The Seattle Sounders have added another high-profile name to their ownership group, announcing Tuesday that Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is the latest to join the ranks.
Griffey is one of the most beloved figures in Seattle sports history thanks to his legendary stint with the Seattle Mariners from 1989-1999, before he finished out his 22-year career in Seattle in 2009-2010.
“Ken Griffey Jr. is a name that requires no introduction, whether in Seattle or across the sports world, and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome Ken and his family into our club,” Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer said in Tuesday's press release. “As a lifelong resident of this great city, bringing someone like Ken into Sounders FC holds a special significance to me, as he is truly a part of Seattle sports’ heart and soul. We value the contributions that he will add as a partner in our club and welcome him and his family with open arms.”
Griffey Jr. established himself as one of the most talented players to ever play the game during his initial 11-season run with the Mariners after they made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1987.
He was known for his incredible defensive feats in the outfield, highlighted by a streak of 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1990-99, while also recording 1,742 hits, 398 home runs, 1,152 RBI and 167 stolen bases during his time in Seattle. He led the American League in home runs for four seasons (1994, 1997-1999) and was the American League MVP in 1997.
Griffey Jr. joins a Sounders ownership group that already includes another prominent Seattle athlete in Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson among the lengthy list of names to be added within the past year.
“This is a meaningful day for our entire family,” Griffey said. “My wife Melissa and I said that we wanted to be a part of something special, not only for ourselves, but for our kids to be proud of, and this is it. We know how much this club means to Sounders fans, and for us, this comes back to the city where it all started for our family. We are joining a first-class organization, and we are so proud to give back to the city we love. To the Seattle Sounders community: we are inspired to become part of what you have created. Like you, we are excited to get behind our incredible team as the players prepare for this year’s playoff run.”