Mt. Rushmore
er, excuse me, Franchise Four

Originally posted June 15, 2015. - Ed.


During the Mariners-Giants game on Monday, they talked up the Giants' franchise Hall of Famers.  I think they said Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal ... this struck me as a super-cool "Mt. Rushmore" even though they snubbed Barry Bonds.  The four players all played together (right?), were all diverse, were all names that I marveled at when first discovering baseball ....


Immediately you think of the M's Mt. Rushmore and let's start with Junior, Big Unit, ARod and Edgar.  That rock face is wayyyyy, WAY too good for anything the M's ever actually accomplished.  I mean, compare it to Tampa Bay's or Toronto's.  The Rays have B.J. Upton on their ballot and probably their best player is Evan Longoria, who is a fairly-good player in his 8th year.

The M's Mt. Rushmore contains three of baseball's greatest legends ever; Randy Johnson is probably one of the 5 greatest pitchers who ever lived.  This reflects the last 40 years of the Mariners having a very talllll, thhinnnn talent pyramid -- they've had 1-1 picks and "5 tool high upside" attitudes since they started.  The 1997 season is the microcosm of the best they've been.


The Cincinnati Reds have a kewl Rushmore; you have Rose, Morgan, and Bench on it.  Those guys hit 1-3-4* in the same lineup together, and they did it essentially for their primes.  Besides, that was my team growing up.  You get to wondering what baseball dynasties -- 1960's Giants, 1970's Reds, 1990's Mariners -- own their franchise's Mt. Rushmores.

Plumping for another Rushmore that is especially interesting:  if Boston's Rushmore is 

  • Cy Young
  • Teddy Ballgame
  • Yaz
  • Fisk or Rice or Ortiz

Then you have a Rushmore in which none of the players played together.*  It would be one that sampled every period of the franchise's long legacy, much like the real Mt. Rushmore in SD.  Would you rather have that, or rather have guys who played together?

Dr. D would be legitimately interested in your own choice for "super cool Mt. Rushmore."  Would make good reading :- ) 


Gratuitous Political Football follows. If you're LrKrBoi29, put a hand over your eyes for one ellipsis section.

There's a movement to put a Native American on the mountain.  Not that I've got a thing against any ethnic group, kid!  DR. DETECTO is ethnic.  But was that the idea of Mt. Rushmore?  To honor people for being ethnic, as opposed to honoring them for changing the world?

Still and all, it's been a long time since Teddy and Dr. D thinks the nation should debate the additions of one of the following:  Barack Obama, or Ronald Reagan, or Martin Luther King.  But it would take a tricky argument indeed to get my vote for Crazy Horse.  But this is SSI, right?  :- )  Have at me, thou varlet!


Right off the bat, you've got an issue with the Mariners' franchise four:  ARod chose to leave after six years, as early as he could.  But!  We developed him, kid.  And he was part of the Seattle entry into national baseball relevance.  Still and all, if you want to snub him, Dr. D is thrilled thrilled thrilled to have Ichiro gracing the mountain:

  • He had over 50 WAR during the 00's.  Think about that
  • He had a long, brilliant NPB career also
  • He was a type of mini-Jackie from the East
  • Seattle is all about the Pacific Rim

Put Ichiro on the "rock" face and I'm just totally there with you


It's also a reasonable question whether to sub in Felix Hernandez for the Big Unit, or even Edgar (who would be represented as a 5th player by the street outside and the restaurant inside).  Bill James has taught us to be careful, verrrrrry careful, about celebrating players before their careers are over.   I mean, you've got people arguing Mike Trout after three years.  Slap me silly and call me Shirley.  Nobody ever heard of Cesar Cedeno or Ruben Sierra?!

You might make an exception with Felix because:

  • His odds at the HOF are so crazy good for his mileage
  • His enthusiasm for spending his career here --- > has exceeded even Edgar's
  • The yellow stands thing weighs in.  That's unusual in baseball

Still.  Right now I go with Randy Johnson over Felix.  And if Randy Johnson is also a Diamondback President, good for him.  He deserves two Mt. Rushmores.  By the way I've got nothing against "updating" Mt. Rushmore's.  Sand that one guy's face off there and put over a new one.  .... explain to me why not?


Dr D





My Rushmore list:





R.J. did most of his iconic stuff elsewhere.  A-Rod can't be up there on principal.  Ichiro and Felix are era faces of the Franchise.


As far as putting a Native American on Mt. Rushmore?  I don't know, who did you have in mind?  It seems like the majority of American cities and states have Indian names already.  Chief Seattle anyone?

Rather than spending U.S. tax dollars on chiseling a face out of a mountain, I think that Andrew Jackson should be removed from the $20 bill.  He was a mediocre president who allowed forced and illegal relocation of the sophisticated Cherokee Indians.  The $20 is the most popular currency and should be reserved for an exemplary American.




I think that one's a winner, Counselor ...

Also cannot argue with you on Andrew Jackson.  Your choice for the $20 would be?  :- )  Sarah Palin, I'm guessing ... ;- )


Its true that Ms. Palin graduated from the University of Idaho School of Journalism, but there isn't much else that qualifies her for the $20 bill.  From Wikipedia, she won a beauty contest for Ms. Wasilla once, she served for a decade or so on the Wasilla City Council.  She was elected governor of Alaska in 2006.  During her term in governor, she only had one scandal, in 2008 she fired a guy who had fired her brother in law earlier.  In 2009 she quit halfway into her term as governor.  As governor, she pardoned several turkeys, but no humans. 

Since that time, Ms. Palin has mostly worked as a reporter/public speaker.

Ms. Palin might be a fine American and she does have some memorable quotes but 1. She's not dead yet and 2. She hasn't exercised broad influence on the history of the United States (yet).

Play it safe.  Go with MLK or Reagan. 


By your characterizing her 4-year degree as her main accomplishment.

;- )


Banter aside, MLK or Reagan would likely be my 1 and 2 choices also -- if you were to add to Mt. Rushmore, which is a tough Q in itself.  A bit surprised, in an emotionally neutral way, that you're sympathetic to Reagan.  Any elucidation?

:: daps ::


Just giving props to a fellow Idaho alumna.  I'll leave it to her fans to lay out a better case for the $20.  As for MLK or Reagan, they both put their stamp on the United States in an inner circle HOF kind of way.  Reagan was one of those old school anti-federalists who resurrected the ideology for the modern age.  MLK was the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  He gave us a human rights ideology to be proud of.  The money should say something unique about the people, and these two candidates are both American originals.


Crazy Horse has his own carved mountain in the Black Hills, not all that far from Mt Rushmore. Privately funded, massive and sloooooowly being worked. It may never be finished but it still pretty cool. 

The movement to dump Jackson from the $20 is really a movement to put a woman's face on a greenback. Harriet Tubman won the online poll - an...interesting choice. 


So I'm pretty sure, if given a vote, I'd go 'no' to Harriet Tubman.  It strikes me as an incredibly divisive gesture, but I'm probably in the minority and it's almost certainly not worth y'all's time for me to elucidate my thoughts.  I think Morgan Freeman's got it right: "How about you stop thinking about me as a black man and I'll stop thinking about you as a white man?  Hi, my name is Morgan Freeman; what's yours?" That'll do for me, too, and I think we can extend it to pretty much anything.  Judge people for their actions and, to a lesser extent, their words.  It's one of the true beauties of the internet in its current incarnation: you don't know much about the people you interact with outside of their virtual actions and words.  I *love* that about it.

I do agree with Jackson's mediocrity, however, and would be open to a new face there.  Always wondered why Jefferson didn't get his own permanent bill...


And I'm getting wayyyy too political here probly :- ) but if a man's own posse considers him "crazy" then I think we're off to a bad start setting him as an icon of all that America stands for.

A balanced view of the Euro-Indian conflicts is next to impossible to get to any more, so you'd have a tough time DISCUSSING this issue, no doubt.  SSI might be one of the few places you could do it.

e.g. I can't find a single website discussing "Apache atrocities" that does not attach "alleged" Apache atrocities.  Pointing out facts yea and nay is one thing; obfuscating a discussion until it's impossible is another thing.

There were so many peace-loving, harmonious, Zen-like collectives on the continent in 1500 A.D, bothering no one, living in a rational way.  Life lived in an almost idyllic way.  Shame that people such as Crazy Horse can't be discussed intelligently.



Well, to be fair I think that the literal translation is 'his horse is crazy'. It was actually his father's name - at birth, he was given the name 'among the trees' or something. For some reason, his father passed his name onto his son later in life and took a new name for himself. Native naming rituals were more...fluid than our Anglo-Saxon ways. 


I should mention that while Crazy Horse gets the PR, it was Sitting Bull that was the real leader of the Lakota. Crazy Horse was more akin to a general and we do love our war generals. A more spiritual, philosophic chief like Sitting Bull doesn't get the publicity but it was he that the Lakota looked to for guidance. 


I mean, Washington is pretty much automatic due to his being the first among the founders, as is Jefferson for the fact that he basically built the entire idea of the United States of America in his head before putting pen to paper so others could realize his dream.  Lincoln's presence is fine as a cautionary example regarding the abuse of power, so I don't think we need Obama or GW Bush on there since they'd be redundant (Obama for his hostile takeover of the healthcare industry and 10-20% of the GDP, and Bush Jr. for his ridiculous invasions into the last vestiges of privacy we once enjoyed).

But how in the name of the 1976 Seattle Mariners did Theodore Roosevelt get on the thing?  Having read his Wiki page and remembering what little I learned of him in scholastic studies, he strikes me as a guy with 10/10 in PR skills and not a ton more.  The Panama Canal was cool, but I immediate reaction whenever I see Mt. Rushmore is: "One of these things is not like the others."

And just to be clear: I hate, hate, HATE Lincoln with the fury of a type II supernova headed for a black hole, but he at least was unthinkably impactful on the history of the USA (or its death, depending on your perspective; the USA post-Lincoln is nothing like Jefferson's beautiful dream).  Even as a little kid it was hard for me to declare Lincoln to be the greatest president (though I'm sure I did so at a teacher's insistence on more than one occasion as a 6-7-8 year old) simply because it seemed to me, at that age, that if he was such a great leader he should have been able to navigate the situation without declaring war on his own country.  Even as a child that struck me as incredibly tyrannical, though I wouldn't have used that word then (I probably would have used some form of the word 'bully').

MLK, if he'd been president, would be a fine choice - superb even - but I think Rushmore should be reserved for presidents so I wouldn't put him up there.  Wanna set up a new monument like Rushmore?  Be my guest!  Put Pocahontas or Sakajuwea on there if it floats your boat; either one deserves entry into the conversation of impactful natives (though I realize Pocahontas was prior to the USA's existence).  MLK would be a fine entry for there as well, as I think would John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, or Ben Franklin.

And as for the M's Mt. Rushmore?  Edgar for sure, Griffey almost for sure, Felix for sure and Ichiro for sure.  RJ's got a great case, but it's true that he went from the Big Unit to the BIG UNIT!!!!!! only after he left here.  Still, for me it's a toss-up between him and Griffey; RJ was the better overall player and enjoyed his greatest success after leaving, while Griffey was (in my mind) a tick lesser overall but did almost all of his good work here before leaving.  So I guess it'd be:




RJ/Griffey (I could probably be blown one way or the other by a three year old's sneeze)

And, now that I'm thinking about it, Pat Gillick and Lou Pinella might deserve placement...but that's muddying the waters.  Still, they were the only ones who would speak truth to power and actually tried to win here by any means necessary (I don't include the players in that blanket statement; I think they try to win every single pitch).


Teddy Roosevelt was an authentic military hero, ridiculously courageous in battle.  What is it, 60% of American Presidents that have been elected out of notable military service?

He loved nature, was a "manly man," hated Big Government, stood for rugged individualism.  In terms of his personality, and in terms of iconic Americans, he works for me :- )


As to whether his achievements are comparable to Washington's, well, there are only so many 7-star generals to go around.  ;- )  But as to you main point Jonezie:  I would NOT sign a debate proposition against you on Teddy Roosevelt as one of the 4 (or 25) greatest Americans.  Good 'puts.

I'm curious:  do you consider it relevant that America, as a group, has little problem with the 4 faces on there?


Odd coincidence:  One of my best friends, himself a military man, thinks Honest Abe was Abe-ominable also.


based primarily on the fact that, during my limited public primary schooling, basically what I learned of Thomas Jefferson was that he was a glorified secretary who wielded the pen while everyone ELSE dreamed up America.  So I willingly concede the possibility that Teddy R. was, in fact, one of the 5-10 greatest US Presidents :-)

Regarding the public's acceptance of the four featured famous figures' faces (alliteration!) on Mt. Rushmore, I think Washington's primacy and Jefferson's vision (if not solely for the Louisiand Purchase, which was one of the greatest double-edged-swords in human political history) deserve to be there on their own merits.  Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I think it's entirely reasonable to expect that most people would happily accept the 'party line' presented in the vast majority of US history textbooks.  That line says, in no uncertain terms, that Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery while the South was populated entirely by backward, oppressive, basically evil people who didn't understand the first thing about human rights and were somehow indoctrinated into thinking that African slaves weren't really people. (<--- is just so one-dimensional that any adult would see through it if it was presented like this, but an impressionable young mind is designed to accept the inputs made by authority figures, such as parents or teachers).  We all grow up with the whole 'Abe Lincoln was a humanitarian!' shtick echoing in our ears, so the idea that he might have been our worst tyrant (which is pretty easily established, actually) creates so much dissonance that we're conditioned to automatically reject the idea.  But when you realize that his 'Civil War' was (which, according to a Texan friend of mine, is still taught as the War of Northern Aggression in Texas schools) was responsible for more American deaths, by percentage of the population, than all other wars the USA has engaged in COMBINED it's hard to see him for anything but a tyrant.

 So apparently my formatting skills are feeble.  Here's a link to the Wikipedia page with the US Military's death totals for the various wars in American history. Here are the rough numbers of US deaths in the major wars of the 20th Century:

World War II: 405,399

World War I:  116,516

Vietnam War: 59,246

Korean War: 54,246

Subtotal: 635,407 American lives

(As an aside: the War of Terror, the longest running war in American history, has cost 6,717 Americans their lives)

The other members of the top ten wars in US history (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American War and Philippine-American War) total about 55,000.  So, adding all of the non-Civil War deaths together, we end up with a grand total of approximately:

697,124 (let's round it up to 700,000 American lives lost in non-Civil War actions)

The US Civil War, according to the US Military's best, most verifiable information, totals 750,000 deaths (and, as I said above, that number is being pushed well over a million by recent record discoveries according to several sites I read a year or two ago).

So, less-than-succinctly, Abraham Lincoln's 'Civil War' was the single-most devastating action in American history when tallied in terms of American lives lost -- but that was perhaps predictable since it was a war being waged entirely BY Americans ON Americans.  The part that makes it shocking is that, even without including the new numbers which historians are keen to add to the 750,000 number, it still outweighs EVERY OTHER WAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY COMBINED in terms of death toll :-(  Think on that for a moment while you somberly realize that, at the time of the 'Civil War,' the US census showed a total population of 31,443,000.  That makes the official death toll 2.35% of the entire nation's population.  If you include the newer numbers, the total death count rises to nearly DOUBLE that of every other war in American history combined :-(

Lincoln was a tyrant.

When he was unable to arrive at a diplomatic solution to the growing rift between the North and South, he resorted to raising an army (an act which was, in and of itself, deemed unconstitutional at the time if my information is correct) and marching on his own citizens.  We'd be ashamed of any modern president doing this to ANOTHER country (even one that was more or less filled with Bad Guys (tm) ) let alone his own, and yet here we all sit, gladly accepting just how great Honest Abe was :-(

My little sad face emoticons cannot come close to conveying the profound sorrow and loss that I feel when thinking about Lincoln's impact on the USA and, by extension, on the rest of human history.  When he marched on the South, he didn't *just* kill those ~million citizens...he destroyed the framework which made American the greatest country in the history of the world by removing the states' rights to self-regulate -- a removal which, again, was enacted using military force in an unconstitutional abuse of power never even rivaled before or since in our nation's brief history.

There, my rant is done.  I'll go ahead and pile up some dry wood and wait patiently while y'all fetch your torches and pitchforks ;-)

OBF's picture

Brilliant comment, Jonsey!  As one of those indoctrinated youth who buys the Honest Abe litigurgy hook line and sinker, it looks like I have some reesearch to do!  I had honestly just never thought of it in the terms you just proposed!  

Thanks for giving me something to waste several hours googling on :)


Just what diplomatic solution did you want Lincoln to arrive at.  What was he unable to do?   By the time he was inaugurated seven states had already seceded (or so they declared).  LIncoln reached out to those states (and the other's leaning that way) in his 1st Inaugural Address.  He said he had no purpose to interfere with slavery where it existed (in all of the states that had seceded). He had held that point all the way back to his debates with Douglas in 1858.  He pointed out, in his address,  that any civil war (he rightly refused to recognize secession) was in the hands of those "dissatisfied" states.  

Their actions were the cause of the civil war, not Lincoln's.

He raised an army, but southern states had already raised a variety of militias for the purpose of protecting their right to secede.  He had just swonr to uphold the Constitution.  Was he to ignore that oath?  

Lincoln was a tyrant?  Come again?  He forced no northern state to resist southern secession.  He forced no war on the nation. When he called for a draft it was in need of an act of congress.  He might have simply let the southern states secede, something the Constitution provided no mechanism for, nor any mention (he rightfully considered it as unconstitutional).

When he "marched on his own citizens" he did so in order to protect the union.  It was their act that attempted to destroy it.

The right of the states to "self regulate" (using your words) was and is limited of course.  It in no way allowed states to simply drop out of the union because they were unsatisfied with the course of politial rivers.  Should Alabama be allowed to secede today becasue they disagree with the course the Obama administration is moving the nation?

To be consistent, you must believe that they should be allowed to and that nothing should be done to prevent (beyond diplomacy that may or may not work) such an action.

We accept Lincoln's greatness because he was indeed great.

His Emancipation Proclamation occured a year and a half into the war.  Until then, he had made no statement about ending slavery where it existed...and when he did issue that proclaman=tion he did so with the greatest of diplomacy, not "freeing" (the proclamation essentially freed almost nobody.  Union soldiers did that)  the slaves in the border states Missouri/Marlyland/Kentucky/Delaware) that remained in the union.  It was an acto of necessity...and great wisdom.  Lincoln understood that no southern slave owner would free slaves because he declared they should do so, but he also knew that the war needed a higher cause....were the north to stay the course.  That was an act of supreme diplomacy, realpolitik, and may have held the nation together.

Ah....I will stop now.  On and on I could go.


And I'll gladly concede that I'm playing the (extremely) short stack here, but I'm sticking to my guns -- just as I expect you to stick to yours -- and I'll push all-in Every. Single. Time. with this hand ;-)

I wrote up a 3,500 word essay describing said hand, but decided against publishing it here because I really don't think it fits the original article's tone, content, or aim.

Here, however, are a few links to some really interesting articles on the subject of Lincoln, the history behind the divide behind the North and South, and the role slavery played in the Civil War.  It was, in fact, a key issue but the situation was several orders of magnitude more nuanced than we were been taught in Social Studies.

Understanding The Causes of The Uncivil War, by Mike Scruggs

Protective Tariffs: The Primary Cause of the Civil War, by David John Marotta and Megan Russell

There are more, but I'm really tired and regretting spending the day compiling the links I have yet to vet and include here.  Suffice to say the following, in response to your query as to whether I would support a state's choice to secede:

If the tariff situation in the pre-Civil War USA was substantially as described in the articles I've read on the subject (where the South paid for 80% of the Federal budget but saw 80% of the Federal budget spent in the North to improve their infrastructure, thereby widening the industrial vs. agricultural gap which increasingly divided the North and South) was representative of 'Alabama's treatment by her fellow American States (your example, not mine) then I would categorically support that state's secession.

Furthermore, even if I had no ties to 'Alabama,' (again, your example) I would ask myself one simple question: Do I want to be part of a nation that behaves in such an unfair manner toward one of its most productive member states?  (The South was responsible for 2/3 to 4/5 of US exports in the decades leading up to the Civil War)

I'll also say that the abolition of slavery is one of the greatest achievements in our cultural history, and one which I, like the Founders, would wholeheartedly support even at personal expense.  But Lincoln made abundantly clear that the Civil War was not about freeing his fellow men from bondage; had he done so, my respect for the man would have increased significantly.

As it is, however, my understanding of the situation leaves me standing firmly beside my previously stated, admittedly controversial position.


I have always been skeptical of the tariff argument the, albeit sympathetic. I just feel that if the tariff was the problem, a Congress that was so good at "Great Compromises" would have found a way to avert war by lowering it. But...if Comgress had passed such a whopper, and Lincoln had just been elected, I could see a situation in which the zeitgeist in the South could be: "Heck with it, we're outahere. Enough is enough."


What would the world look like if the south had succeeded in breaking the United States up? Would there have been a military force in the Americas strong enough to go to Europe's aid in WWII, let alone fight and win a second front in the South Pacific? Highly doubtful absent that strong federal government that you don't like. I shudder to think what the last 100 years would have looked like absent a strong United States of America. I'm very, very happy that the south lost no matter the cost. Because the cost of not having a United States is much, much greater. 


Had the North allowed the South to secede, perhaps after losing in Antietam or Gettysburg, A militaristic Confederacy with lots of good ole boys who just won a war and wanting plantations and slaves of their own would have moved South and Southwest, enslaving native populations, perhaps taking over islands, lands on the Northern South America, maybe even Mexico. Manifest Destiny on steroids.


Understand, however, that I am opposing the very idea of the ends justifying the means -- which is why I stick so closely to my guns on Lincoln.  With the information available to him at the time, and the choice of peaceful secession or Civil War before him, Lincoln chose to marshal the forces of the North (which had a population of 22 million) against the forces of the South (which had a population of 9 million).  And that doesn't tell the whole story of the power disparity between North and South -- it was probably twice as great as the population differential indicates due to the North's greater financial wealth and manufacturing capabilities.

It's really, really hard to paint Lincoln's choice, in that light, as anything but abject tyranny.  If he had loudly declared, early and often, that his war was to abolish slavery in the Americas I would have had much, much greater respect for his ideas.  I might have even agreed with his rationale and chosen course -- but he was ADAMANT throughout his time as US President that slavery was not the purpose for his drafting an army and suspending habeas corpus.  How would we feel about Obama selectively ignoring habeas corpus when it came to dealing with his political opponents?  That's right: he'd be correctly considered a tyrant.

The Founders were committed to a balanced system where the State and Federal Governments could push back and forth with roughly equal power, if enough States got behind a given issue.  When this system was destroyed in the Civil War (and that's what happened: it was functionally abolished, with only vestigial components remaining -- oddly enough, just like slavery) it destroyed the first, and possibly last, example of humans attempting to live under this type of multi-tiered, self-balancing government.  The whole point of the balance of power between the States and the Feds was to keep the Fed from growing large enough to override the States on the majority of issues -- it was not to provide for a sturdy Federal Government by keeping the States lock-step together under coercive means.  The States, with their individual social attitudes and economic idnetities, were the foundation and therefore the most important component of the Union; the Fed was the mechanism for common good to be served in ways that were perhaps beyond the States' individual abilities.

Now let me propose a scenario which, while considerably less likely than one which resembles our current history, shows a different development path for the world.  Let's say that Lincoln permitted the States to secede, and then let's say that a few decades after secession slavery was abolished due to some technological improvements in the cotton industry (as of the Civil War, cotton was literally the only crop in American which was profitable with slave labor.  Everything else had advanced, technologically, to the point where it was cheaper for farmers and plantation owners to employ fewer skilled laborers and greater numbers of livestock, such as horses and oxen, than it was to employ droves of cheaper slave labor)

Let us also imagine the North and South eventually coming together in some form or another, either via outright reconciliation and reunification of the North and South, or via strong economic treaties which proved every bit as strong as the original colonial ties had been.  And let us suppose that the rest of the world took notice of this grand display of diplomacy, which could have ONLY been made possible by virtue of the Founders' original government alignment (balance of power between Fed and State, with strong emphasis on peaceful resolutions rather than military ones).  I ask you to imagine, if you will, how brightly this beacon might have shone for the rest of the world -- and just how desperate the citizens of other countries would have been to reform their own nations into something resembling the American System, or to abandon their home countries altogether in search of a better life in America.

And I'll even suggest that, as complex as human sociology is, it is not unreasonable to think that the World Wars might never have happened if another fifty years of American peace and harmonious growth been maintained.  Perhaps Germany would never have permitted fascists to assume power; perhaps communism would have never taken root in Central Asia; and perhaps economic power would have even MORE greatly consolidated within the USA's borders with the increased influx of skilled and capable entrepreneurs who flooded American shores.

You might be scoffing, and if you are I will direct you to the fact that after the USA was formed and its formation was protected from immediate harm, essentially every government in the Western World adopted significant components of the Decleration of Independence, the Constitution, and the other fundamental documents which created the framework upon which America was built.  How much MORE influence might the American system have had on the world if it had shown that even something as divisive as the period and events leading up to the 1860's could not prompt people living in this system of government to take up arms against each other?  Of course this is idealistic talk, but is it any more idealistic than a bunch of colonists declaring they were sick of taxation without representation and were ready to fight one of the most powerful nations on the face of the Earth to secure freedom -- or die trying?

The only possible way the world's history could have been more positively tilted than it has been, in my opinion, is if America had done a better job of leading the world's people by example, and the first catastrophic misstep in American history was the Civil War.  The Civil War was a terrifying prospect for people who didn't live in the USA but were considering immigrating to the Americas, and don't think for a minute that the Civil War's ensuing rivers of blood weren't a major talking point for countries whose best and brightest were contemplating striking out in the so-called Wild Frontier of the Americas.

My point isn't to suggest that the above is a likely outcome; I have no idea how likely it would have been.  But I can say, without reservation, that during its first ~century of existence America broke every sociological rule that had been laid down by its forebears and it flourished as a result of, not in spite of, the breaking of those rules.  Lincoln's subjugation of the South was a major step backward from the trail his predecessors had collectively blazed, and that war was more akin to the feudal suppression wars of old Europe and ancient Asia than it was of the Founders' ideals -- and, by extension, what America had stood for not only to her own citizens, but to the rest of the world's people, was forever changed for the worse.  This is independent of the fact that slaves were freed, the USA stabilized the 20th century during humanity's most explosive period of technological innovation, and that the USA is still considered a global leader on many issues including human rights.

To me, the ends do not justify the means.  To someone who thinks that they do, I can understand and even co-sign the logic behind a position supporting Lincoln.  But his was an act of tyrrany, pure and simple, no matter what good might have come as a result of that tyranny.

The damage which Lincoln inflicted on the USA's legacy was irreparable, and I have seen (and even made!) certain arguments that tyrannical acts by leaders of 'beacon-esque' countries like the USA are worse, for the world as a whole and likely for the specific country in question, than the acts of a ~middling country's leader doing likewise.  Lincoln's Civil War was more akin to a brutal suppression, enacted by a dictator of a third world country, than it was to the tempered act of the Free World's most eminent statesman.  To me, that makes it many times worse than when someone like Saddam Hussein engages in ethnic cleansing in Iraq.  The cost of human life may be identical, and the economic impacts might even be the same, but the same act corodes and tarnishes the symbol of America far more damagingly than it does the reputation of a lower-tier country.  The world's beacon of hope dims with every attack against it, and the impact of that dimming cannot, in my mind, be underestimated.


But I don't see how you can really leave him off.  He might pass Moyer this year for most Franchise wins and already passed Randy in 2015, he has the same # of Cy Youngs that Randy did when he was here... what's missing?  Sure, he might turn into a Santana-level derailment and take a potential HOF career off a cliff, but at this exact moment, if you've got that vote, you giving it to Felix, A-Rod or Ichiro?

For me the three dudes carved in already are Gar, Randy and Junior.  Without those three Hall of Famers, these are the Tampa Bay Mariners.  A-Rod wasn't around for that city-saving run, so he gets no credit, and he didn't re-up.  You can't put a guy who still gets booed by the home-town fans over a decade later on their Franchise Four mountaintop.

So it's between Felix and Ichiro for me, and while I love Ichiro, I always felt like we were renting him, like he's the Japanese Rickey Henderson.  That's not fair to Ichiro, but Felix loves this city.  Nobody can top that tear-soaked press conference where he talks about getting us to the playoffs and winning for his adoptive town.  Ichiro was respected enough to stay here, but Felix bleeds to be here.  Might just be a cultural difference, but I feel Felix more, and the guy is halfway to the Hall now.

I put Felix in as the fourth.  Two pitchers, two hitters.  All of them Hall members in time, given health in one case and an end to voter stupidity in another. I'm proud of that mountain-top as a fan.  I just wish it was more than 4 faces propped up on poles.  We've had a very skinny talent pyramid.  If we could spread it out even a LITTLE, maybe we'd have more than a couple glory years to look back on in our history.


You could talk me into Felix as being *off* the Mt., or ... more likely ... the FIRST ONE ON IT.  His joy for Seattle baseball is a revelation.


On both the $20 and Mt. Rushmore, although the fact it's in Sioux country gives the Native American idea currency. As an aside, I am all for replacing a Democrat like Jackson for a Republican like Tubman. Amazing woman, so there's two for one in both cases. Another Republican just adds to the deliciousness of it for me. :-)

But Tubman was a truly great American.


I can't imagine a better choice than Harriet Tubman.  I mean, the fact that she would check two boxes on the diversity quota list is a plus ;- ) but ... it seems you might as well argue against Anne Frank's or Corrie ten Boom's legendary heroism, as argue against Harriet Tubman's.

Good stuff Rick.


Later that year, Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War.[107] When Montgomery and his troops conducted an assault on a collection of plantations along the Combahee River, Tubman served as a key adviser and accompanied the raid. On the morning of June 2, 1863, Tubman guided three steamboats around Confederate mines in the waters leading to the shore.[108] Once ashore, the Union troops set fire to the plantations, destroying infrastructure and seizing thousands of dollars worth of food and supplies.[109] When the steamboats sounded their whistles, slaves throughout the area understood that it was being liberated. Tubman watched as slaves stampeded toward the boats. "I never saw such a sight," she said later,[110] describing a scene of chaos with women carrying still-steaming pots of rice, pigs squealing in bags slung over shoulders, and babies hanging around their parents' necks. Although their owners, armed with handguns and whips, tried to stop the mass escape, their efforts were nearly useless in the tumult.[109] As Confederate troops raced to the scene, steamboats packed full of slaves took off toward Beaufort.[111]

More than 750 slaves were rescued in the Combahee River Raid.[112][113] Newspapers heralded Tubman's "patriotism, sagacity, energy, [and] ability,"[114] and she was praised for her recruiting efforts - most of the newly liberated men went on to join the Union army.[115]Tubman later worked with Colonel Robert Gould Shaw at the assault on Fort Wagner, reportedly serving him his last meal.[116] She described the battle by saying: "And then we saw the lightning, and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder, and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling, and that was the drops of blood falling; and when we came to get the crops, it was dead men that we reaped."[117]


Weird coincidence but yesterday the Treasury Secretary announced that Madison will be replaced on the $10 by a woman, yet unnamed.

Mariner Optimist's picture

Big Unit was a better pitcher, but sadly his best work came in the 4 1/2 seasons after leaving the M's.  Let him go sit on the Diamondbacks Rushmore with his 4 Cy Youngs.   I'll be surprised if the Big Unit goes into the HOF wearing M's gear.  I'll reward Felix for his similar pitching strength (average FIP- of 77 over 10 years vs Big Unit's average of 75 over his full 8) and unquestioned leadership of the franchise and an entire seating section.

I also gotta include Ichiro over ARod.   ARod lacks longevity and of course, class.  

Rushmore is supposed to include our heroes to look up to, and for that I gotta contend King Felix and Ichiro over Big Unit and ARod.


From 1976 to 1992 or so, I watched the home baseball team immolated in a mausoleum.

Then from 1992 to 1998 or so, I watched the 1990's Sandy Koufax put the Mariners on the map.   And as far as 'greatest exploits':  the 1995 Mariners' surge practically redeemed baseball from the 1994 strike.  Unit's run in Seattle was comparable to Koufax' in LA, it seemed at the time.

:: shrug :: I guess it was more of a visceral experience.  But I'd love to see Randy as the only living player on two Rushmores :- )


The Mariner organization lost something when Johnson was traded - something they've never managed to get back. Probably something that they don't want back, sadly. Johnson, then later Nelson, Soriano...players with sharp edges were shown the door as Armstrong started "smelling his own fumes and likin' it" as one former boss of mine used to say. 

OBF's picture

I would TOTALLY vote for that!

And yeah boot A-Jack off the 20 :)

How about Jackie Robinson for the 20?

BTW, Here is my Mariners Rushmore:

Felix -- Probably my favorite Mariner EVER, plus he bleeds Teal and Gray

Edgar -- True Mariner till the end, and probably our best hitter ever (sterROD doesn't count)

Ichiro -- He was the spark to our greatest season ever, and at least for my  demographic is in a tie with Felix as the most iconic Mariner ever

Moyer -- Hey it's my Rushmore and he is one of my favorites!  I loved the fact that he was David vs Goliath personified, that he came here and blossomed for once instead of the usual other way around.

Notable Exceptions...  No A-Roid because, duh.  No Randy because he did his most impressive work elsewhere...  And the hardest exclusion...  No Griff, because of the way he left, He broke my pea pickin' little heart when not only did he demand to be traded, meaning we wouldn't be able to cheer for him anymore, but he demanded to go to Cincy and thus we got bent over a barrell in the transaction.  The way you exit is important, and colors ones feeling for the rest of your life / career.  It even irked me when he came back for a reunion tour.  Amazing how he went from my FAVORITE player to persona non grata...  pretty much forever, I don't even like that he has a roving instructor / coach / dignitary role for the mariners now... 


Mariners stats only:


Junior: 13 seasons (11 full) | .292/.374/.553/.927 | 144 OPS+ | 417 HR | 10 All-Star | 10 Gold Glove

A-Rod: 7 seasons | .309/.374/.561/.934 | 138 OPS+ | 189 HR | 4 All-Star

Ichiro: 12 seasons (11 full) | .322/.366/.418/.784 | 113 OPS+ | 10 All-Star | 10 Gold Glove

Edgar: 18 seasons | .312/.418/.515/.933 | 147 OPS+ | 309 HR | 7 All-Star

  • Interesting that Jr, A-Rod and Gar all have Mariner OPS within 7 points of each other (.927-.934)
  • I say Junior is slam dunk and A-Rod no.  And then Edgar over Ichiro if can only pick one.

Unit: 10 seasons | 130-74 | 3.42 ERA | 128 ERA+ | 0.8 HR/9 | 4.3 BB/9 | 10.6 K/9 | 3.34 FIP | 5 All-Star | 1 Cy Young

Moyer: 11 seasons (9 full) | 145-87 | 3.97 ERA | 112 ERA+ | 1.1 HR/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 5.3 K/9 | 4.38 IFP | 1 All-Star

Felix: 11 seasons (10 full so far) | 134-95 | 3.09 ERA | 129 ERA+ | 0.7 HR/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 8.5 K/9 | 3.17 FIP | 5 All-Star | 1 Cy Young

  • Huge Jamie fan, but he's just not good enough
  • Felix has clearly done enough to equal if not surpass Unit
  • Does it matter that RJ was really quite a bit better as a Diamondback?

To me, Junior and Felix are in, then Edgar.  Unit vs. Ichiro for the fourth spot.



Your last sentence is inventive and fun, Jim.

.... the idea of Ichiro as "Japanese quasi-Jackie Robinson" never seemed to catch any traction at all.  But from all we can tell, it was never very fun for him in an American clubhouse.

OBF's picture

Clearly we have had better pitchers than Jamie, but his spirt, his David vs Goliath story, his generosity, the person he is, the fact that he ebraced the NW (still lives here I believe), the fact that he was a baseball nerd before that was popular (took extensive notes, etc) all apeal to my sense of a person, a baseball fan, and even as an egg head engineer :)

So he gets to be on my Moutain!  :)


Edgar - seriously, probably the only unanimous choice here. 

Junior - probably responsible for the creation of more M's fans than any other player.

Ichiro - I get G's point but he played in Seattle for over a decade and had a historic impact in a number of seasons. 

Felix - Perhaps a little premature but he's already given the club more excellent seasons than any pitcher in club history. 

I love Randy Johnson but he has already said that he will go into the HOF as a Diamondback, as he should. He was became great in Seattle but took it to another level for Arizona. I can't put a guy on the M's MtRushmore that would also be on another MLB team's MtRushmore. Armstrong will always be in my hall of shame for running RJ out of town the way he did and depriving us of his peak. 


Prov. 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.

the anti-Sherman.  In the short run, a big mouth and a self-agenda often pays off; in the long run, modesty and selflessness seems to ALWAYS pay off.


But it's the best we can do :-)  It's hard to ratify how a man who most of us have never shared a room with, or even uttered a single word to in person, can evoke such strong emotions.  But he does, and they're as real as any of the other feelings we've got in our lives.

I try to imagine how fans felt about Cal Ripken Jr., or Lou Gehrig back in the day, and I can only ever come close to a reasonable approximation by starting with "How do I feel about Edgar Martinez?"  And I love me some 'Gar, but he sure as shootin' weren't no Iron Horse - let alone The Babe.

That's one of the true beauties of pro sports: the ability of these athletes to impact our lives in such a profoundly powerful, positive (>_>) way.  People who try to stuff the phenomenon into a can and call it 'tribalism' are missing the forest for the trees.  It's human, and it's one of the bright spots of our existence.


Irrational to the last! Anyways, that's all I got on that.

For the Franchise Four, which I have no clue why it's that other than aliteration and the fact that another 30 people at a ceremony might suck, but mine would be...

  • Edgar - Put the Mariners on the map in Seattle. And stayed in Seattle. Universally FEARED by pitchers, including The Pedro.
  • RJ51 - Do you guys remember that the man caused TRAFFIC JAMS in the entire area for his games? Felix can barely fill much more than his Court. (Okay, I don't really mean that because the era has changed and everyone just watches at home on their Apple Watches, but you know it's true.)
  • Griffey - Put the Mariners on the map in America. Griffey/Moose for '96! Made everyone in the 90s love baseball. And dat swing tho.
  • Ichiro - Put the Mariners on the map in the World. Basically only team covered in Asia during his reign.

Felix is on the cusp for me because, as much as he's awesome and fun to watch, he's really not otherworldly in terms of pure thermonuclearness. Recently, I wondered if he'll be the M's version of Bert Blyleven, which is borderline diss territory. You wonder what his legacy will be if the M's are 100% inept during his entire career.


My logic and list goes as follows... which duplicates some people from above in areas. For whatever it is worth... if 50,000 did not chant your name a multitude of times in support & praise - go find another monument.

1. Edgar... Should be unamimous. Is there anyone you would rather see as the face of the Mariners really? Class, proven results, and another reason he should be in the HOF. Only played for the Mariners, gave home town signing discounts, loyalty, and NEVER a blemish.

2. Felix... It will take at least 10 years to build this monument, and by that time Felix will already own every record in Seattle. If Edgar was not here, every word is the same for Felix. Bleeds Blue and Teal. Only wants to play for one team, because the Mariners are HIS team. He deserves this honor.

3. Randy... He was the driving force behind '95. He wanted to be here long term supposedly, but Mariner management would not commit to him due to back issues. When Randy was here though, he was very similar to Edgar and Felix... very Pro-Seattle, very team oriented, and the Mariners were HIS team, and he did everything he could to bring up a championship.

The 4th choice is difficult, and I really do not see a good 4th choice. Just say NO to A-Roid, I really did not like the way Griffey left the Mariners either time he went away, Ichiro never bonded with the city or made Seattle his home, Moyer just does not stand up as a quality choice, and Bruce B was just too quirky and weird to be considered. It is funny that Alvin Davis is NEVER mentioned in this discussion. When does he lose the Mr. Mariner moniker?

By default 4. Junior, but maybe Paxton, Taijuan, Elias, or even Zunino pass him before the monument is completed.



Copying the Rushmore way of encapsulating periods of time and those Presidents that were vital then:

1. Griffey - our founding Father of Mariner greatness, we were a mere colony of the AL until him.

2. Edgar - our eloquent Jefferson, and like jeff and George, contemporaries of our founding.

3. Ichiro - our Teddy: Took Marinerdom into greater heights in 2001

4. Felix  - our Great Emancipator from the slavery of the Bavasi era, who will and is giving us a new birth as a franchise.


Turns out it was Junior, Edgar, Ichiro, Felix.  Mojo, Rick, Grizzle, and Spectator 1/2 ('Randy vs Ichiro') called it.  LINK TO ARTICLE

G's point about 'renting' Ichiro weighs - the other guys are homegrown - but you could argue that we actually get *more* merit for tabbing him, like the Dodgers do Jackie Robinson (who was more of a known quantity at the time).  Also, Ichiro would LOOK great on a 16' high Mt. Rushmore outside the park.  :- ) 

And I'd have Randy Johnson on there #3.

Sure wish they'd PUT a "Mt Rushmore" in the park somewhere.  But they're extremely wary of giving an active player any kind of honor; he could embarrass the organization later.  Usually they watch him with snake eyes for 5-10 years first, to make sure he's a Buhner/Wilson.  But, if it's me, the monument goes up immediately.  Would sure beat a '1997 Division Champs' flag...


One thing I noticed about the various team's Mt Rushmore candidates is how thin the pool is for the Mariners. Most teams had to cut out multiple guys that are in the HOF to get down to 4. Some 'inner circle' HOF guys didn't make it. Much of that is simply history - the teams that have been around for over a century just have a LOT more players to choose from.

I mean, how to you cut the Yankees down to four? They cut guys that would have been on the majority of other team's imaginary mountain. I mean...Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter didnt make the cut and that's a Mt Rushmore on its own! Even the Twins had to leave Killebrew and Blylevin off their imaginary mountain. 

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