Sights and Sounds from Cooperstown

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Hall of Fame weekend has arrived.

After being elected to the Hall of Fame with 99.3 percent of the vote – the highest percentage of any Hall of Famer in history – Ken Griffey Jr. will join the legends of the game, past and present, in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

“I grew up playing this game. I just wanted to continue to play it…It allowed me to be where I am now,” Griffey said earlier today when meeting with reporters in Cooperstown, New York.

Coverage of the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from Cooperstown starts on Sunday, July 24 at 9:00 a.m. PT on MLB Network leading up to the ceremony itself beginning at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Junior arrived in Cooperstown on Thursday and met with Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson.

Osteaga-HotelOn Friday, Griffey spent time with his family at the famed Otesaga Hotel, where Hall of Famers often swap stories on the veranda.

Later that day, Ken Griffey Sr. met with reporters. In some ways, he is just another proud father. But Griffey Sr. and Griffey Jr. share a special bond in that they were able to play together in the same outfield with the Mariners.

Griffey“It’s been an amazing trip,” Griffey Sr. told reporters. “Watching him grow and get better every year — I really didn’t find out how good he was until I ended up playing left field in Seattle and found out how much ground he could cover, what kind of player he was, what kind of offensive player he was.”

After the Hall of Fame closed to the public late Friday evening, Junior, accompanied by family and close friends, received a private tour of the Hall. It was the first time in his life that Griffey had set foot inside the Hall of Fame.

“Quite interesting, knowing from here on out that I’m going to be in there,” Griffey told reporters this morning. “I got the tour before I got to all the plaques, then I went down the rows and looked at the guys I played against and my dad played against. It was pretty interesting to look at that and look where I’m going to be for the rest of my life and then some.”

Scenes from Cooperstown

Mariners Gameday Information – July 23 at Toronto

Game Information

Lineup

Game #97 (7/23): Mariners (49-47) vs.  Blue Jays (54-43) | 10:07 am PT | Rogers Centre
Starting Pitchers:  RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6, 4.01) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (7-10, 4.11)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Blue Jays | Mariners-Blue Jays History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

24 Stories – The MVP

Ken Griffey Jr. turned in a season for the ages in 1997. Junior hit .304 with 34 doubles, 56 home runs and 147 RBI while leading the American League in homers and RBI. In addition to earning unanimous Most Valuable Player honors, Griffey picked up a Silver Slugger award, a Gold Glove Award and was Major League Baseball’s leading vote-getter in the 1997 All-Star Game.

#9 – The MVP

“It was such an unbelievably powerful team with A-Rod and Edgar and Buhner, but above that all was Ken Griffey Jr. in his absolute prime. Every aspect of his game was at peak level. He just put everything together that year. You look at those numbers now in retrospect, and they’re absolutely amazing. [He was the] unanimous MVP. I don’t think there was any question that he was going to win. All-Star, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove – just about every award you can win that year.” – Larry Stone

“1997 was Junior’s year…He was mesmerizing. He was so much fun to watch. He was going to hit a home run, or he was going to make a great catch. One of the greatest seasons in the history of the Mariners franchise, and really one of the best years in the history of the game of baseball.” – Rick Rizzs

“I remember coming to the plate with nobody on base a lot.” – Edgar Martinez

“Junior was always a part of the highlights during that time. It was always, ‘I’ve got a couple minutes before work. Let me see what Junior did.'” – Dave Sims

Visit Mariners.com/24stories to check out a new story each day as we count down to Junior’s number retirement at Safeco Field on August 6.

Mariners Gameday Information – July 22 at Toronto

Game Information

Lineup

Game #96 (7/21): Mariners (48-47) vs.  Blue Jays (54-42) | 4:07 pm PT | Rogers Centre
Starting Pitchers:  RHP James Paxton (4-4, 2.86) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.93)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Blue Jays | Mariners-Blue Jays History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

24 Stories – The Prankster

Ken Griffey Jr. was renowned amongst his teammates for practical jokes, including the above prank Junior played on longtime teammate and close friend, Jay Buhner.

Ken Griffey Jr. was known as The Kid for more than one reason. He was renowed for his play on the field, as well as the playful tricks he played on teammates. Jay Buhner, Junior’s longtime teammate and close friend,  recalls one prank in particular.

“So he got a bunch of big huge foam different-colored cowboy hats, and when I was going from the on-deck circle to home plate, of course they did the music and the game stopped for a second. Everybody stood up on the top step with all the foam hats. I had to chuckle a little bit.” – Jay Buhner

#8 – The Prankster

“It’s baseball. You spend 200 days with somebody. You’ve got to do something to lighten the mood.” – Ken Griffey Jr.

“You can never let your guard down – head always on a swivel – because he was always up to no good.” – Jay Buhner

Visit Mariners.com/24stories to check out a new story each day as we count down to Junior’s number retirement at Safeco Field on August 6.

Canó Crush Home Run Derby

Mariners second baseman Robinson Canó and 710 ESPN Seattle's Brock Huard take part in a Home Run Derby in Pioneer Square last Friday.

Mariners second baseman Robinson Canó and 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard take part in a Home Run Derby in Pioneer Square last Friday.

Last week, it was a Home Run Derby in Pioneer Square for a good cause. Tonight, Mariners second baseman Robinson Canó is hosting the Roc Nation Summer Classic Charity Basketball Game.

Fresh from his appearance in the MLB All-Star Game, Canó took time for a friendly Home Run Derby at Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park last Friday.

Club members from the Mercer Island, Kirkland and Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Clubs participated in a home run hitting contest to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

Kids from 8-10 years old got a chance to take some hacks during preliminary rounds, and four finalists got to stand in as Canó pitched to them. Everyone had a great time, except maybe the Mariner Moose, who must have been wearing a Hit It Here sign as he took several direct hits with line drives. Fortunately, the squishy baseballs didn’t do any permanent damage.

At the end of the event, Canó was joined by representatives of HTC, the Seattle-based innovator in smartphone technology, to present a check for $25,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

24 Stories – The Kid Sensations

Ken Griffey Jr. may be the only Hall of Famer to have his own rap song. Take a look back at how The Kid and Kid Sensation teamed up to release “The Way I Swing” in 1992.

#7 – The Kid Sensations

“I said [to Griffey], ‘If I wrote you something, would you try to do it in studio?’ He said, ‘Sure.’ I said, ‘Alright, I’m going to write you something.’ I started writing away and I shared it with him and showed him what I was doing. He loved it. He was like, ‘Man, this seems like it’s going to be cool.’ He decided he would come into the studio and give it a shot. He didn’t have a lot of trouble getting his parts in and getting it done. I was really impressed. I was like, ‘He put in a little work and got this thing together.’ I was really proud of what we had come up with after he did his part.” – Kid Sensation

Visit Mariners.com/24stories to check out a new story each day as we count down to Junior’s number retirement at Safeco Field on August 6.

24 Stories – The Golden Glove

“I felt freer out there. I felt like it was me, to go out there and play defense.” – Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr. robbed opposing hitters of potential home runs and extra-base hits with the same ease and grace that he belted his own towering home runs and ringing doubles. Junior earned 10 Gold Glove Awards in his career, turning in year-after-year of highlight reel plays in the outfield.

#6 – The Golden Glove

“If you’re a good hitter, you’ll stay around 4 or 5 years, because you can hit. But guys who make careers out of this are the guys who go out there and play defense.” – Ken Griffey Jr.

“The most difficult thing playing with him was a ball would be hit in the gap, and I would just sit there and watch instead of going to my position for [the] relay because I wanted to watch Junior run, dive into the wall and make a throw.” – Harold Reynolds

“He was one of the greatest players in the history of the game of baseball. That gave fans in Seattle and all around the American League a reason to come out and watch the Mariners play because Junior was out there in center field.” – Rick Rizzs

“Put him out there defensively and he was as good a centerfielder as there was in baseball. He could go from left-center to right-center. He made a few plays out here that I still can’t fathom how he made them.” – Lou Piniella

“He’s the best centerfielder that I’ve ever had play behind me.” – Randy Johnson

“He does glide after a ball in right-center field or left-center field, and he always seems to make the perfect catch off the wall, maybe even bare-handed.” – Dave Niehaus

“It was amazing seeing him make some catches at the wall. It seemed like he was never scared of the wall.” – Franklin Gutierrez

“So athletic. He got to every single ball. He robbed a lot of home runs. He was really full-go. He ran into walls. If he could catch it, he would.” – Taijuan Walker

Visit Mariners.com/24stories to check out a new story each day as we count down to Junior’s number retirement at Safeco Field on August 6.

Mariners Acquire 1B Dan Vogelbach & RHP Paul Blackburn from the Cubs

The Mariners acquired 1B Dan Vogelbach and RHP Paul Blackburn from the Cubs on Wednesday. Vogelbach, pictured above, is batting .318 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 RBI with AAA Iowa this season.

The Mariners acquired 1B Dan Vogelbach and RHP Paul Blackburn from the Cubs on Wednesday. Vogelbach, pictured above, is batting .318 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 RBI with AAA Iowa this season.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has acquired first baseman Dan Vogelbach and right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and right-handed pitcher Jordan Pries.

The Mariners 40-man roster remains full.

Vogelbach, 24, has reached base safely in 76 of 89 games, batting .318 (97×305) with 53 runs scored, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 16 home runs, 64 RBI and 55 walks with AAA Iowa this season. The 6-0, 250-pound left-handed first baseman was named to the Triple-A All-Star team and currently leads the PCL in on-base percentage (.425), while also ranking 2nd in walks and OPS (.972), T4th in RBI, T6th in total bases (167), 7th in slugging percentage (.548), T7th in home runs, T8th in extra-base hits (36) and 9th in average.

Vogelbach has already recorded his 4th season with at least 15 home runs and is on pace to pass his career-high in home runs set in 2013 when he hit 19 home runs combined between Kane County and Daytona. He hit his fourth career multi-home run game on May 9, 2016 at Omaha (2×4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI). Dating back to June 25, Vogelbach has hit safely in 16 of his last 20 games, including 9 multi-hit contests, batting .420 (29×69) with 12 runs scored, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 15 RBI and 9 walks.

Vogelbach was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 2nd round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, FL. Over six seasons in the minor leagues, he is batting .290 (523×1804) with 280 runs scored, 111 doubles, 7 triples, 76 home runs, 323 RBI and 294 walks in 500 career games. He was added to the Cubs 40-man roster on November 20, 2015 after his sixth professional season. Voglebach was a selected to the 2012 Topps/Minor League Base Short-Season All-Star Team, was a member of the 2013 Midwest League All-Star, a 2015 Southern League All-Star and represented the United States in the 2015 Pan American Games in Ajax, Ontario.

Blackburn, 22, was 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA (36 ER, 102.1 IP) with 72 strikeouts in 18 starts for AA Tennessee. He was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week April 24 after allowing zero earned runs in 8.0 innings at Mobile on April 23 and tossing 7.0 shutout frames vs. Montgomery on April 18.

In five minor league seasons in the Cubs organization, he is 26-16 with a 3.21 ERA (134 ER, 375.2 IP) with 261 strikeouts in 82 games, including 78 starts. He’s a two-time mid-season all-star: Kane County (Midwest League) in 2014 and Tennessee (Southern League) in 2016. He was originally drafted by Chicago (NL) in the 1st round (56th overall) of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Heritage High School in Brentwood, CA.

Montgomery, 27, was 3-4 with a 2.34 ERA (16 ER, 61.2 IP) in 32 games, including 2 starts, with Seattle this season. Montgomery began the season in the bullpen, where he was 2-3 with a 2.15 ERA (12 ER, 50.1 IP) with 44 strikeouts in 30 relief appearances. In 2 starts with the Mariners this season, Montgomery was 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA (4 ER, 11.1 IP) with 10 strikeouts.

In two Major League seasons with Seattle, he is 7-10 with a 3.68 ERA (62 ER, 151.2 IP) in 48 career games (18 starts). He was originally drafted by Kansas City in the 1st round (36th overall) in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, and was acquired by Seattle from Tampa Bay in exchange for RHP Erasmo Ramirez on March 31, 2015.

Pries, 26, was 7-3 with a 4.92 ERA (46 ER, 84.0 IP) in 20 games, including 12 starts, with AAA Tacoma and AA Jackson this season. Pries opened the season with Jackson, where he was 5-2 with a 5.46 ERA (36 ER, 59.1 IP) with 62 strikeouts and 14 walks in 13 games (9 starts) over two stints with the Generals. In 7 games (3 starts) over two stints with Tacoma, Pries was 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA (10 ER, 24.2 IP) with 21 strikeouts and 7 walks.

In parts of 6 minor league seasons with Seattle, Pries is 40-24 with a 4.41 ERA (271 ER, 552.2 IP) in 109 games (93 starts). Pries was originally selected by Seattle in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University.

Mariners Gameday Information – July 20 vs. White Sox

Game InformationGame #95 (7/20): Mariners (47-47) vs. White Sox (46-47) | 12:40 pm PT | Safeco Field
Starting Pitchers:  RHP Felix Hernandez (4-4, 2.86) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez  (2-5, 4.40)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Starting Lineups: Starting lineups will be posted on MarinersMedia.com and Twitter when they become available
Game Information: Mariners | White Sox | Mariners-White Sox History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

07.20 Lineup CWS-SEA

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