SEATTLE — When the Mariners drew up guidelines for retiring uniform numbers, they set a high bar that so far has only been met by two players in franchise history.
There are nine inducted members in the Mariners Hall of Fame, but the criteria for retiring a number was set substantially higher to make it the ultimate honor.
The Mariners’ Board of Directors is responsible for retiring numbers and to be eligible, a player must have either been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and been in a Mariners uniform at least five years, or come close to election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a “substantial portion of his career” with the Mariners.
Players aren’t eligible to have their number retired until they’ve been voted on once for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which effectively means six years after their retirement.
Here are the two retired numbers which hang on Seattle’s center field façade alongside Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which was retired by all Major League teams in 1997.
Ken Griffey Jr., CF: No. 24
Number retired: Aug. 6, 2016
Griffey became the first player who spent the majority of his career with the Mariners to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and he was elected in a landslide in 2016, setting a new record by being named on 437 of 440 (99.32 percent) of the Baseball Writers’ Association of…