This day in Mariners' history: The end of the Ken Griffey Jr. era

The Kid...enough said. Re-visiting the day that Ken Griffey Jr. retired from the Mariners
Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The Kid. The nickname given to the greatest Mariner to ever play in the Pacific Northwest. What a treat fans were given as they watched the young, exciting lefty with one of the most vibrant smiles in all of baseball excite fans on a nightly basis. Whether he was hitting a ball 500 feet with, unquestionably, the most beautiful swing in all of baseball, or making a highlight reel type of catch in centerfield, selling out his body for the betterment of his team. If you were fortunate enough to watch Ken Griffey Jr play during the 1990s for the Mariners, you were one of the many Mariners fans that has no doubt he is the franchise icon.

Unfortunately, a lot of injuries and the desire to be closer to his family in Cincinnati led the Mariners to trade one of the most recognizable players in baseball to the Reds. Griffey would go on to have one of the most historic careers of any player in baseball. His achievements both on and off the field earned him the highest percentage of the vote (99.32) into the MLB Hall of Fame, though we all know that his falling three votes short of the full 100% is an absolute joke.

Remembering Ken Griffey Jr on the anniversary of his retirement

Griffey's historic career included 2,781 hits, 630 home runs, 1836 RBI, 184 stolen bases, and a slash line of .284/.370/.538 that would make any player jealous. He was an MVP in 1997. He was also a 13-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove, seven-time Silver Slugger, and three-time Home Run Derby Champion.

He was a part of many historic moments in Seattle sports history, most notably, "The double" when Edgar Martinez hit a double scoring Griffey from first in the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.

On this day, 14 years ago, the legend of Ken Griffey Jr. came to an unfortunate end as the Seattle Mariners continued to struggle, while Ken Griffey Jr. felt that his family was more important, and the team didn't need any outside distractions. It is sad to hear this now as Griffey is an icon and still an ambassador to the young Mariners' team.

I wrote this article to focus on the history and greatness that was Ken Griffey Jr., not the struggles the plagued him throughout the ending of his career, something that many fans have to watch as the greats of the game age. Griffey will forever be remembered as one of the best five-tool players to ever play this game. When you compile your list of great Mariners, the first name that comes to mind is "The Kid" and there is no doubt about it.