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Ken Griffey Jr., Family Join Seattle Sounders FC Ownership Group

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Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., left, and former Oakland Athletics third baseman Akinori Iwamura attend the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the Major League baseball opening series between the Mariners and the Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)

Toru Takahashi/Associated Press

Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and his family joined the ownership group for the Seattle Sounders, the club announced Tuesday.

“Ken Griffey Jr. is a name that requires no introduction, whether in Seattle or across the sports world, and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome Ken and his family into our club,” Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. “As a lifelong resident of this great city, bringing someone like Ken into Sounders FC holds a special significance to me, as he is truly a part of Seattle sports’ heart and soul. We value the contributions that he will add as a partner in our club and welcome him and his family with open arms.”

Griffey spent 13 of his 22 MLB seasons with Seattle, winning the 1997 American League MVP Award and emerging as one of the most beloved athletes in the city’s history.

The Griffey family joined a robust leadership group that notably includes Ciara and Russell Wilson and Price Is Right host Drew Carey.

“This is a meaningful day for our entire family,” Griffey said in a statement. “My wife Melissa and I said that we wanted to be a part of something special, not only for ourselves, but for our kids to be proud of, and this is it. We know how much this club means to Sounders fans, and for us, this comes back to the city where it all started for our family. We are joining a first-class organization, and we are so proud to give back to the city we love. To the Seattle Sounders community: we are inspired to become part of what you have created. Like you, we are excited to get behind our incredible team as the players prepare for this year’s playoff run.”

The Sounders have been among the most successful franchises in MLS, finishing second in the Western Conference in each of the last four seasons and regularly finish with among the highest attendance in the sport.

Griffey’s joining the Sounders ownership group will further ingratiate himself with the Seattle community.

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