This week, sports are not dumb. There is plenty out there that could make me say sports are dumb, but I’m going to focus on the positives this week.
The 2016 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot was released this past Monday, November 9, 2015, and it featured a name that many Seattle sports fans are familiar with. Known for having one of the sweetest swings in all of baseball, and a smile that is nothing short of infectious, Ken Griffey Jr. is finally on the road to Cooperstown.
Griffey has accomplished a ton over the course of his career. He was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Winner, and the unanimous pick for the 1997 AL MVP award. On top of all that, Griffey his 630 career homeruns, good for sixth place all time.
Griffey, who played 22 seasons in all, started his career with the Seattle Mariners as a 19-year-old kid who wasn’t expected to make the big league roster. After a stellar spring training, Mariners management had no choice but to add Junior to the club.
In his first career at bat, Griffey launched a double into the gap in center field for his first career hit. It would not be his last, as Griffey would finish his career with a total of 2,781 hits, 1,836 RBIs and 1,662 runs scored.
Griffey was not just one of the greatest Mariners of all time; he was one of the greatest players in all of Major League Baseball. Ever. Period.
Griffey is one of the most surefire first ballot hall of fame candidates that have ever graced the ballot. Playing the majority of his career during baseball’s steroid era, Junior is one of the few players believed to have done it clean.
His hall of fame worthy career will finally be acknowledged, as the Baseball Writers Association of America will cast their votes towards the end of this year, and he will almost certainly be inducted to Cooperstown this summer.
The craziest part of Griffey’s career is what could have been. Griffey was often injured, and from 2002-04 played in just 206 out of a possible 486 games. Had he not missed so much time, there is no telling where his career numbers would have ended up, but I’d be willing to bet that he’s well within the top five all time home run leaders. Either way, “The Kid,” is heading to the hall, and sports are awesome.
Check out some of his career highlights in the video below:
A northwest native, AJ is a returning college student finishing his journalism degree. He loves everything Seattle sports, and plans to carry that enthusiasm into the sports section of the Spectator this year.