Note: This is my Crunch Time column for the Feb. 2 issue of the Cheney Free Press.
I’m going to go off my usual combat sports path in this week’s column and focus on a recent development in baseball, specifically with the Seattle Mariners.
Like any year, the Mariners’ 2017 season comes with a lot of expectations and questions. What new faces will don a Mariner’s jersey and cap? How will the team’s bullpen play?
But one of the guaranteed bright spots for fans and the team will come in August when the Mariners officially retire franchise mainstay Edgar Martinez’s No. 11 jersey. The uniform will be in good company and hang alongside Ken Griffey Jr.’s No. 24, which Seattle retired last year after he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which is retired across the Major Leagues.
The news of the Mariners retiring Martinez’s number came shortly after the 2017 National Baseball Hall of Fame class was announced. Martinez fell short of the 75 percent required vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — receiving only 58.6 percent of “yes” votes — to get into the hall. That resulted in a bitter taste for Mariner fans who hoped to see him travel to Cooperstown, especially since he will no longer be eligible on the ballot.
Although having a team retire your jersey may not be seen as great of an accomplishment as getting enshrined in the hall of fame, it’s still a big honor and Martinez, who has been a part of the Mariners in some fashion for almost 30 years, and is more than deserving of it.
To read the rest of the column, follow the link.