Here’s some of the transcript from our conference call with Ken Griffey Jr.
What does it mean to you to be inducted into the Mariner Hall of Fame?
“It means a lot. It’s something that you dream about. It’s the organization you’ve been drafted by and a celebration of your career. It means a whole lot that they would think that highly of me and what I’ve done to be able to put my name up there with the rest of the guys.”
What meant most to you over your career with the Mariners?
The relationship with I have still with the guys I played with. I think that’s the thing that will always be on my mind. We still talk and laugh and joke. Even though we are a couple of thousand miles away, it’s like we still live next door if we get together.
What does it mean to join his friends Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Randy Johnson and others ..
It means a lot. These are the guys. We played hard, had fun, learned from each other. The biggest thing was that we were all really young enough to not know any better and have egos. We just wanted to play baseball. Everybody took care of each other.
Have you heard from them?
No, Jay texted with some different news. I’m sure I will hear from these guys in the next day or so.
What time period was the most formative for you with the Mariners?
It was when my dad got over here and having him batting second and me batting third. He stood there in front of me and I watched how he handled pitchers and what he needed to do at 38 years old. He set up pitchers better than anyone I have seen. Just to have someone there to do it and basically when he would come home tell you what he would try to do.
How important has it been to be still be a part of the franchise?
It means a lot. I try to help out as much as possible. I don’t have to go in there and have day-to-day decision making. . I go in there and help everybody. Everybody starts in A ball, Double A, Triple A and sometimes you run into a little rut. Here’s a chance to see somebody who’s been through it and can bounce things off of you. I sit there and do a lot of talking and work on some things whether it is outfield footwork or just telling the guys to stay patient.
One thing I tell them that, hell, Babe Ruth was in A ball and Double A. The hard part about baseball is getting drafted. You can’t just show up off the street and say I’m going to play Double A baseball. Someone has to want you. I think that sometimes the younger kids put a lot of pressure on themselves instead of trying to learn from baseball or try to figure out their strengths or weaknesses. They are trying to do everything all at once – every plate appearance or every throw.
Have you thought about that August ceremony and what it will be like?
I haven’t thought about it, not yet. If it’s anything when I came back the first time in ‘07 and or again ’09, I will be greatly appreciative and it will be an honor.
How much have you watched the Mariners and your thoughts on the offseason moves?
I get a chance to listen to the guys. They will call me and talk to me. As soon, Mike (Morse) signed, he called me. The first question he asked me was if I was going to be t spring training. I said, ‘yep,’ and he said, ‘I’ll thank you.”
I spent a lot of time helping out when I can and who I can. I get a list of seven guys on each team who they want me to closely watch and give my opinion on. I’m there for 300 people we have in our organization.
Have you thought about the baseball hall of fame much?
Nope. I don’t really worry about that. It’s a couple of years away. I just have to keep plugging away on what I’m doing now and the role I have with the Mariners. When that time comes, I will cross that bridge. Right now, I have to get this team and this organization where I think it should be. .