There was never much doubt — was there? — that Ken Griffey Jr. would be wearing a Mariners cap this July when he enters the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Well, now it’s official.
"I’m going to go into the (Hall of Fame) weekend with a Seattle Mariners’ hat on," Griffey confirmed Thursday at a news conference in New York.
"I played 13 years in Seattle, which is longer than the other two teams I played for — Chicago (White Sox) and Cincinnati. I think I did most of my damage as a Mariner."
Second question: Will Griffey wear the cap forward or backward?
"Forward," he declared before pausing. "And then backwards."
Griffey, 46, won election Wednesday to the Hall of Fame by garnering a record 99.3 percent of the vote in balloting by 440 qualified members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The previous record was 98.4 percent in 1992. Griffey missed by just three votes from being a unanimous selection.
Catcher Mike Piazza was also elected, with 83 percent, and will join Griffey in the July 24 ceremony as the 311th and 312th members of the Hall of Fame.
Piazza said he would enter the Hall as a New York Mets. He spent eight of his 16 seasons with the Mets after starting his career with seven years with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Griffey is the first player elected to the Hall of Fame primarily because of his achievements as a Mariner, and his plaque will be the first showing a Mariners cap.
"You want to be the first in a lot of things," he said, "and to be able to wear a Mariners hat and be the first Mariner to ever go into the Hall of Fame…I think that’s part of the decision I needed to make.
"I felt that being 19, they gave me an opportunity to play the game that I love. I spent most of my time in Seattle."
The honors aren’t yet be over for Griffey, who is scheduled to join Piazza on Friday morning for the opening of trading on Wall Street.
Plans then call for Griffey to fly to Seattle for a late Friday afternoon news conference at Safeco Field amid speculation the Mariners plan to use that occasion to announce plans to retire his No. 24.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners