Seattle baseball icon Ken Griffey Jr. is now a part-owner of Seattle Sounders FC, the club announced Tuesday.
Griffey spent 13 of his 22 big league seasons with the Mariners and remains among the most popular athletes in the city's history.
"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 FC 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."
A club true to its city.We welcome Ken Griffey Jr. and his wife, Melissa, to the Sounders Family!
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) November 17, 2020
Griffey's wife, Melissa, is a former soccer player so the opportunity to become a partner in the franchise was appealing to Griffey.
"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 won the MLS Cup in both 2016 and 2019 and enter this season's playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Griffey, who turns 51 on Saturday, was the 1997 American League MVP and made the American League All-Star team 10 times while wearing a Mariners uniform. He finished his career in 2020 with 630 homers, which ranks seventh all-time, and 13 All-Star appearances.
Griffey joins another well-known Seattle sports figure in the ownership group. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara, a singer, are also part of the fold. Another musician, rapper Macklemore, is part of the group.