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Ken Griffey Jr. to Serve as Team USA Hitting Coach for 2023 World Baseball Classic

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as the hitting coach for Team USA at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, per a statement from the team Tuesday.

He'll join the following staff:

  • Manager: Mark DeRosa
  • Bench coach: Jerry Manuel
  • Pitching coach: Andy Pettitte
  • First base coach: Lou Collier
  • Third base coach: Dino Ebel
  • Bullpen coach: Dave Righetti

"I couldn't be more excited to get in the fight with this group of men," DeRosa said in the press release. "The wealth of knowledge, experience, and character that these guys will bring to our clubhouse will be vital to our success. March can't come fast enough."

The World Baseball Classic will be held March 8-21, and the United States will be aiming to make it back-to-back titles after winning in 2017.

"Our goal is to defend our World Baseball Classic title and the coaching staff we have assembled is an incredible first step in making that goal a reality," USA Baseball executive director and CEO Paul Seiler noted. "Every member of this staff is a respected figure in the game of baseball and boasts remarkable accolades from their respective playing and coaching careers. We are excited to work with these coaches as we collectively aim to lead Team USA to a second consecutive world title."

Griffey, 52, played for the United States in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer as an MLB player after hitting .284 with 630 homers (seventh all-time), 1,836 RBI, 1,662 runs and a .907 OPS.

The 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove award winner and 1997 AL MVP played for the Seattle Mariners (1989-99, 2009-10), Cincinnati Reds (2000-08) and Chicago White Sox (1998) in his legendary 22-year career.

Eric Stephen @ericstephen

Ken Griffey Jr. as hitting coach is fun

Team USA general manager Tony Reagins called him an "invaluable asset" for the U.S. He'll bring unparalleled and invaluable insight into the role.

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