Reds’ deal for Griffey rocked baseball world
“I’m finally home,” Griffey said.
After 11 years with the Mariners, Griffey, a graduate of Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, was traded to the Reds on Feb. 10, 2000, in exchange for Jake Meyer, Mike Cameron, Antonio Pérez and Brett Tomko. Within hours, the 30-year-old Griffey had signed an extension to remain in Cincinnati for the next nine years.
“February 10, 2000. That day will go down in Reds history…as one of the biggest trades in our sport,” Reds general manager Jim Bowden told the Dayton Daily News. “The Michael Jordan of baseball has come to Cincinnati.”
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The center fielder was selected by Seattle as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 MLB Draft. In 11 years with the Mariners, Griffey had batted .299 with a .948 OPS while accumulating 398 home runs and 1,742 hits in 1,535 games. He captured 10 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Glove Awards and the 1997 AL MVP Award.
“I’m disappointed he didn’t want to finish his career here, and I hope he goes into the Hall of Fame wearing a Mariners cap,” Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said. “There might not be baseball in Seattle today without him.”
Armstrong would get his wish – and not only that, but Griffey would return to the Mariners, closing out his career with two more years in Seattle from 2009-10. Griffey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016, with his plaque bearing the Mariners logo.
Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum