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MLB

Ken Griffey Jr. buys into Seattle Mariners ownership group

The former AL MVP has taken his relationship with the club that made him a step further.

Update:
MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. has purchased a stake in the ownership of the Seattle Mariners, the very team he made his name with during his career.

One of Seattle's favorite sons is intent on leaving his mark even after his playing career

Ken Griffey Jr. invests in the Seattle Mariners

A player whose name and image became synonymous with the club, a Hall of Famer and now part owner, Ken Griffey Jr. has decided to invest in the Seattle Mariners. The former MLB MVP had set his sights on the idea long ago and has finally realized a dream.

"It was just a conversation and it just kept snowballing, and then finally I was able to do what I need to do, Griffey stated. "So it wasn't like I woke up and said, 'You know what, I think I want to do this now. Basic conversation. What's next and I was able to pull the trigger this year. I had to wait my turn like everybody else."

The Michael Jordan effect

Griffey had to wait for his opportunity to buy shares from a minority holder, however, he explained that the desire to be part of the ownership was born when his playing career ended in 2010. Interestingly this isn't Griffey's first foray into the world of investment. Along with his family he recently purchased a stake in the Seattle Sounders ownership. Citing conversations with friends like Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter, Griffey was inspired to make further moves.

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"I've known Michael for 30 years and you look at certain things that he's created for everybody else, it's almost like you look and say there's the blueprint. You may not be able to match that, but you can look at it and have an idea of what he's done over the years and how he's grown an empire.''

From MLB legend to the boardroom

In 1987 Ken Griffey Jr. was the No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft by the Mariners. Just two years after, he made his MLB debut and it wouldn't be long before he was recognized as one of the best players of his generation. He would go on to spend his first 11 seasons with the Mariners and in that time they would win two American League West titles while Griffey himself was named AL MVP in 1997. Though he did have a period with Cincinnati starting in 1999, he would finally come home to Seattle in 2009 where he finished his career, retiring in 2010 at the age of 40.

Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 Griffey has actually served as an ambassador for the Mariners, holding an official title of 'special consultant.' Griffey was also named a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred earlier this year who stated, "the strength of any partnership is based on the breadth of perspectives of the partners, all of our partners are passionate fans. But Ken brings a unique perspective to this partnership because he's played the game at a Hall of Fame level, and he's remained involved in the game."

Griffey explained his hope to introduce a player's perspective into the boardroom saying, "It just gives a different viewpoint that maybe they haven't thought of, but you do have some smart people in the room and you got some people who care.''

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