he loved, so that's what he did. I love the guy like my brother and Leah and I wish Ken and his family nothing but the best."
Dan Wilson: "I congratulate Junior on his amazing baseball career. Never have I witnessed a more skilled player both offensively and defensively. I considered it an honor to take the field everyday wearing a Mariners uniform with one of the greatest players of all time. I congratulate him on all his achievements and Annie and I wish he and Melissa all the best in this new phase of their lives."
Bob Castellini, Reds president and CEO: "We were very honored to have a first-ballot Hall of Famer like Ken play for us for nine years. The Griffey family is at the center of baseball tradition in Cincinnati, and Ken and his father gave our organization and Reds fans many wonderful memories. Not only was Junior one of the best baseball players of this or any other generation, he is a wonderful person and family man. We wish Ken, Melissa and their family success and happiness in life off the field."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.