The 10 Best Draft Picks the Mariners have ever made in the MLB Draft

Ken Griffey Jr. Mari
Ken Griffey Jr. Mari / Otto Greule Jr/GettyImages
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Ken Griffey Jr: 1987, Round 1, Pick 1, 70.6 (83.8) WAR

You may notice that this isn't the last slide. If we were going by greatest Mariners player, most fun player to watch, best swing, or nicest smile, then it would definitely be Griffey. Alas, I've been doing this by career WAR, so here we are.

It's super easy to talk about Griffey. Yet, at the same time, it's tough because you don't want to sound like a broken record. We all know the accolades, the accomplishments, the stats. I want to talk about the more personal part of it this time instead.

I was born in 88. That means that I was getting into baseball around the age of 5 or 6, Griffey mania was in full swing. It made it so fun and easy to become a Mariners fan. The most exciting and electric player in the game was wearing the jersey of the local team, and that's who I got to root for. Luckily, my old man loves baseball, and we got to go to a lot of games even though Seattle was 2 hours away.

I was there when he broke his wrist, and I was there when he came back. We saw plenty of balls leave the yard, incredible catches, and heartbreak as well. I remember chasing Griffey's car down the street at some point waiving and hoping for an autograph (it didn't happen), robbing "homeruns" like Griffey on balls that I would throw over a clothes hanger that we had in our yard. Watching him in the playoffs in 1997 agains the Orioles.

If not for Griffey (and Edgar and Randy), maybe my dad would've pointed me in a different direction for baseball. I'm not a Seahawks fan because my dad didn't like them, so I went a different route. Maybe it wouldn't be my favorite sport, and I would've went with basketball or football or some off the wall sport. Thanks to Griffey, my heart will forever be one that belongs to the Mariners.

Now, with a young son myself, I get to hope and try and instill that same love and feeling for the game into him, only this time it's with Julio Rodriguez.