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Seattle Mariners

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AL West
Pennants
  • World Series titles: none
  • American League champs: none
  • Division champs: (3) 2001; 1997; 1995
  • Wild Card: (1) 2000
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Felix Hernandez, Starting Pitcher. Felix Hernandez is widely reguarded as one of the finest young pitchers in baseball. His stuff is at times untouchable and he has begun to develop a solid poise on the mound necessary to compete at such a high level. See more Mariners players


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The 1997 Seattle Mariners was a team built around three future, first-ballot Hall of Fame players; Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Randy Johnson.

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The Seattle Mariners were the surprise of the American League in 2007. They look to continue on that success in the up-coming season.

Team History

Replacing the Pilots

Going into the 1970 season, the city of Seattle was home to a Major League franchise—the Seattle Pilots, an expansion team which began playing 1969 Seattle Pilots. But the Pilots, doomed to play in a minor league stadium, were bought out of bankruptcy by Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee.

The city's plans to bring baseball back to the Emerald City began immediately. The city, county, and state filed suit against the American League claiming that the league breached its contract with the municipalities, and, expecting baseball to return, the city built the Kingdome. Simultaneously, a group from Seattle devised a plan to purchase and relocate the Chicago White Sox, but the League put the kibosh on that, refusing to grant permission for the relocation.

Fearing legal ramifications, the American League instead expanded into both Seattle and Toronto to start the 1977 season.

The New Franchise Debuts

With Darrell Johnson at the helm, the Mariners did one thing well: lose. They lost their first game—April 6, 1977, at the Kingdome with former Seattle Pilots pitcher Diego Segui on the mound. The California Angels came to town and played party-pooper, winning 7-0. While the Mariners were better than their expansion-brethren Blue Jays by 9.5 games, and while they were spared the cellar by the woeful Oakland Athletics, their 64-98 record for the 1977 season was hardly a badge of honor.

The losing tradition continued through the decade, as the 1978 team was even worse, posting a franchise-low .350 winning percentage. On their way to losing 104 games, one bright star shone, as Leon Roberts put up a .301/22/92 line, leading the team in all three categories, and finishing in the top 10 in batting average and slugging percentage in the AL. Unfortunately, that would be Roberts' best year by far, as he'd put up only 32 more homers over his final six seasons in the bigs.

As 1979 and then 1980 came and went, so did Johnson, replaced by Hall of Famer Maury Wills. Wills fared no better, going 26-56 in what would amount to interim duties, as the 1981 baseball strike doubly limited his time at the helm. After a 6-18 start, he was replaced by Rene Lachemann, with no avail, as the M's won a mere 44 games in the strike-shortened season. To add insult to injury, the hapless Mariners also fell victims to a dissolving fan base. Toward the end of the 1981 season, the losing, the Kingdome, and the strike all took their toll, and the M's drew under 15,000 fans per game.

Gaylord Perry, the USS Mariner, and the Saturday Massacre

With fans avoiding the team like the plague, and with wins nowhere on the horizon—the Mariners' first winning season would not come until 1991 -- the team turned to showmanship. Gaylord Perry, a future Hall of Famer, was released by the Atlanta Braves. At 43 years old, the former Cy Young Award winner was hardly the right person for this team to add; however, he had 297 career wins to his credit. The Mariners brought Perry on board in hopes that his quest for the milestone 300th win would bring in the fans, and it did—on May 6, 1982, the team drew over 27,000 fans as Perry tossed a complete game, beating the New York Yankees 7-3. Another bright spot: Floyd Bannister, at age 27, hit his stride and not only made the All-Star team, but also lead the league in strikeouts. The Mariners had their best season to date, finishing 76-86.

The showboating continued—literally—into 1983, with the team rolling out the "USS Mariner", a boat stationed behind the outfield wall which would fire a cannon after every Mariner home run and, via its tugboat, bring relieves into the bullpen. But the next season was a return to form (or lack thereof) as the 1983 Seattle Mariners once again finished with more than 100 losses. In an effort to revitalize the team, they traded fan favorite Julio Cruz to the Chicago White Sox for Tony Bernazard (who they'd flip at the end of the season for Gorman Thomas and Jack Perconte), invoking the ire of the fan base. Ten days later, on Saturday, June 25, the team fired Lachemann, replacing him with Del Grandall, and on the same day, released Perry and shortstop Todd Cruz. In reaction, paid attendance plummeted to roughly 10,000 a game.

The Youth Movement Begins

Alvin Davis and Mark Langston, a duo whose names warm the cockles of a long-time Mariners fan's heart. Both 23 years old during the Mariners season, the pair made making going to the Kingdome worthwhile. Davis would win the Rookie of the Year Award, slugging 27 home runs and 116 RBI while putting up a .284/.391/.497 and homering in his second major league at-bat, off future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. Langston's season was just as impressive, going 17-10 with a 3.40 ERA, and leading the AL with 204 strikeouts. But for Davis' season, Langston would have won the ROY—he came in second. The Mariners went 74-88, fourteen games better than they did the year before, yet Del Crandall gave way to Chuck Cottier nevertheless. Hope was on the horizon—albeit a false one.

Retired Numbers

Owners

  • The Baseball Club of Seattle, LP. July 1992
  • Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Broadcasting, Michael Browning and the Morgan Stanley Group, Inc. Oct. 1989
  • George Argyros Jan. 1981
  • Partners Stanley Golub, Danny Kaye, Walter Schoenfeld, Lester Smith, James Stillwell Jr. and James A Walsh Feb. 1976

Managers

Awards

MVP

Rookie of the Year

Cy Young

Gold Glove


Silver Slugger

Record Per Season

Year Record Win %
1977 64-98 .395
1978 56-104 .350
1979 67-95 .414
1980 59-103 .364
1981 44-65 .404
1982 76-86 .469
1983 60-102 .370
1984 74-88 .457
1985 74-88 .457
1986 67-95 .414
1987 78-84 .481
1988 68-93 .422
1989 73-89 .451
1990 77-85 .475
1991 83-79 .512
1992 64-98 .395
1993 82-80 .506
1994 49-63 .438
1995 79-66 .545
1996 85-76 .528
1997 90-72 .556
1998 76-85 .472
1999 79-83 .488
2000 91-71 .562
2001 116-46 .716
2002 93-69 .574
2003 93-69 .574
2004 63-99 .389
2005 69-93 .426
2006 78-84 .481
2007 88-74 .543

Minor League Teams

See also

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