erik lundegaard

Wednesday January 06, 2016

Ken Griffey Jr. Elected to the Hall of Fame with Highest Percentage Ever

Ken Griffey Jr.

The swing. Oh, the swing. 

After nearly 40 years of existence, the Seattle Mariners have a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. And what a member. 

Ken Griffey, Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame today with 99.3% of the vote. That's the highest percentage ever for entry into the Hall of Fame. Ever. Here's the top 15:

1 Ken Griffey Jr.  2015 99.3%
2 Tom Seaver 1992 98.8%
3 Nolan Ryan 1999 98.8%
4 Cal Ripken 2007 98.5%
5 Ty Cobb 1936 98.2%
6 George Brett 1999 98.2%
7 Hank Aaron 1982 97.8%
8 Tony Gwynn 2007 97.6%
9 Randy Johnson 2015 97.3%
10 Greg Maddux 2014 97.2%
11 Mike Schmidt 1995 96.5%
12 Johnny Bench 1989 96.4%
13 Steve Carlton 1994 95.6%
14 Babe Ruth 1936 95.1%
15 Honus Wagner 1936 95.1%

And here's a Ken Griffey Jr. story, one of many. Maybe I've already told it to you. It was a game in '93/'94, and I was at the Kingdome with my friend Mike. I had to go to the bathroom, then realized, after leaving my seat, that Junior was up, so I stood in the entryway during his at-bat. It went to 3-0. “Do you greenlight him?” I yelled to Mike, who was close by over the railing. Mike looked down at his scorecard, looked back up, shook his head. “I would!” I shouted. And he was. And the next pitch? Gone. I smiled at Mike, who shook his head.

But that was the typical kind of thing we would see back then. I remember a game against the Blue Jays at the Skydome with Roger Clemens on the mound. First time up, Junior hit a homerun. Second time up, first pitch, Clemens threw at Junior's head. Second pitch? Gone. 

So many times. “Wait, let me just watch Griffey's at bat.” Gone.

By my ticket-stub history count? I saw him hit 45 homers in person. Actually, 46, since I saw him hit one in 2009 when he came back. There may have been more. How lucky have I been? I may not have seen the Mariners in the World Series but I got to see Ken Griffey Jr. play on a regular basis. 

How many homeruns did you see Ken Griffey Jr. hit?

Some extra reading on Junior: 

Quick question: Who was the last man elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame whose representative team hadn't retired his number yet? C'mon, Mariners, let's get on that. 

Posted at 03:19 PM on Wednesday January 06, 2016 in category Seattle Mariners  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard