Mariners 40th Anniversary All-Time Roster: The Center Fielder “The Kid”
As our list of the Mariners 40th anniversary roster winds down, there are still a couple of hall of fame players that we have yet to cover. Our selection for the center fielder is one of them. It should be no surprise that we voted on “The Kid” Ken Griffey Jr. as our greatest Mariner to ever grace center field.
Call him what you want, “The Kid”, “My Hero”, “The Greatest Player I Ever Saw”, there are countless ways Mariners fans remember one of the best players to play the game.
He was arguably the greatest power hitter the Mariners organization has ever seen and once he left, he continued to be one of the best sluggers the league has witnessed.
His 417 home runs are the most in M’s history and Griffey Jr. ranks second only to Edgar Martinez in RBIs, but his game stretches far beyond just power numbers.
In the past four decades, Griffey Jr. has drawn the second most walks, scored the third most runs, legged out the third most triples, smashed the second most doubles and also stole the fourth most bases in M’s history. And this is just on the offensive side of the ball.
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When it came to defense, there are few players in the modern era that defined the way their position was played; Griffey Jr. was one of them.
His speed and agility made it possible for his 6’3″ frame, 195-pound frame to make outs that other players could only dream of. Covering hundreds of feet to make a catch, climbing up the outfield wall to rob so many home runs, and gunning down runners who were looking to reach the next base.
From his rookie year until his final seasons with the M’s when he returned in 2010 to finish his career where it all began, Griffey Jr. was the player that everyone wanted to be and wanted to be around.
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With a smile that picturesque as his swing and swagger and humble demeanor that is highly respected across generations, Griffey Jr.’s contribution to the M’s will never be forgotten.
He is a legend. He is the Mariners legend.