Baseball

MLB tasks Ken Griffey Jr. to help with youth baseball development

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The Kid is back.

Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as a senior adviser to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, it was announced Friday.

Griffey’s role will focus on consulting the commissioner’s office on a variety of issues, including an emphasis on baseball operations and youth baseball development, including the improvement of diversity at amateur levels of the sport.

“I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role,” Griffey said in a statement. “It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today’s youth.”

Griffey will also serve as an ambassador for the sport during Major League Baseball’s youth baseball initiatives and major events such as the All-Star Game and postseason.

“We are thrilled that Ken will represent Major League Baseball on some of our sport’s most important stages, alongside our current and future stars,” Manfred said in a statement. “We welcome the perspective and insights that Ken gained as an historic player, as a parent, and as someone who has spent his life in and around our great game.

Griffey is regularly cited by today’s players as one of the most culturally influential players of his generation, from his iconic backward hat to the Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball video game series to his Nike Air Griffey sneaker line. In 2007, Griffey had the idea to wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, a tribute then-commissioner Bud Selig later expanded to all on-field personnel and a tradition that has continued annually since.

During his playing career, Griffey was a 13-time All-Star over 22 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox, winning the MVP award in 1997 and 10 Gold Gloves and ultimately entering the Hall of Fame in 2016 after being named on 99.3% of ballots.

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