Retired Major League Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, and soon his career will also be immortalized in a statue outside of Safeco Field, where he played as an outfielder on the Mariners for 10 years.
It's official. #Mariners President Kevin Mather announces there will be a Ken Griffey Jr. statue outside Safeco Field next year.— #24EVER (@Mariners) August 7, 2016
The construction of the statue was announced at a ceremony at the field celebrating the retirement of Griffey Jr.'s number on Saturday before a baseball game there. A memorial to his number 24 was unveiled by his daughter Taryn Griffey and will sit alongside Jackie Robinson's retired number 42.
"Jackie and Ken will forever be side by side at this great ballpark," Mariners President Kevin Mather said at the event.
Fans expressed their emotion at the ceremony, where Griffey Jr. gave a speech, saying "It's been an unbelievable ride."
"I want to thank you for making me feel comfortable and allowing me to go out there and do what I always wanted to do—play baseball," he said, adding a message for the current Mariners players: "Keep fighting, because we're all rooting for you."
Griffey Jr., who began in the major leagues in 1987, was inducted into the hall of fame in 2016 with a vote of 437 out of 440 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. During his career, he received 13 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Glove awards, seven Silver Slugger awards and a 1997 American League MVP award.
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