Today is the day. Our day of jubilee. We made it, you guys. We made it to the Hall of Fame. The Hall is silly, and flawed, and myopic, but soon it will be all of those things plus a Seattle Mariner. Many have written ably about the statistical cases for Griffey (I mean, obviously) and Edgar (double duh). Still others have considered the cultural import of these great players. Griffey in particular sits in the middle part of the Venn diagram between impossibly good and irrepressibly cool. We are awash with nostalgia. But what many have failed to capture are some of the smaller, local moments of humor and levity that made Edgar and The Kid uniquely ours. Some of these are widely known classics*; others were selected specifically to awaken the 90's Seattle kid in many of us and have them call out, "OH HELL YES, IT'S A LIGHT BAT!"
Ken Griffey Jr. and Babe Ruth (1995)
The Mariners created a commercial comparing Junior to Babe Ruth in homage to Ken Burns' Baseball and we all looked around and said, "Yeah, sure. That makes sense." I love the 90's.
Between at-bats with Edgar (1996)
I want to show this commercial to every stodgy grumpus of a National League beat writer when they question Edgar's value based on his position. Well you know what, you grumps? HE DID A LOT MORE THAN SWING THE BAT. Those pizzas weren't going to just order themselves.
Griffey's swing requires therapy (1997)
I imagine that if you're a major league pitcher, you're living your best life. You've realized your life long dream. You're in the Show. You have adoring fans. You are a mother flippin' baseball player. And then you take the mound and have to see this magnificent specimen of a baseball player and probably wish you'd just listened to your mom and become a CPA.
Edgar Coaches Up the Rookies (1998)
This commercial is peak 1) 90's 2) Seattle 3) Awesome. Seattle's embrace of international players in their commercials is one of the things I've always appreciated most, and this is perhaps my favorite example of it.
Clone Junior (1998)
We were really worried about cloning in the 90's. 29 other teams were probably more concerned about it than we were. Also, Junior the pitcher would 1000% shake of signs.
It's a Light Bat
It's a birdhouse bat
Are you sensing a theme? I'm sensing a theme. It's a bat.
How I Swing (Kid Sensation feat Ken Griffey Jr)
How is this not the most famous rap song to come out of Seattle?
Little Big League
I've never been prouder to see my city portrayed as villainous. Junior is a cocky jerk in this moment and we were cheering for it the whole time. Why? Because it meant we were good. We were good at baseball. Really good.
The Clapper (2004)
I love how practically every Edgar commercial was a preemptive strike against those foolish enough to leave him off their ballots. Did he play first base? No. What did he do? He hit. He hit a lot. A lot a lot. Flick flick, clap clap, turn out the lights.
Griffey Runs for President
Honest to god, how many Seattle area residents wrote in Griffey on their '96 ballots? It probably wasn't a lot but it was also a non-zero value.
*The Mariners compiled all their official commercials into one handy YouTube playlist, which you should definitely check out.