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The Pacific Northwest coastal city of Seattle is home to the MLB’s Mariners. Since the 1977 season, Mariners baseball has permeated the culture and won the hearts of fans. Still dreaming of that elusive first World Series championship, fans return to Safeco Field each season in hopes of seeing their beloved team finally hoist baseball’s most coveted trophy.
Members of the American League since their inception into baseball, the Mariners have not yet captured a pennant. They have, however, reached the playoffs four times in their history. They punched their ticket to the postseason three times via an NL West division title (including the 2001 season when they finished with a regular season record of 116-46, tied for the most wins in a single season all-time) and once through a Wild Card berth.
The most famous play in team history came in game five of the 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Edgar Martinez doubled into left field, scoring Joey Cora and Ken Griffey, Jr. to win the game and the series, sending the Mariners to their first American League Championship Series.
The current lineup is built for offense. Entering his fifth year of service with the Seattle Mariners, high-profile second baseman Robinson Cano is coming off a great 2017 season while Nelson Cruz, the team’s DH had 39 home runs. Add to the lineup Jean Segura, who had a great first year in Seattle a season ago, the underrated Kyle Seager and a new addition via an off-season trade in first baseman Ryon Healy and we know that many runs will be scored in Seattle. Dee Gordon also joins the squad from Miami, where he built quite a resume for himself with two all-star nods to go along with a Gold Glove Award, a Silver Slugger Award, and NL batting title, and as a three time MLB stolen base leader. These players are all just as skilled defensively as they are offensively, which eases the stress for manager Scott Servais.
However, the real key for this team will be its pitching prowess. After a tough season, Mariners fans are thrilled to see that Felix Hernandez is back healthy and pitching better than ever. He, along with James Paxton, stand atop a stacked rotation that cane do some real damage to the inhabitants of the opposing dugout. They leave the game in the very capable hands of Edwin Diaz, who closes things down like a champ. Diaz burst onto the scene in 2016, dazzling fans with his lights out play.
Surprisingly, Ichiro Suzuki signed a one year deal with his old team before the season to resume his MLB career in Seattle at the age of 44. Shortly after the season began, however, he announced that he would move on to a front office role.
While the Mariners, like all teams in baseball, will need a little luck on their side this season, they definitely have the pieces in place to put together a team that can make a strong playoff push. The first World Series appearance and maybe even the first championship may not be too far off.
There have been many beloved players that have come through Seattle, but the most revered of these players include Edgar Martinez, Ichiro Suzuki, Felix Hernandez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, and the one and only Ken Griffey, Jr. Click here to learn more about the Seattle Mariners franchise.