It’s Ken Griffey Jr. Day in the Pacific Northwest.
The former Mariners great will be announced as a new elect into the Baseball Hall Of Fame today at 3:00. There will be a live show on the MLB Network if you would like to watch.
Griffey will become the first true Seattle Mariners player to be enshrined. He was drafted by the Mariners, developed by the Mariners (not that he needed much minor league development), led the Mariners to their first playoff spot, and he’ll become the first player to wear a Mariners hat on his Hall Of Fame plaque. Heck, he still works for the Mariners in an advisory capacity.
A natural talent like no other, Griffey coasted through the minor leagues in a scant 119 games – which is beyond ridiculous for a player coming out of high school. A few months in Class-A ball, 17 games at Double-A, and he was ready the next spring. No Triple-A time needed for Junior.
Of course, Rainiers fans got to see him one time at Cheney: August 13, 1995.
He was coming back from the infamous left wrist injury suffered at the Kingdome, when he made a leaping catch up against the wall. He had been out for three months and needed to see some live pitching.
Griffey showed up on August 11, worked out, and didn’t play. Two days later he arrived and told Rainiers manager Steve Smith “put me in the lineup, I’m ready.”
In a Sunday afternoon against the Edmonton Trappers (R.I.P.), Griffey served as the designated hitter, went 0-for-3, and was activated from the disabled list by the Mariners for their next game.
We’re still a couple of hours away from the announcement, but congratulations are in order for Mr. Griffey.
- Ryan Divish wonders if Ken Griffey Jr. will set a record for highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes. Tom Seaver was selected on 98.84% of the ballots in 1992 which is the current record.
- Hall of Fame voter Larry Stone wrote about his selection process. Some good stuff in here about Edgar Martinez‘s future prospects.
- Here’s the Hall of Fame advance story from The News Tribune.
- ESPN’s Jim Caple produced 24 of Griffey’s most remarkable feats.
- Dave Cameron took a look at the statistical greatness of Griffey.
- Some cool footage of a teenage Griffey playing for the Bellingham Mariners of the Northwest League.
- Cincinnati Reds reporter C. Trent Rosecrans has a touching story about Ken Griffey Jr. and moms.
- Video from MLB with Griffey commenting on some of his favorite catches.
- From the Non-Griffey Department, former Rainiers shortstop and old pal Ramon Vazquez was named manager of Advanced-A Lancaster (Houston Astros – California League).
- In the PCL, Rainiers division rival Reno announced its 2016 coaching staff. Phil Nevin returns as manager.