Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Founded: 1977 (American League expansion)
- Home ballpark: Safeco Field (1999-present), Kingdome (1977-1999).
- Uniform colors: Navy Blue, Emerald Green, Silver
- Logo design: A baseball on an 8-pointed compass.
- Mascot: Mariner Moose
- Current ownership: Nintendo
- Wild Card titles won (1): 2000
- Division titles won (3): 2001, 1997, 1995
- League pennants won (0): none
- World Series championships won (0): none
1970s and 1980s
The Mariners were added to the American League in 1977, and were for many years perennial non-achievers. Despite having stars such as Alvin Davis and Gaylord Perry, the team gained a reputation for their poor performance. Highlights of the early years included hosting the 1979 All-Star Game, Gaylord Perry's 300th career win, and promotions, such as "Funny Nose Glasses Night." In 1989, rookie centerfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. joined the team. His defensive ability, hitting power, and baserunning speed would begin to change the Mariners' reputation.
In 1991, the Mariners had their first winning season, finishing 83-79. Though it was the team's best season, it was only good enough to end in fifth place. Prior to the 1993 season, the Mariners hired manager Lou Pinella, who managed the Cincinatti Reds to a 1990 World Series win.
By 1995, the Mariners had added a core of strong players built around center-fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., pitcher Randy Johnson and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. An early-season injury to Griffey seemed to doom the 1995 season. In mid-August, the Mariners were 13 games behind the first-place California Angels. A September winning streak marked by late-inning comeback wins, combined with a losing streak by the Angels, opened the way for the Mariners to tie the Angels for first place on the last day of the season. The Mariners won the tiebreaker game 9-1 and clinched their first ever trip to the playoffs. Down 2-0 in the ALDS,in one of the games most dramatic moments, the Mariners won three game's at home to beat the New York Yankees and advance to the ALCS. Griffey's rounding of third base haunts Yankee fans to this day. Their dramatic championship run was halted by the Cleveland Indians. The Mariners won the division title again in 1997, but were defeated in the ALDS 3-1 by the Baltimore Orioles
In 2001, despite the loss of superstar shortstop Alex Rodriguez( He would be greeted at his return to Safeco with Monopoly money by fans, no doubt to protest his selling out of the Seattle fans), the addition of Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki and a career season by second basemen Bret Boone helped the Mariners to one of the most successful regular seasons on record, leading the major leagues in winning percentage from start to finish, easily winning the American League West championship, setting a new American League record for most wins in a single season (116), and matching the major league record for single season wins set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906. They pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 series win over the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS to advance to the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, but succumbed to the Yankees for the second year in a row in the ALCS, 4 games to 1.
At the end of the 2002 season, manager Lou Piniella left the Mariners to manage the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the management policy of non-aggressive hiring. The Mariners signed Bob Melvin to be their new manager. Despite an excellent start to the 2003 season, the Mariners failed to make the playoffs.
The Mariners stayed competitive in 7 of the 9 seasons from 1995 to 2003. The 2004 season, however, saw the demise of the Mariners' dominance of their division. Although many of their players were aging, the Mariners continued an apparent practice of "content to contend," starting the 2004 season having not made a major deal in three years. The team lost their first five games and went into the All-Star Break with a 9-game losing streak, a 32-54 season record (.372), and a 17-game deficit behind the first-place Texas Rangers.
After the All-Star break, unable to ignore the dreadful state of their team, the Mariners gave the team a complete overhaul, moving aging and unproven players away from center stage and inserting over a dozen call-ups into the 25-man roster. The season's end was enlivened by Ichiro breaking George Sisler's single season record of 257 hits (finishing with 262), and events to honor the retirement of Mariner stalwart, Edgar Martinez. Just days after the end of the season, the Mariners fired Bob Melvin. On October 20, 2004, the Mariners announced the signing of their new manager, Mike Hargrove. Hargrove was the manager who led the Cleveland Indians past the Mariners in the 1995 ALCS.
Players of note
Current 25-man roster (updated on April 18, 2005)
Not to be forgotten
- Chris Bosio
- Jay Buhner
- Mike Cameron
- Julio Cruz
- Alvin Davis
- Freddy Garcia
- Rich Gossage
- Ken Griffey, Jr.
- Ken Griffey, Sr.
- Carlos Guillén
- Dave Henderson
- Rickey Henderson
- Randy Johnson
- Ruppert Jones
- Mark Langston
- Edgar Martinez
- Tino Martinez
- Mario Mendoza
- Jeff Nelson
- John Olerud
- Ken Phelps
- Harold Reynolds
- Alex Rodriguez
- Kazuhiro Sasaki
- Dave Valle
- Omar Vizquel
- 42 Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball)
- Darrell Johnson (1977-1980, 229-362)
- Maury Wills (1980-1981, 26-56)
- Rene Lachemann (1981-1983, 140-180)
- Del Crandell (1983-1984 93-131)
- Chuck Cottier (1984-1986, 98-119)
- Marty Martinez (1986, 0-1 - Interim manager)
- Dick Williams (1986-1988, 159-192)
- Jim Snyder (1988, 45-60)
- Jim Lefebvre (1989-1991, 233-253)
- Bill Plummer (1992, 64-98)
- Lou Piniella (1993-2002, 840-711)
- Bob Melvin (2003-2004, 156-168)
- Mike Hargrove (2005-)
During Mariners broadcasts, the TV and radio announcers switch with each other during the middle of the 5th inning.
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