ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ken Griffey Jr. was presented Sunday with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.
Griffey was a 13-time All-Star in his 22 major league seasons for the Mariners (1989-99, 2009-10), Reds (2000-08) and White Sox (2008). He hit 630 career home runs, won 10 Gold Gloves and was the 1997 AL MVP.
It was also Griffey who initially had the idea to wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.
"He asked my permission to do that, and I of course granted it. It told me a lot, however, about Ken, about how much he understood the history, how much he understood the impact of Jackie Robinson," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "I've often gotten credit for something, but really he made a phone call to me on a Sunday night at home that I'll never forget. So with Ken leading the way, it began to catch on with other players."
Now all on-field personnel in baseball wear No. 42 once a season, a tradition Selig said will continue "at least as long as I'm around."
The Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award was last given in 2007, when Rachel Robinson was honored for her work to preserve the legacy of her late husband, Jackie Robinson.