Today's Friday's 5 is all about one of the major influences of The INC!, our Seattle sports teams. You can see many familiar logos, colors, heroes and more in our designs and aesthetic here at The INC! Having grown up during the true Golden Years of our state's sports history, the teams truly influenced us as kids and ultimately now as adults. Here are my picks for our city's greatest athletes of all time.
#5. Steve Largent - Now he should probably be higher, but he played just a bit before my prime so his spot is a little lower. But truly, nobody looks better in the green and blue. He was a 7 time Pro Bowler, held every major receiving record at the time he retired and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. Wish I could have seen him catch a pass from Warren Moon at Qwest Field, that would be the bomb.
#4. Shawn Kemp - There are a lot of people who might put him a little higher on the list, but I voted him to #4 because his career kind of fizzled out towards the end. But even amidst the many illegitimate children, drug problems and repeated failed comebacks, he still remains the Reign Man. A 6 time All-Star and leader of the '96 Sonics team that went to the NBA Championship, Kemp was really one of the greatest to put on a jersey in the 206.
#3. Edgar Martinez - For a fat kid growing up in Seattle in the 90's, few things gave me hope for my professional athlete career like 'Gar. By far the slowest baseball athlete in the history of sport, he was still a great player and remains the definition of the Designated Hitter. 6 time All-Star and owner of 5 Silver Slugger awards, he was an integral part of all of the great M's seasons of the 90's and 2000's.
#2. Gary Payton - Nobody has ever represented Seattle quite like The Glove did. He was drafted with the 2nd pick in 1990 and would go on to hold the franchise records for points, assists and steals to this day. The best part about #20 was definitely his mouth. He got in the face of anyone and everyone and certainly had the skills to back them up. Defensive Player of the Year, 9 time All Star and an NBA Champion in 2006 with the Miami Heat, Payton pretty much sums up what the teams from Seattle USED to be...
And for anyone who has been keeping up with the blog, you may remember our Rep Your City design from a week or two ago, featuring none other than Mr. Payton himself.
#1. "Junior" - If someone were trying to look up seattle sports in the dictionary, they should probably just find the entry for Ken Griffey Jr. "The Kid" was a part of so many great Mariners moments its hard to explain how important he was to this city. The father-son back-to-back homeruns, the catch when he broke his wrist jumping into the wall, "the slide" and every one of his 630 home runs are sweet enough to forgive even this last season, when he didn't hit a home run, took a nap during a game and retired mid-season. I love him simply for teaching me how to wear a backwards baseball hat. What Seattle kid doesn't have his stance and swing memorized to this day? Without further ado, at #1, #24.
Someday the Mariners won't have the WORST offense in the HISTORY of baseball, the Seahawks will make it back to the Super Bowl and an NBA team will have Seattle on its jersey once more... Someday.