Ken Griffey Jr. statue unveiled outside Safeco Field
Ken Griffey Jr. speaks after the unveiling
SEATTLE -- Former Mariners' star slugger Ken Griffey Jr. was honored with a bronze statue outside Safeco Field on Thursday.
The statue features Griffey's legendary swing, and sits outside the Home Plate gate entrance, on the corner of Edgar Martinez Drive and Dave Niehaus Way.
"We are thrilled to unveil this beautiful new statue today," said Seattle Mariners' president Kevin Mather. "Since this ballpark opened in 1999, we have been waiting to complete the look at our front door. Today, we finally have the perfect piece that will welcome fans for generations to come."
The Kid, along with his wife Melissa and his son Trey, and some of his former teammates like Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, and Dan Wilson were at the unveiling.
"From his flawless swing to his jaw-dropping acrobatic catches, to his trend-setting backwards cap, he changed the way the game was played," said play-by-play announcer Rick Rizzs. "Many have contributed to the Mariners franchise since 1977, but no one... has meant more to its successes and stability. Junior made all of us throughout this great region proud to be a Mariners fan. This statue is a tribute to his greatness -- not only on the field but to the type of teammate he was, and the man that he is."
Last July, the star slugger made the trip to Cooperstown and accepted his Hall of Fame plaque on July 24. His number was later retired at Safeco Field, and is prominently displayed next to Jackie Robinson's number near center field.
"I'm truly humbled and honored by this," Griffey said. "To have an organization do all these things in the last 18 months has been overwhelming."
The Hall of Famer's statue was created by Chicago artist Lou Cella, and 45,000 fans get the chance to take home mini replicas at Friday night's game against the Texas Rangers.
Twenty four of those fans will be lucky enough to take home an autographed statuette.
Get to Friday's game early if you're hoping for a statue, and visit Mariners.com for more info on tickets.