Baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. was just inducted into the Hall of Fame in the most-unprecedented way. By a unanimous vote, Griffey Jr. is destined for Cooperstown, New York.
Out of 440 ballots, Ken Griffey Jr.‘s name appeared on 437 of them. According to Seattle Times, the MLB Hall of Fame announced its 2016 class via the MLB Network, and of course, Griffey Jr’s name was front and center. The source mentions as follows.
“As expected, Griffey headed the list of two players to receive votes on at least 75 percent of the 440 Hall of Fame ballots submitted by eligible voters from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America required to gain induction.”
The source states that Ken Griffey Jr. has done what no other baseball athlete has done. It’s not like he had any control over the results. However, Seattle Times mentions that Griffey Jr’s votes rendered 99.3 percent of the ballots. No one has been voted, unanimously. Congratulations to Ken Griffey Jr. It’s well-deserved. As notes CBS Sports, “Players need to receive 75 percent of the vote for induction and at least five percent of the vote to remain on the ballot another year.”
— Gregory Polanco ☕️ (@El_Coffee) January 6, 2016
After getting the news, Ken noted that he was “happy and shocked.” Specifically, Griffey Jr. mentioned that he’s glad that he’s deemed as one of the elite. And for that, he’s “thankful to the writers.”
The New York Times states that “voters previously held ballots for life, whether or not they still covered baseball. The Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted last summer to eliminate writers who had not been actively covering baseball for the last 10 years.” Interestingly, New York Times doesn’t allow its writers such a voting privilege.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred actually congratulated Ken Griffey Jr., himself, and gave a personal statement — which reads as follows.
“Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing, smile and immense talent in all facets of the game made him one of the most popular and respected players of all-time, a stature clearly evident in the results released today. His election to Cooperstown surely marks a great occasion not only in the Pacific Northwest and his hometown of Cincinnati, but also for an entire generation of fans. Major League Baseball is proud to congratulate Ken and his family on this well-deserved honor.”
Ken Griffey Jr. keeps it… pic.twitter.com/k5More9W48
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) January 7, 2016
CBS Sports mentions that the Hall of Fame induction weekend will be July 22 through 25. And the actual ceremony, where Ken Griffey Jr. will be in attendance, will be July 24, at 1:30 p.m. The source notes, “Tom Seaver was the all-time leader at 98.84 percent. Nolan Ryan (98.79 percent), Cal Ripken Jr. (98.53 percent), and Ty Cobb (98.23 percent) round out the top five.”
The Seattle Times notes Ken’s statistics as the following:
- 2,617 Career Games
- 2,781 Hits
- 1,836 RBIs
- 1,662 Runs
- 630 Homeruns
- a.907 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage)
- 13 All-Star Games
- 10 Gold Gloves
- 7 Silver Slugger awards
- Major League Baseball’s All-Century
- American League MVP
Ken has set a new standard to beat.
As background information, New York Times reports that Ken Griffey Jr. was picked up in 1987 from Moeller High School, in Cincinnati, Ohio. After joining the minor leagues and moving up through the ranks at a rapid pace, say Seattle Times, Griffey Jr. advanced to the major leagues in just two years. Interestingly enough, his father, Ken Griffey Sr. was an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds at the time. Both Griffeys played together for the Mariners, as well as the Reds. However, also, Ken Griffey Jr. played for the Chicago White Sox.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 7, 2016
The New York Times states, “Griffey will be the first player to wear a Seattle Mariners cap on his plaque in Cooperstown, having starred for the team from 1989 to 1999 and returning a decade later to end his career.”
How do you feel about Ken Griffey Jr. and his induction into the Hall of Fame? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
[Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]