Ken Griffey Jr. Retires
Best of our generation?
Overshadowed by the imperfect game yesterday was the retirement of one of the greatest baseball players of our generation- Ken Griffey Jr.In fact, you can make the argument that Griffey was ''the'' greatest player of the so-called Steroids Era during the 1990's and early 2000's.
Griffey was the classic 5-tool player during his heyday with the Mariners. He won 10 straight gold gloves, could steal a base, and of course put up prolific offensive numbers. Unfortunately injuries took their toll on Junior during the second half of his career, but he still had enough productive seasons to finish with well over 600 home runs, 1800 RBIs, and 2700 hits. Meanwhile, he was the face of the Seattle Mariners franchise for a decade, carried the team to the 1995 ALCS with 6 homers in the post-season, and had back to back 56 home run seasons. Most importantly, Ken Griffey has never been linked to performance enhancing drugs. The same of course can not be said for the one other player who rivals the completeness of Griffey's game- Barry Bonds. Bonds, however, only has better overall numbers than Griffey because he had a late-career revelation which is probably linked to steroids. None of the sluggers of the era, meanwhile, could compare to Junior when looking at the whole package- and that is not even taking drug use into account. That's why Ken Griffey Jr. will be a first-ballot hall of famer, and even though he is no longer the same player, his retirement was a sad day for baseball.