Ken Griffey Jr. was a superstar in Major League Baseball during the ’90s before injuries hampered his performance and cut into his playing time. He was a prized prospect for the then-new Mariners when he debuted as a 19-year-old in 1989 and quickly became the face of the young franchise.
He would go on to play for more than 20 years and have a Hall of Fame career. Like all of the stars of his era, Griffey missed out on the mega-contracts players get today, but he has still managed to accumulate a significant net worth. Here’s a look at what Griffey is worth.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s first stint with the Mariners
The Mariners selected Griffey — a second-generation major leaguer — with the first overall pick in the 1987 MLB amateur draft. He made his major league debut on April 3, 1989 at the age of 19 and went on to have a good rookie season. Griffey hit .264 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 127 games.
He increased his average to .300 the following season, when he hit 22 home runs and 80 RBI. Griffey would hit a career-high .327 in 1991, with 22 homers and 100 RBI. He hit a career-best 56 homers twice in his career, in 1997 and ’98. His career-high of 147 RBI also came in 1997, when he was named the American League MVP.
Ken Griffey Jr. in the 2000s
The Mariners traded Griffey to the Reds — the team for which his father played most of his career — in February 2000, getting four players back in return. In his first season in Cincinnati, Griffey hit .271 with 40 home runs and 118 RBI in 145 games.
That would be the last time Griffey would reach the 40-homer and 100-RBI plateaus. Injuries limited him to 83 or fewer games in each of the next three seasons. He bounced back with a .301 average, 35 home runs, and 92 RBI in 128 games in 2005, earning the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award that season.
His offensive numbers would continue to decline from there. The Reds traded him to the White Sox at the trade deadline in 2008, and that offseason he signed with the Mariners in free agency. He played in 117 games with the Mariners in 2009 but hit just .214 with 19 home runs and 57 RBI.
He returned to the Mariners in 2010 but played in just 33 games before announcing his retirement on June 2 after hitting .184 with seven RBI in 98 at-bats. Griffey was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, earning 99.3% of the vote in his first year of eligibility.
Endorsements and net worth
Griffey’s popularity, especially with young fans, led to him getting a number of endorsement deals. One of the highest-profile was the 1994 Super Nintendo video game Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball. The game, which came packaged with a promotional baseball card featuring Griffey, proved to be a success with more than 1.2 million units sold, despite Griffey being the only actual major leaguer to be featured in the game.
Other companies for which Griffey did endorsements included Nike. The apparel company released the Griffey Max 1 in 1996, making Griffey the first baseball player to have his name on a shoe.
Griffey also pitched breakfast cereals Frosted Flakes and Wheaties, and he had his own candy bar, which debuted in 1989. All of these endorsement deals, along with the money he played on the field, have helped Griffey amass an estimated net worth of $65 million.