Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and his wife, Melissa have been named part owners of the Seattle Sounders, the MLS team announced Tuesday. The pair joins a star-studded ownership group that already includes Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, his wife and Grammy-Award winning singer Ciara, Seattle native and rapper Macklemore and his wife, Tricia Davis.
Below is the official statement from Sounders FC majority owner Adrian Hanauer:
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. 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.
For his part, Griffey couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Sounders.
This is a meaningful day for our entire family. 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.
Griffey, 50, retired from Major League Baseball in 2010 with a fantastic resume that included the 1997 AL Most Valuable Player Award, 13 All-Star nods and 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners out of high school and spent a total of 13 seasons in Seattle. Griffey's generational talent helped to make him one of baseball's most famous athletes, and one of the biggest names in Seattle. Griffey, in his first year on the ballot, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 with 99.3 percent of the Baseball Writers' Association of America votes.
The Sounders are the defending MLS Cup champions and will try to defend their title in the upcoming MLS playoffs.