In 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. made his MLB debut as the newest member of the Seattle Mariners, and it didn’t take long for the man known as “The Kid” to establish himself as one of the most electric players baseball had to offer.
The outfielder briefly shared a dugout with his father Ken Griffey Sr. during the 1990 and 1991 seasons (they were the first—and still the only—father and son to hit back-to-back home runs in a game), but it didn’t take long for the younger talent to emerge from his dad’s shadow en route to establishing a superior legacy.
The combination of his power and the seemingly effortless fielding abilities that netted Griffey ten consecutive Gold Glove awards made him a favorite among anyone who kept close tabs on baseball over the course of the 1990s. However, the tides began to turn around the turn of the millennium.
In 2000, the Mariners sent Griffey to the Reds in a trade that saw the newest member of Cincinnati’s squad agree to a nine-year deal worth $112.5 million.
Unfortunately, he never really lived up to the expectations that accompany that type of contract thanks in no small part to the string of injuries that marked the beginning of a slow but steady decline (he’d ultimately retire in 2010 following the fairly strange incident that brought his swan song with the Mariner to an end).
It’s been close to 13 years since Griffey played in an MLB game and around 15 since he last suited up for the Reds. However, thanks to how the aforementioned contract was structured, Cincinnati has been paying him deferred installments since 2009 (and will continue to do so until 2024).
Last year, Griffey was somehow the sixth-highest-paid player on the team, According to Bleacher Report, he’s moved up the ranks this season, as the $3.59 million the 53-year-old will receive means Joey Votto and Wil Myers are the only guys currently on the active roster slated to make more than him.
Must be nice.