I enjoyed watching Edgar Martinez play while growing up. I would say that watching and hearing about Edgar was how I truly came to understand what a designated hitter was.
With just three more wins needed to reach 300 total for his career, 43-year-old Gaylord Perry signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on March 5, 1982. Perry then earned his 300th win that May when he went the distance to beat New York at the Kingdome, 7-3.
Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a couple weeks ago. Griffey was elected into the Hall earning a record-setting 99.32% of the votes. His speech is long and emotional, but certainly worth a watch.
You don’t see a lot of hip hop songs about baseball, but this one by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is pretty good. This elegy for legendary Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus was performed at Safeco Field after Niehaus’ death in 2010.
Major League Baseball hasn’t always started seasons in March. In fact, the first time a Major League season did so was on March 31, 1996 in Seattle. The Mariners beat the White Sox 3-2 in twelve innings at the Kingdome.
I can do that (foul off pitches) intentionally. They were borderline. And I was trying to get the pitcher to make a mistake.
It was a totally different feeling. I was excited. I was nervous all in one. The closest thing that compares is when I was a little kid and my mom would take me to Toys ‘R’ Us when you can pick out anything you want. I was like a little kid in a candy store. It was awesome.
~Cleveland Indians’ pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, after he won a playoff game against the Seattle Mariners
We interrupt our regular programming for this brief post of pure self-indulgence.
A friend and I attended the Mariners-Royals game in Kansas City two nights ago. For the last run of Wednesday home games for the Royals, Kauffman Stadium has set aside a section of seats dubbed “GordoNation,” a fan section devoted to KC’s All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon. In addition to a seat right by Gordon’s defensive stomping grounds, fans in the section receive a GordoNation T-shirt, which, as you can see, is a pretty nifty piece of apparel. Last night, however, I received a bonus souvenir when, after his warm-up tosses prior to the top of one of the earlier innings, Gordon tossed his baseball into the crowd off to my right. The ball bounced from fan to fan, juggled amongst futile attempts to grab it. Before I even had a chance to fully grasp what was going on, I realized that the ball had started rolling slowly away from the crowd and right towards me.
Without hesitating, I scooped it up, and the flurry of excitement of the crowd to my right ended in a groan. My first Major League baseball. I was so pleased that I could feel myself grinning like a goofus as I ran my fingers over the laces of my latest souvenir. Unfortunately, the Royals lost 6-4 that night, as Aaron Crow gave up a two-run home run in the top of the ninth, breaking the 4-4 tie. But at least I didn’t walk away empty-handed!
On 2 April 2001, Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki made his Major League debut at Safeco Field. It was the first time in MLB history that a Japanese-born position player participated in a regular-season game. In that game, Suzuki hit 2-for-5 as the Mariners won 5-4 over the Oakland A’s. In his rookie season, Ichiro not only won the batting title, but also the AL MVP award, Rookie of the Year, a Gold Glove, and the stolen base title.
In spite of his lean frame, which initially raised questions about his performance potential, Ichiro has participated in ten consecutive All Star games. He has also won ten Golden Gloves and seven AL hitting titles.