Mariners great Ken Griffey Jr. leads Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016
The wait is over. The Kid is heading to the Hall of Fame.
Seattle Mariners great Ken Griffey Jr. leads the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, garnering a record 99.3 percent of votes from Baseball Writers’ Association of America members to make the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Griffey, considered one of the biggest superstars of his era and among the most talented players in baseball history, was known equally for his smooth left-handed swing, elite power at the plate and defensive wizardry in center field.
Over his 22-year career, which included 13 seasons over two stints in a Mariners uniform, Griffey was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time Silver Slugger winner, the 1997 American League MVP and 2005 National League Comeback Player of the Year. He ranks sixth all-time with 630 home runs and 15th with 1,836 runs batted in.
Joining Griffey in the 2016 class is former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, who most notably played for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Once again missing the cut is Griffey’s former Seattle teammate Edgar Martinez, whose 43.4 percent fell well short of the required 75 percent of the votes.
Griffey’s 99.3 percent Hall of Fame vote ranks first all-time, breaking the mark set by Tom Seaver (98.8 percent) in 1992. Only three of the 440 writers with votes didn’t cast Griffey on their ballots.
Griffey is expected to be the first player to go into Cooperstown wearing a Mariners cap. Randy Johnson went into Cooperstown last year as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Rickey Henderson (Athletics), Goose Gossage (Yankees) and Gaylord Perry (Giants) all had short stints with Seattle late in their careers but have different caps depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques.