Griffey slugs his way toward Mays' mark
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Friday, 20 November 2009

Ken Griffey Jr. appears to be on a mission. 

The 40-year-old future Hall of Fame slugger has signed a one-year contract to remain with the Seattle Mariners, and if he stays healthy, he could eventually eclipse the career home run total of his godfather, Willie Mays.

Griffey will enter next season with 630 homers. Mays is next on the all-time list with 660. Last season Griffey batted .214, hit 19 home runs, drove in 57 RBIs and coaxed 63 walks in 117 games.

"I'd like to thank the Mariners organization for inviting me back to play in 2010," Griffey said in a statement. "While 2009 was an awesome experience for me, my ultimate goal is for the Mariners to get to and win the World Series.

"To that end, I look forward to contributing in any role that [manager] Don [Wakamatsu] sees fit on the field, and any manner I possibly can off the field."

During the off-season, Griffey underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his left knee. He was able to play only 11 games in the field last season in Seattle.

If Griffey should homer in Minnesota in late July at Target Field, the only new ballpark in the majors, he will tie Sammy Sosa for hitting home runs in the most ballparks with 44.

Griffey has hit home runs off 407 different pitchers, second only to Sosa's 449.!Technorati!Newsvine!Blogmarks!Yahoo!