Mariners Franchise Four Unveiled

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Ken Griffey Jr. – CF

If you did not vote for Junior in this competition, chances are you are not a Mariners’ fan. Ken Griffey Jr. being named to the Mariners Franchise Four surprises no one. Griffey is undoubtably the greatest player in club history, and was enshrined into the M’s Hall Of Fame during an emotional ceremony in 2013.

Jul 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Ken Griffey Jr. walks out to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 2015 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Griffey had an illustrious career. Originally selected by the M’s with the first overall pick in the 1987 draft, Junior raced to the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 1989. He proved up to the task, playing 22 years in the Major Leagues with 3 different franchises. Griffey spent the first 11 seasons of his career in the Emerald City before being dealt to his home town team, the Cincinnati Reds. Despite an unceremonious exit from the Pacific Northwest, the Mariners’ faithful never stopped loving ‘the Kid’. The prodigal son returned in 2009, and retired a Mariner midway through the 2010 season.

Griffey’s numbers are hard to fathom. Across 22 seasons, the kid hit .284 with 630 home runs and 1,836 RBI’s. He posted a .370 on base percentage, and slugged a remarkable .538. Junior was a phenomenal hitter, but he was equally as electrifying defensively. He won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves with the Mariners, and robbed almost as many home runs as he hit.

Griffey was awarded the American League Most Valuable Player for his efforts during the 1997 season. He hit .304 with a league leading 56 home runs and 147 RBI’s to lead the M’s to the playoffs during the ’97 season.

Junior is arguably one of the top 5 players to ever set foot on a baseball diamond, and he is a sure fire first ballot Hall-of-Famer. Personally, I plan on making the trip to Cooperstown, NY next summer to watch the greatest Mariner ever receive his plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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