The origins and history of the Seattle Mariners


The Seattle Mariners play in the American League (AL) and are based in Seattle. The Mariners were formed in 1977 and posted losing records until 1991 (a record for the longest period before a franchise won its first game). In current major league history, the team has never played in the World Series. The Seattle Mariners Jersey can be purchased here.

A Major League Baseball team had previously operated in Seattle for one year in 1969, and when it relocated, local governments sued the AL for damages. In 1976, the league promised the Mariners an expansion franchise in return for dropping the suit, and the Mariners joined the league along with the Toronto Blue Jays the following season. Early Mariner teams, including 1984 AL Rookie of the Year Alvin Davis and two-time All-Star Harold Reynolds, struggled mightily and frequently finished near the bottom of divisional standings.

The slow turnaround to respectability had its roots in the debut of center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. In 1989, Griffey was the biggest star in the sport, and his rise brought fans to the ballpark and made the Mariners competitive. The team won two consecutive seasons in 1991 and 1993 under his leadership, but failed to reach a postseason until 1995 with Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Jay Buhner. With six weeks left to play in the regular season, the Mariners rallied from an 111/2-game deficit to the Anaheim Angels to win the AL Western division title despite a substandard stadium and declining attendance. Martinez hit a two-run series-winning double in the 11th inning of the final game of the series, which the Mariners won after trailing two games to none against the New York Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. In the AL Championship Series (ALCS), the team lost to the Cleveland Indians, but renewed fan interest led county and state politicians to approve the construction of a baseball-only stadium, Safeco Field (which opened in 1999; it was later renamed T-Mobile Park). Shortstop Alex Rodriguez emerged in 1996 as yet another Seattle Mariner superstar, but these talented teams only made one playoff appearance over the next four years.

A six-game ALCS loss to the Yankees in 2000 brought Seattle back to the ALCS. In 2001 Japanese hitting sensation Ichiro Suzuki joined the team, and the Mariners—now playing without Johnson, Griffey, and Rodriguez—went on an unlikely run and posted an AL-record 116 wins. However, their historic season ended with a second disappointing ALCS loss to the Yankees. Then, Seattle’s management made a series of poor personnel decisions, leading them to fall to the bottom of their division once again. After losing 100 games in a season with a payroll of $100 million or more in 2008, the Mariners hired new on-field and general management, and the team began rebuilding in 2009.

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As a result of their efforts, the Mariners finished last or second-to-last in their division five consecutive years. However, in 2014, Seattle won 87 games and finished one game outside of playoff qualification, led by Felix Hernandez, Seattle's longtime pitcher, and Robinson Cano, a new free agent second baseman. The team’s postseason drought, however, reached its worst of 16 seasons in 2017. After another unexpected playoff chase in 2018 with 89 wins, the team decided to fully rebuild and traded away Cano and most of its other veteran stars in the off-season, leading to a 68-94 record in 2019. After winning 90 games in 2012, Seattle finished second in its division, but again failed to make the playoffs.The best place to buy cheap jerseys is here.


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