You could argue that Alex Rodriguez has had a better overall career, and he may actually end up being viewed as a far superior ballplayer to Ken Griffey, Jr. when all is said and done. But because of the way their careers evolved, there is absolutely no doubt who ranks higher on Mariners fans' lists and in their hearts.
"Napgate" is nothing compared to what A-Rod did to Mariners fans when he left. And in all honesty, what we got to see day-in and day-out from 1989 through 1999 should wipe away any thought of what Alex ever was.
Don't let 2009 and 2010 cloud your memories of Junior—think back to the glory days. Prodigious home runs. Game saving catches. Ear-to-ear smiles. Backwards caps. Warehouse caroms. Home run titles. Eight straight games. Gold Gloves, an MVP and a .300 average. And, of course, the bottom of the pile.
Griffey was plain and simply the best ballplayer the game has ever seen in his first go-round in Seattle, and if the injuries hadn't torn him down, they would've had to start a whole new wing in Cooperstown just for him.
As it is now, we'll just have to settle for him being the first Seattle Mariners player inducted into the Hall of Fame...and the No. 1 Best Draft Pick in Mariners Franchise History.