Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced that Ken Griffey Jr. will be honored with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award. The presentation will be made at a press conference tonight prior to Game Four of the World Series.
This will mark only the 12th time ever that Major League Baseball has bestowed the Award, which was created in 1998 to recognize achievements and contributions of historical significance. Griffey is the first recipient of the Award since 2007, when Rachel Robinson was honored for continuing the legacy of her late husband, Jackie Robinson, and for her service to Major League Baseball.
Griffey was a 13-time All-Star in his 22-year Major League career, playing for the Seattle Mariners (1989-1999, 2009-2010), the Cincinnati Reds (2000-2008) and the Chicago White Sox (2008). "The Kid," who guided the Mariners to their first two Postseason berths in franchise history in 1995 and 1997, was the youngest member of Major League Baseball's All-Century Team, which was unveiled in 1999. With 630 career home runs, the unanimous 1997 American League Most Valuable Player (.304, 56 HR, 147 RBI, 125 R) currently ranks fifth on the all-time list. One of the most popular players of his generation, the 10-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder concluded his career in 2010 with 50,044,176 All-Star votes from fans, the most of any player in the history of Major League Baseball, and his single-season record for most All-Star votes stood from 1994 until 2011. In 2007, Commissioner Selig expanded Griffey's idea to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day to allow on-field personnel throughout Major League Baseball to wear Jackie's number as part of the festivities, a tradition that has continued annually since then.
Commissioner Selig said: "Ken Griffey Jr. was a gifted all-around player with a perfect swing, a brilliant glove and a childlike joy for the game. From the time he was just 19, Ken represented Major League Baseball with excellence and grace, and he was one of our sport's greatest ambassadors not only in Seattle and Cincinnati, but also around the world. I am most appreciative for all of Ken's contributions to our national pastime."
The trophy, which stands 12 inches tall, has a sterling silver base with a baseball mounted at the top. The words "Commissioner's Historic Achievement" are engraved around the base of the trophy with the Major League Baseball silhouetted batter logo above the type.