On Friday, the Mariners announced they will retire the number Griffey wore during his entire tenure in Seattle at some point in the upcoming season.
Seattle tweeted the news:
First Mariner in the Hall, last Mariner to wear No. 24. #Mariners to retire Ken Griffey Jr’s number. #JrHOF https://t.co/gd2pI3UTUX2016-1-9 01:50:43
Griffey, along with legendary New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza, was one of two players elected to the 2016 Hall of Fame class. The 13-time All-Star played for three teams in his 22-year career, but Griffey spent 13 of those years as a superstar in Seattle.
That's the reason why Griffey wants to be remembered for his time with the Mariners, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
I think I did most of my damage as a Mariner. Want to be the first in a lot of things, and to be able to wear a Mariners hat and to go into the Hall of Fame as a Mariner, that's also one of the decisions I needed to make. I felt being 19, they gave me an opportunity to play the game that I love. I spent most of my time in Seattle.
This is a fitting tribute for one of the greatest players in baseball history. Seattle hasn't been a consistent winning organization since trading Griffey to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000, and the run of success the Mariners experienced in the 1990s was largely due to Griffey's contributions.
He was a once-in-a-generation player who could do everything from hitting home runs to making jaw-dropping catches in the outfield. Griffey redefined the game for outfielders and paved the way for Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, two of the best young players in baseball.
Griffey hit 417 home runs and batted .292 during his career with the Mariners.