24 days until Seattle Mariners Opening Day: Ken Griffey Jr.

12 Apr 1998: Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in action. Mandatory Credit: David Seelig /Allsport
12 Apr 1998: Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in action. Mandatory Credit: David Seelig /Allsport /
Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners swings.
28 Feb 1998: Ken Griffey Jr. #24 of the Seattle Mariners makes contact. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport /

We are now 24 days away from Mariners Opening Day! We are getting closer and closer to an exciting year of Mariners baseball hopefully filled with lots of fun and wins. Now that we are at day 24 in our countdown, let’s take a quick look back at the one and only Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr.’s career numbers

Most M’s fans know and appreciate Ken Griffey Jr.’s dominance in the MLB. But for the younger generation of M’s fans, many don’t know how good “The Kid” really was.

His resume:

  • Hall of Fame
  • 1997 MVP
  • 13-time All-Star
  • 1992 All-Star MVP
  • 10 Gold Gloves
  • 7 Silver Sluggers
  • TSN Major League Player of the Year

He owns a .284 career batting average, 630 home runs, 1,836 RBI, 184 stolen bases, 83.8 WAR, and .907 OPS.

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Ken Griffey Jr.’s influence on the Mariners and the MLB

Besides the numbers, Ken Griffey Jr. had a huge influence on the game. His youthfulness, his swagger, and the way he played the game made baseball cool again. People began to imitate his swing, his backward hat, home run robberies, etc. He was so cool that Nike even made signature shoes named after him.

The Kid also had a huge impact on Seattle. The #1 overall pick of the 1987 MLB draft changed Seattle baseball, and arguably saved it. The Mariners weren’t very good since becoming a team in 1977.

After Ken Griffey Jr. arrived, things started to turn around for the Mariners. In the Kid’s rookie season, the Mariners had the highest win-loss percentage in franchise history (.478, 73-89). And in 1991, the M’s finished above .500 for the first time.

Then in 1995, Griffey helped the Mariners make its first playoff appearance. He also led the M’s to another playoff appearance in 1997. Although Ken wasn’t apart of the 2000 and 2001 Mariners, he helped create momentum towards a very successful couple of seasons.

Junior played for Seattle from 1989-1999, and then returned for the 2009 and 2010 seasons before retiring.

Post-playing career

Griffey is still very much involved in baseball after hanging up his cleats. He joined the Seattle organization as a special consultant. He is now working alongside the commissioner of baseball as a special advisor. Junior also became a part of the Seattle Sounders ownership group last year.

Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the most legendary MLB players ever, and we are lucky to have drafted him way back then. If it weren’t for him, who knows what Seattle baseball would be now.

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