Mariners Insider Blog

Ken Griffey Jr. headlines 37-player Hall of Fame ballot

Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was a 2013 inductee to the Mariners Hall of Fame. Next stop: Cooperstown.
Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was a 2013 inductee to the Mariners Hall of Fame. Next stop: Cooperstown. AP

It’s time for the Kid.

Mariners icon Ken Griffey Jr. headlines a 37-player ballot for the Hall of Fame, released Monday, and…let’s face it: This should be a slam dunk, right?

Griffey, now 45, ended his 22-year career in 2010 as a 13-time All-Star outfielder who hit 630 homers, which ranks sixth on baseball’s all-time list.

He was also a 10-time Glove recipient for defensive excellence who also win seven Silver Slugger Awards in recognition of his offensive prowess.

A look back at Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.

The 2016 ballot also includes another franchise icon in designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who is one of 22 returning candidates on the 2016 ballot.

Martinez, 52, is back for a seventh try after being cited last season on 27 percent of the returned ballots. Candidates remain on the ballot if they receive 5 percent but require 75 percent to be inducted into the Hall.

But the clock is ticking on Martinez, who currently serves as the Mariners’ hitting coach. Candidates can only remain on the ballot for 10 years, although they are subsequently eligible for consideration by the Veterans Committee.

Griffey projects as the first player to enter the Hall in recognition primarily for his achievements while playing for the Mariners. He batted .292 in 13 seasons with the Mariners with 417 homers and 1,216 of his 1,836 RBIs.

Left-handed pitcher Randy Johnson was inducted last July, but his plaque shows him wearing an Arizona cap.

In addition to Griffey and Martinez, the ballot contains three players who spent a portion of their career with the Mariners: left-handed pitcher Mike Hampton (1993), designated hitter Mike Sweeney (2009-10), and outfielder Randy Winn (2003-05).

The ballots are being mailed this week to eligible voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The results will be announced Jan. 6 on MLB Network.

Reliever Trevor Hoffman, who ranks second on the all-time saves list, joins Griffey as one of 15 first-time candidates.

There are also three players who were picked as the Most Valuable Player in a World Series: shortstop David Eckstein (2006, St. Louis), third baseman Troy Glaus (2002, Anaheim) and third baseman Mike Lowell (2007, Boston).

Catcher Mike Piazza is the top returning candidate after receiving 69.6 percent in the 2015 balloting, which elected four players: Johnson, second baseman Craig Biggio and right-handers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.

First baseman Jeff Bagwell (55.7) and outfielder Tim Raines (55.0) also return as do several other players whose standout careers are tainted by steroid use and other scandals, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

No such allegations affect Griffey, who is viewed as having a chance to challenge Tom Seaver’s 1992 record of being cited on 98.84 percent of the returned ballots.

The complete ballot (in alphabetical order):

Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Rainers, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker and Randy Winn.

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