Seattle Mariners Mount Rushmore: The Saddest MLB Franchise
It’s mind-blowing that a franchise that produces such amazing talent has never won a pennant. The Seattle Mariners have fielded some of the greatest teams the game has ever seen. Sadly these teams have failed in most years to get past the American League Divisional Series. Mariners fans have endured a lot. I don’t blame them one bit for being sad or frustrated with the franchise. Anyway, let’s talk about the Seattle Mariners Mount Rushmore and who deserves to be etched into it.
Ken Griffey Jr.
This perhaps could be the biggest “duh…” moment writing these Mount Rushmore articles. Griffey was not only the greatest AL player in the nineties, but he could also be the greatest AL player ever. His swing was a craft by gods. He possessed the most fluid, badass lefthanded swing which helped him crush 630 career dingers which are 7th all-time. In his time as a Mariner, he won the 1997 Most Valuable Player and had 11 all-star appearances. He also won 11 gold gloves and nine silver sluggers. He, alongside Edgar Martinez, helped save baseball in the city of Seattle when the Mariner’s fate seemed doomed. Had Griffey not dealt with injuries, he could’ve beaten Aaron for the all-time home run crown, and without steroids.
This article is becoming increasingly sad to write. Just all. that. talent. Ichiro is the greatest Japanese player to ever grace the United States with his playing. He did the majority of his damage as a Seattle Mariner. A crafty left-handed batter, Ichiro was the king of getting on base and slapping singles all around the field. He carried a .321 average across 14 seasons as a Mariner. He joined the 3,000 hit club but also broke the single-season hit record with 262 in 2004. Let’s not forget him winning both the Rookie of the Year AND the Most Valuable Player award in the same season (2001).
Oh, he also had a gun in right field. Perhaps the scariest arm for throwing out runners at third and home. You wouldn’t expect this out of a guy who weighs 175 pounds. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Here’s the man himself who saved baseball for good in Seattle. Without him, we’d have a team in a weird city like Vegas or New Orleans. It was “the double” that will forever live in the hearts of M’s fans. Martinez is the man behind it. Not only should he be known for this base hit which propelled them to the ’95 ALCS, stunning the Yanks. He should be known for his Hall of Fame career. He is the greatest designated hitter of all time who happened to play his entire career for the Mariners. Look at these stat lines if you don’t believe me. He has a career .312 batting average, 309 home runs, 514 doubles, .933 on-base plus slugging, and 1,261 runs batted in. Let’s just say he belongs in the Hall of Fame for very good reason.
Boy, imagine if these four players were all on a team together. They’d be World Series favorites every season for years to come. Felix Hernandez had talent only a few players dream of. He was the best right-handed pitcher of his time. Hernandez appeared in six all-star games, winning the Cy Young in 2010, and also led the league in ERA twice. His greatest moment on the field came on August 15, 2012, with him completing the 23rd perfect game in baseball history. In 15 seasons, he has a career 3.42 Earned Run Average with 169 wins, all with the Mariners. He’s a legitimate candidate for the Hall of Fame down the road.
Whelp there ya have it. The saddest, most unfortunate team in baseball. There is little cause for optimism even now, finishing last season with a sub .500 record once again. These four players are the most deserved, but if you’re wondering where Randy Johnson or Alex Rodriguez is this why. Johnson split his career and won a ring with the Diamondbacks in ’02. Rodriguez has had much more success as a New York Yankee winning a ring and multiple MVPs. Now imagine these players on a team plus Johnson and A-Rod. Yikes.