Most Iconic Mariners Moments in History
No baseball fan is going to deny that the Seattle Mariners are one of the most iconic franchises in history. Since the team played its first season in 1977, the Mariners have made the playoffs just four times with each postseason appearance coming in the small window between 1995 and 2001. However, it’d still be a little unfair to say that the Mariners haven’t had plenty of shining moments throughout the franchise’s history. While few and far between, the loyal Seattle fanbase has witnessed many magical moments. To prove that, let’s take a walk down memory lane at some of the most iconic moments in Mariners’ history.
Mike Cameron Hits Four Home Runs in One Game
When Cameron got to Seattle in 2000, he had the impossible task of replacing Ken Griffey Jr. as the team’s centerfielder. It certainly did help matters that Cameron was one of the players involved in the Griffey trade. But on one May night in 2002, Cameron did something that Griffey never did: he hit four home runs in one game. To date, fewer than 20 players in baseball history have accomplished that feat. In fact, Cameron might be the closest to hitting five home runs in one game. During his fifth at-bat of the game, after already hitting four out of the park, Cameron sent a ball to the warning track, coming just a few feet short of being the first and only player in MLB history to homer five times in one game.
Randy Johnson Throws No-Hitter
The Mariners didn’t have to wait nearly as long as some teams to experience their first no-hitter in franchise history. In 1990, they got one from long-time ace Randy Johnson. At the time, Johnson was still establishing himself as a frontline starter. A month after the no-hitter, Johnson made the All-Star Team for the first time in his career. It was not only a seminal moment in Mariners’ history but also a sign of the great things Johnson would contribute during his time in Seattle.
Ichiro Sets Single-Season Hit Record
Out of all of the great players in franchise history, Ichiro Suzuki is on the shortlist for the best player in Mariners’ history. During his career that will surely take him to the Hall of Fame one day, Ichiro was a 10-time all-star, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time batting champ, and an MVP. He also earned all of those accolades while playing in Seattle. However, one of his greatest accomplishments during the 2004 season when he won the second of his two batting titles. During the season, Ichiro set the record for most hits in a single season, breaking the previous record that was held by George Sisler for 84 years. He tied Sisler’s record of 257 hits and broke it with his 258th in the same October 1 game with some of Sisler’s relatives in attendance. Ichiro finished the season with 262 hits, a record he still holds.
Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game
In Mariners’ history, there might be no greater pitcher than Felix Hernandez. During an otherwise disappointing 2012 season, King Felix achieved baseball immortality by pitching the 23rd perfect game in big league history and the first in franchise history. He struck out 12, including five of the last six batters he faced, needing just 113 pitches to get through nine innings. Hernandez needed to be sharp throughout the game, as the Mariners scored just one run on five hits against the Tampa Bay Rays. Most importantly, Hernandez pitched the perfect game in front of the home fans at Safeco Field, allowing the Seattle faithful to enjoy one of the most important moments in franchise history.
Record-Tying 2001 Season
The Mariners haven’t had too many seasons that have made the fanbase proud, but the 2001 season was an exception to that. In the previous season, the Mariners set a new club record by winning 91 games during the regular season. But they obliterated that in 2001, finishing the season with 116 wins. That win total tied the all-time record with the 1906 Chicago Cubs, although the Cubs played 10 fewer games, giving them a better winning percentage. Nevertheless, that year’s Mariners team, which included stars like Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Ichiro, won the most games of any team over a 162-game season. It’s a record that will be hard to break and will always be a source of pride for Mariners fans.
1995 ALDS Comeback Win
The 1995 season will forever be remembered as MLB’s strike-shortened season. However, the Mariners will remember it a little differently, as it was the first time the franchise won a division title, advanced to the postseason, and won a postseason series. In the ALDS, the Mariners fell behind 2-0 in the five-game series against the mighty Yankees, losing both games in the Bronx. But when the Mariners returned to the Kingdome, they got the spark they needed to turn the tide on the Yankees. Seattle won Games 3 and 4 to force a decisive Game 5, which ended up going to extra innings. After the Yankees took the lead in the top of the 11th, Edgar Martinez hit a two-run double in the bottom of the inning to give the Mariners a walk-off win in the ALDS and the best moment in franchise history.