Cooperstown Should Give Mariners First Inductee Next Year

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The 2015 Hall of Fame class has been announced and former Seattle Mariners flamethrower Randy Johnson will enter Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, along with Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Hall will decide which team logo will adorn the cap of each player’s plaque. It is the Hall’s decision, though they approach the individual players for input.

It’s a virtual no-brainer for three of them. Biggio spent his entire career with the Houston Astros so he will become the first player with the Astros cap on his plaque.

Pedro Martinez spent seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox (more than any other team he played for) and won two of his three Cy Young awards there. He also helped Boston to their first world title in 86 years, in the 2004 season. He will become the 13th player to wear the Red Sox cap in Cooperstown.

John Smoltz played 20 of his 21 seasons in Atlanta. There is no other option here. He will become the 5th Atlanta Brave in the Hall (6th if you count Greg Maddux who went in with a blank cap).

But for Randy Johnson, the case is a difficult one. While he spent 10 seasons with the Seattle Mariners – more than any other club – you can argue that The Big Unit became a Hall of Famer due to his eight seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He won four Cy Young awards in a row with the D-Backs and helped them win their first and only World Series in 2001. In fact, Randy was World Series co-MVP that year.

More from Seattle Mariners History

So, while it may not be completely obvious to Mariners fans yet, Randy will more than likely go into Cooperstown either with a Diamondbacks cap on his plaque, or a blank cap like Maddux did.

So, when will the Seattle Mariners get their first official member of the Hall of Fame?

It should be in 2016 when Ken Griffey Jr hits the ballot for the first time, and most likely be inducted.

Griffey spent his first 11 years and final two with the Mariners. Safeco Field is often referred to as The House That Junior Built, despite having left the year after it opened.

He asked to be traded prior to the 2000 season to be closer to family and spent his prime years with the Cincinnati Reds. But as far as his playing career is concerned, he earned his Cooperstown credentials in the Kingdome.

Six seasons of 40+ homers while in Seattle, including 50+ twice. He was the 1997 AL MVP, went to 10 straight All-Star games while a Seattle Mariner and won 10 straight Gold Gloves. He also took the Mariners to their first-ever playoff series.

Griffey spent nine injury-riddled seasons in Cincinnati and virtually none of the same accolades. So it’s all but assured that while Randy Johnson could – and some argue should – wear a Mariners cap in Cooperstown, Griffey is all but a lock to become the first Seattle Mariner in the Hall of Fame.

Just gotta wait one more year.

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