Sports

SIDELINES: Griffey's induction into Mariners' Hall of Fame makes us all feel old

Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners' great Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame before Saturday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

It sucks getting old.

I already realized that it was happening too fast after I turned 40 earlier this year. But this is getting ridiculous.

Tonight, Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners' Hall of Fame before their game against the Milwaukee Brewers. This is the same guy that I "grew up" watching during the 1990s in the Puget Sound region. Griffey was the definition of sports in Seattle, plus he was known then as "The Kid."

Pretty amazing that Griffey has now been retired from baseball for over two years.

There has never been another athlete in the history of professional sports in the city that could be called the best in the world. During the 1990s, he was, hands-down, the best all-around player in Major League Baseball.

Griffey spent 13 of his 22 years in the Majors with the Mariners and currently is working with the team as a special consultant. He ranks near the top of every offensive category in franchise history, including first in home runs (417), second in RBIs (1,216), doubles (341) and slugging percentage (.553) and third in hits (1,843), runs (1,113), games (1,685) and at-bats (6,317).

He still holds Mariners single-season records for home runs (56 in two different years), RBIs (147) and extra-base hits (93).

"It means a lot," Griffey said from his home in Orlando, Fla. about his Mariner Hall of Fame induction. "It's something you dream about (with) the organization you got drafted by as a celebration of your career. It means a whole lot that they'd think that highly of me and what I've done, to put my name up there with the rest of the guys."

He'll join Alvin Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004), Edgar Martinez (2007), Randy Johnson (2012) and Dan Wilson (2012) in the Mariners Hall.

In his Major League career, which also included stints with the Reds and White Sox, Griffey earned 13 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Glove Awards, seven Silver Slugger Awards and four American League home run titles.

He stands sixth on MLB's all-time home run list with 630 and was the 1997 American League MVP. Griffey will be eligible for the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2016 and should be the first player to wear a Mariners hat when he's inducted.

In other Seattle sports news:

The Seattle Seahawks kicked off their season Thursday night with a win over the San Diego Chargers in an exhibition game. And I, like everybody else, is hoping it was the start of a historic season.

There has never been a more anticipated season in the history of the Seattle Seahawks. Even before the 2004 season, which ended with the Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there wasn't this type of hype surrounding the team.

Las Vegas has the Seahawks as the third betting favorite to win Super Bowl XLVIII. And we all know that Vegas oddsmakers know a lot more than any football fan. Only the San Francisco 49ers (6/1) and Denver Broncos (13/2) have better odds than the Seahawks (8/1).

Coming off four consecutive seasons with a sub-.500 record, the Seahawks surprised many people in the NFL last year when they went 11-5 and made the playoffs.

But, on the other hand, they won't be sneaking up on anybody this season. With all the Super Bowl talk, the Seahawks are going to have a fight on their hands every single week they take the field.

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