Welcome Home, Ken Griffey, Jr.

Charles PennContributor IFebruary 20, 2009

"Do you think about me now and then? Do you think about me now and then? Because I'm coming home again. Maybe we can start again."

Do you know where that verse came from? It came from Kanye West's song Homecoming, which is off of his Graduation album. The song is a perfect theme for this story, as Ken Griffey, Jr. will return to where he started his career. The Seattle Mariners and Griffey agreed to a one-year deal worth $2 million.

At 39 years old, Griffey is well past his prime, but he can finish his career on a high note in Seattle and boost attendance sales again. Who knows if he will go back to wearing No. 24, but many Seattle fans are glad that he is back to where he displayed his glory days.

Griffey was arguably one of the top five players in Major League Baseball before he left Seattle to go to Cincinnati. With the Mariners, he was the 1992 All-Star Game MVP, he led the Mariners to an ALCS appearance against Cleveland in 1995 after helping them to come back from 13.5 games down to win the AL West, he won the AL MVP in 1997, and he made the MLB All-Century Team.

Griffey had everything going his way. He was on four Super Nintendo baseball game covers and his Nike Air Griffey Max became one of the hottest selling baseball shoes of all-time. He was on pace to become the best outfielder in baseball history. Griffey had it all with his power and contact hitting along with his amazing defense in center field. His range was unlimited as far as getting the ball in play or gunning somebody down at home plate for an out.

After he left Seattle for Cincinnati to get a chance to play in his hometown in 2000, Griffey gave the same production he had in Seattle by hitting .271, 40 HRs, and 118 RBI. Even though his numbers were lower than the previous four years he played in Seattle, there was no slowing down Griffey as he was approaching the 30-year-old plateau.

The next season in 2001, injuries plagued him and it became worse in 2002 through 2004. Due to the injuries on his hamstring and groin, his numbers and production declined. A return to Seattle for the 39-year-old could help him bring some of the flashes he had in his younger days.

Griffey is currently fifth all-time in home runs with 611. All he needs is 50 to pass Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. Griffey will most likely not reach the mark, but whenever he decides to retire he will be known as having one of the "sweetest" swings in baseball.

Griffey can bring veteran leadership to an ailing ball club that is in rebuilding mode or in a front-office crisis. He will most likely be used as more of a DH than an outfielder, but when he is healthy, he still gives some production as far as hitting the baseball.

Let the "Farewell Tour" begin, Seattle fans.