Ken Griffey Jr.: My Favorite Player Ever

Erik LandauCorrespondent IJune 2, 2010

Amidst reports that Ken Griffey Jr. is retiring, I want to write a positive article on the heels of my hate article for Kobe Bryant.

Griffey is my favorite baseball player of all-time, and I am sure I'm not alone in that thought.

The fifth best home run hitter ever (630 home runs) probably had the smoothest swing ever. It was like he was born to hold a bat.

Many, including myself, grew up with the "Kid" as a youngster and can remember the 1996 season's "Griffey for President" campaign.

Also, who can forget his clutch hitting in the 1995 ALDS? And his series-winning slide against the Yankees across the plate was pure awesomeness.

A 10-time gold glove winner and 13-time All-Star, the man could play. He was also fun and energetic on the field. These are among the many reasons I could go into in relating the greatness of Griffey.

His retirement is understandable and expected, but that doesn't change the fact that it ends a chapter in sports history for many fans.

I grew up as a "kid" with him and my generation feels a little sadness with his step away from the game today.

His injuries limited his chance of being considered the "Greatest Ever" in the Majors, but he is definitely the man when you speak of the Mariners. They will go on to have more players who will rate at the Ichiro, Randy Johnson, Alvin Davis, and Edgar Martinez level.

There is only one Ken Griffey Jr., though, who saved the Mariners from leaving Seattle and made baseball fun for the fans.