Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik signed Ken Griffey Jr. last February to bring a productive left-handed bat to the lineup and a stabilizing presence in the clubhouse.
What he got were 18 home runs and a team-high 61 walks entering Friday’s game, plus leadership well past anything Zduriencik expected.
“We thought he would be somewhat of an offensive producer for us,” Zduriencik said. “He’s got 18 home runs, he leads the club in walks, and there were some positive things that he brought.
“But what he did in that clubhouse, and what he did with his presence, I think goes beyond what any of us expected. All of you that have been here and been around Kenny for years and know him a lot better than I did can see how important he was and how he relished this opportunity to give back to an organization he cut his teeth on, back to a community that he loves and back to baseball. I tip my hat to the effort he gave to us on and off the field this year.”
Ichiro team MVP
Ichiro Suzuki was named the Mariners’ most valuable position player for this season in voting by members of the Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The writers also voted Felix Hernandez as the most valuable pitcher. Relief pitcher Sean White won the unsung hero award, selected by manager Don Wakamatsu and his coaches.
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