Every great athlete, at some point in their career has to ask themselves one question. When should I step away from a game where I am an icon? Ask Brett Favre how that decision is going? Ken Griffey Jr could have stepped away after last season. He had his final year in Seattle, and hit an un-Griffey like 0.214/19/57, his bat speed is way down, he can’t play the field anymore. Last season should have been the last, no one would have upset had he walked away, as it was obviously time.
Instead Griffey Jr. has returned for what will be his final season. He has put the Mariners in an awkward position. They cannot release him, or send him down, instead they have to suck it up and live with his current statline of 0.224/0/4. Only 13 hits and one for extra bases. It really is heart wrenching for me to watch.
His retirement would end an era in baseball. The days of the kings of swing will be over. Guys like Bonds, McGwire, Bo Jackson, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, and Will Clark they are all gone and for the most part forgotten. Sure we still have guys like ARod, Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols but the truth is they are not the prolific players as the guys from the 80s and 90s. I’m all for Ken going out on his own terms, but it should have been at the end of last season.
As for his eBay value, his cards still carry quite a price tag. As you might already know, it’s going to set you back between $75 – $150 for an autographed card. The card below is one of my favorite autographed cards of Junior. It recently sold for about $50. Are his cards worth it? Of course they are. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer. I hope he gets through the entire season, but I really have doubts.