Ken Griffey Jr. enters the Mariners Hall of Fame Saturday. After he’s inducted, who should be next? The candidates are listed below and you can cast your vote here.
When Ken Griffey Jr. enters the Mariners Hall of Fame Saturday, in a ceremony at Safeco Field prior to the first pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers, he will become the seventh individual inducted, following prior enshrinees Alvin Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004), Edgar Martinez (2007), Randy Johnson (2012) and Dan Wilson (2012).
Question is, who will be next? Each of the individuals listed below made major contributions to the Mariners franchise. Examine their brief bios — listed alphabetically — and let us know which player or manager should be enshrined next.
BRET BOONE (1992-93, 2001-05): During his second stint with the Mariners, Boone made two All-Star teams (2001, 2003) and nearly won the American League MVP award in 2001 when he hit .331 with 37 home runs and a league-leading 141 RBIs. He ranks seventh all-time on the Mariners list with 143 home runs and sixth all-time in slugging percentage (.478). His most notable game occurred June 4, 2001, when he went 4-for-5 with a career-high seven RBIs in an 11-6 win over Texas at Safeco Field.
MIKE CAMERON (2000-03): Cameron had the unenviable assignment of replacing franchise icon Ken Griffey Jr., in center field, but handled the job adroitly. An All-Star in 2001, he delivered his biggest game for Seattle May 2, 2002, when he tied the major league record with four home runs at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Another signature moment: On Aug. 1, 2000, Cameron ended a 19-inning contest with Boston at Safeco Field with a walk-off home run off former Mariner Jeff Fassero, giving Seattle a 5-4 victory.
FREDDY GARCIA (1999-04): “The Chief” still ranks fourth in franchise history with 76 victories and is only one of only three Mariners pitchers (also Randy Johnson and Felix Hernandez) to lead the American League in earned run average (3.05 in 2001). Garcia made two All-Star teams with Seattle (2001-02) and was on the mound for the American League in 2002 when Commissioner Bud Selig called the game when both teams ran out of pitchers. The game ended in a controversial 7-7 tie.
MARK LANGSTON (1984-89): After finishing second to teammate Alvin Davis in the 1984 American League Rookie of the Year voting, Langston went on to post 74 wins in a Seattle uniform, still the fifth-highest total in club history. Langston led the AL in strikeouts three times — 1984 (204), 1986 (245) and 1987 (262). Langston, fourth all-time on the Mariners single-season strikeout list, won a career-high 19 games in 1987, when he represented Seattle in the All-Star Game.
JAMIE MOYER (1996-06): Acquired by the Mariners at mid-season in 1996 for outfielder Darren Bragg, Moyer went on to win more games (145) than any pitcher in franchise history. He is the only pitcher in club annals to twice win 20 games (20-6 in 2001; 21-7 in 2003) and in 2003, at age 40, became the third-oldest first-time All-Star in major league history. Moyer ranks first on the Mariners list in starts (323) and innings pitched (2,093) and third in strikeouts (1,239) and winning percentage (.625).
JEFF NELSON (1992-95, 2001-03, ’05): One of a handful of players to log three stints with the Mariners, Nelson appeared in 432 games, more than any other pitcher. Nelson represented the Mariners in the 2001 All-Star Game at Safeco Field and still ranks No. 3 all-time in career ERA (behind J.J. Putz and Felix Hernandez) with a minimum of 300 innings pitched, 3.26.
JOHN OLERUD (2000-04): Olerud hit .285 with 72 home runs and 405 RBIs in 702 games covering five seasons. Olerud put together his two best seasons for the Mariners in 2001-02 when he hit a combined .301 with 43 home runs. In two of his Seattle years, 2000 and 2002, he drove in more than 100 runs. One of Olerud’s notable performances occurred June 17, 2001, at San Diego when he hit for the cycle, concluding his big night with a dramatic, two-run, 464-foot home run in the ninth inning in Seattle’s 9-2 victory.
LOU PINIELLA (1993-02): By far the most popular manager in Mariners history, Pinella directed the club through its most successful stretch — 1995 through 2002 — when they made all four of their playoff appearances (1995, 1997, 2000, 2001). His 1995 club made up a 13-game August deficit to reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history, and his 2001 club won an American League record 116 games. Pinella won a record 842 games as Seattle’s manager and endeared himself to fans throughout the Pacific Northwest for his colorful and hilarious “meltdowns.”
HAROLD REYNOLDS (1983-92): One of seven players to appear in more than 1,000 games, Reynolds hit .260 over the course of his decade in Seattle, but mainly excelled defensively, winning Gold Gloves in 1988, 1989 and 1990. A two-time Mariners All-Star representative, Reynolds ranks third all-time in club history with 228 stolen bases. He holds the distinction of being the only No. 9 hitter in baseball history to lead a league in stolen bases — 60 in 1987.
KAZUHIRO SASAKI (2000-03): Seattle’s all-time saves leader with 129, Sasaki won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2000 when he saved a franchise-record 37 games, a total he topped in 2001 when he saved 45 for the 116-win Mariners. Signed by Seattle in 1999 as an international free agent, the Tokyo native twice represented Seattle in the All-Star Game, 2001, 2002.