“I felt freer out there. I felt like it was me, to go out there and play defense.” – Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken Griffey Jr. robbed opposing hitters of potential home runs and extra-base hits with the same ease and grace that he belted his own towering home runs and ringing doubles. Junior earned 10 Gold Glove Awards in his career, turning in year-after-year of highlight reel plays in the outfield.
#6 – The Golden Glove
“If you’re a good hitter, you’ll stay around 4 or 5 years, because you can hit. But guys who make careers out of this are the guys who go out there and play defense.” – Ken Griffey Jr.
“The most difficult thing playing with him was a ball would be hit in the gap, and I would just sit there and watch instead of going to my position for [the] relay because I wanted to watch Junior run, dive into the wall and make a throw.” – Harold Reynolds
“He was one of the greatest players in the history of the game of baseball. That gave fans in Seattle and all around the American League a reason to come out and watch the Mariners play because Junior was out there in center field.” – Rick Rizzs
“Put him out there defensively and he was as good a centerfielder as there was in baseball. He could go from left-center to right-center. He made a few plays out here that I still can’t fathom how he made them.” – Lou Piniella
“He’s the best centerfielder that I’ve ever had play behind me.” – Randy Johnson
“He does glide after a ball in right-center field or left-center field, and he always seems to make the perfect catch off the wall, maybe even bare-handed.” – Dave Niehaus
“It was amazing seeing him make some catches at the wall. It seemed like he was never scared of the wall.” – Franklin Gutierrez
“So athletic. He got to every single ball. He robbed a lot of home runs. He was really full-go. He ran into walls. If he could catch it, he would.” – Taijuan Walker
Visit Mariners.com/24stories to check out a new story each day as we count down to Junior’s number retirement at Safeco Field on August 6.