Ken Griffey Jr., who was the face of Major League Baseball for a generation of fans, is joining the Commissioner's Office to promote youth baseball programs.
Griffey was announced as a senior advisor to Commissioner Rob Manfred on Friday with an emphasis on youth baseball development and improving diversity at amateur levels. Griffey will also serve as an MLB ambassador at the All-Star Game, postseason events and youth baseball initiatives.
“I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role," Griffey said in a statement. "It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today’s youth.”
Manfred added: “We are thrilled that Ken will represent Major League Baseball on some of our sport’s most important stages, alongside our current and future stars. We welcome the perspective and insights that Ken gained as an historic player, as a parent, and as someone who has spent his life in and around our great game.”
Griffey, a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2016, spent nine of his 22 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. The 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner hit .284 in his career with 630 homers and 2,781 hits.
Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig expanded Griffey's idea of wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day to a league-wide tradition in 2007.