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Seattle Mariners That Should Be In The Baseball Hall Of Fame After Ken Griffey Jr.

Friday, January 22, 2016

 

Ken Griffey Jr.

With Ken Griffey Jr.’s record-setting ballot results sending him to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame, there really wasn’t much of a question about what hat he would represent on his bust in the museum. Announcing that his statue would be topped with the Seattle Mariners logo was also historic as he will be the first representative of the M’s in the prestigious institution. That fact got me thinking about which other of the Northwest Nautical named ball players would follow in his famous footsteps. Let’s take a hard and serious look at the candidates.

Edgar Martinez

Edgar Martinez (DESIGNATED HITTER)

The man they called “Papi” before David Ortiz took the moniker also beat Ortiz by revolutionizing the position of designated hitter. The DH position has been a hot topic for years with many wanting to do away with it and go back to letting the pitchers bat in the American League. The argument for it is that it creates more offense in a game that struggled over the last decade or so to entice youngsters the way the glitz and glam of the NFL and NBA has been able to. It also has allowed players to continue their careers longer as their batting eye and reaction time at the plate remain first rate while their legs and defensive prowess have waned. 
    
Players talk about how difficult DH’ing is. Instead of playing defense in the field, you have to limber up and be ready to go and take your cuts at the plate while spending the rest of the game primarily on the bench or taking extra batting practice in the clubhouse cage. Knowing how historically tough it is to assume the role of the designated hitter, it makes the numbers that Edgar Martinez put together in his career that much more staggering. His career slash line is .312/.418/.515 while popping 309 home runs, knocking in 1,261 runs and amassing 2,247 hits. While he didn’t reach the traditional stat plateaus that people look to for Hall of Fame consideration (500 home runs, 3,000 hits), it should definitely be noted that his high production rate came from playing DH and he is truly one the best that has and ever will play the position.
    
This year Martinez received 43.4 percent of the ballots cast, which is still fairly short of the needed 75, but it’s an encouraging sign for what the future could bring for the guy with almost as sweet a swing as Ken Griffey Jr. himself.

Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero (CATCHER, DH, 1st BASE, CONCESSIONS MANAGER)

Okay okay okay, I know what you’re thinking; I’m out of my dang ol mind! Hear me out! Montero is going into the comedy hall of fame for sure! This man has some serious accomplishments on his resume. HE THREW AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH INTO THE STANDS AT A SCOUT! Granted the scout had heckled by purchasing the sweet confection and sending it to Montero in the dugout. This was the season the heralded prospect had showed up to spring training 40 pounds overweight and casually said to The Seattle Times, and I quote: “After winter ball, all I did was eat.” And he sure wasn’t lying because he showed up looking like this …

Though, he still looks to be beating the speedy Brad Miller here

His next amazing accomplishment was showing up to last season’s preseason having transformed himself again. This time it was for the better.

Only time will tell if the now-26-year old can get his career back on the track that once promised a successful career before swinging at low and away sliders and wolfing down  pulled pork sliders set him back a few years, but I hold out hope for an impressive turnaround.

Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez (STARTING PITCHER, DEMIGOD)

The man they call “El Rey” and “King Felix” made his MLB debut for the Seattle Mariners in 2005. He started 12 games, striking out 77 against 23 walks issued and finished with a WHIP of just 1.00 and an ERA of 2.67, beyond impressive numbers for a 20-year-old kid from Venezuela. Felix Hernandez was an immediate sensation in the city of Seattle and throughout the years has been very vocal about his love for the city and the fans that have embraced him so. Having lost the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Randy Johnson it was long thought that at some point, Felix too, would depart for greener pastures. But he was steadfast in his loyalty to the city and on February 13, 2013 Hernandez signed a $175 million dollar extension keeping him in Mariner blue through at least 2020. 
    
Aside from the big smile, intensity and loyalty, every Hernandez start is an event at Safeco Field where just to the left of the left field foul pole is the section known as the King’s Court. Fans decked out in yellow Felix shirts devour giant turkey legs and lose their minds with every nasty changeup delivered by Hernandez. It’s an experience every true fan should have on their bucket list.

Goosebumps

When it comes down to the raw numbers, which is what these Hall of Fame voters look for, Felix has them. A career ERA of 3.11, a WHIP of 1.17, 2,142 punch outs, six all-star appearances, a Cy Young award (2010) and he tossed a perfect game on August 15, 2012. His record of 143-101 is jaw dropping considering the Mariner’s have infamously been unable to provide the star pitcher with ample run support. And you know what the coolest thing about all these numbers is? He will start the 2016 season having just turned 30 years of age. Hail to the King, baby.

Bret Boone (2nd BASEMAN, HAIR MODEL)

He doesn’t have the numbers and those massive forearms were probably store bought, but he was sure fun to watch flipping bats all over the place! Also he at least deserves an award for this beef jerky commercial. I strongly urge you to watch it. It’s the stuff dreams are made of! 

Ichiro

Ichiro (RIGHT FIELDER, SUPERHERO)

You’ll notice I omitted the Suzuki from the heading, same as he did on the back of his number 51 (Randy who?) jersey. Ichiro is one of the most electric players I have ever had the pleasure of watching. He came over to Seattle from Japan in 2001 and didn’t need much of an adjustment to big league pitching as he promptly hit.350 that season and played amazing defense. He introduced himself to base runners with this stunning throw . His on-field heroics helped the Mariners surge to a record-tying 116 wins that year. Ichiro would go on to produce in the same such fashion year after year, even when things went south for the M’s as the years slogged on. Some ignorant people would criticize him saying he was a selfish player and just out there trying to pad his own stats with hits. When in the world would getting hits, getting on base and putting your team in a position to achieve success be considered selfish?! 
    
Ichiro Suzuki is a superstar in every sense of the word and the numbers bare it out. .314/.356/.406 with 498 stolen bases, 10 All-Star appearances, 10 gold gloves and three silver slugger awards tell quite the tale. Not to mention in his first he took home the Rookie of the Year award AND was the American League MVP and brought home two MLB batting titles. The list goes on as he owns the record for most hits in a season (262 in 2004) and went 10 consecutive season with 200 hits or more. Mind boggling. He’ll be remembered as one of the best pure hitters in the game, right up there with the Splendid Splinter himself, Teddy Williams, and when his time comes to make that trip to Cooperstown, the logo on his cap will be that of the Seattle Mariners, and for that I am thankful.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Sports Teams With Offensive Mascots

Native American activists see the logo of the Portland Winterhawks as offensive and are demanding the team make a change. Here a some other mascots certain people find offensive. 

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#1

The Portland Winterhawks

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#2

The Chicago Blackhawks

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#3

The Washington Redskins

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#4

The Cleveland Indians

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#5

The Richland Bombers

 
 

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