This Retired MLB Legend Is Still on His Former Team's Payroll — Earning Millions Every Year. But a Creative Side Hustle Also Keeps Him Busy. Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., who spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, is leaning into another one of his passions.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Ken Griffey Jr. started practicing photography after he retired in 2010.
  • Griffey Jr. is still on the Reds' payroll — and is actually among the team's highest-paid players.

Former Major League Baseball outfielder and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., dubbed "the kid" for his early debut at 19, retired in 2010 after a 22-year career, most of which he spent with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds — but he hasn't left the world of sports behind for good.

Griffey Jr. continues to earn millions on the Reds' payroll, but he's also got a side hustle of sorts that keeps him close to sports: photography. The 53-year-old was spotted working Sunday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, per Bleacher Report.

Despite having been out of the game for more than a decade, Griffey Jr.'s still earning millions annually, thanks to his nine-year, $112.5 million deferred deal with the Reds, FOX 29 Philadelphia reported — earning him more than $3.5 million this year and making him among the highest-paid players on the team.

Related: MLB All-Star Turned Entrepreneur Shares Success Tips

Additionally, Griffey Jr.'s been practicing photography since his retirement, Sports Illustrated reported. One of his recent high-profile gigs included shooting Lionel Messi and Inter Miami's MLS match against Nashville MC last month at DRV PINK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, according to the outlet.

Although Griffey Jr. told ESPN in 2016 that the event he most wants to shoot is Olympic track and field, his passion goes beyond those highly publicized opportunities: "Being able to shoot my kids' games is my favorite," he said. "The looks on their faces are priceless."

Griffey isn't the only former professional baseball player and Hall of Famer who's made a post-retirement career in photography. Legendary pitcher Randy Johnson, who spent his career with the Mariners and Diamondbacks, is also on the sidelines at NFL games with a camera in hand.

Johnson, who won co-MVP at the 2001 World Series, studied photography in college, according to his website, and has an impressive body of work spanning sports, wildlife, and concerts.

Related: MLB Players Spark New 'Curse of Dairy Queen' Superstition

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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