The best of the best
With a new wave of young talent beginning to make their mark within the franchise, let’s have a look my list of the top dozen Seattle Mariners of all-time.
13- Kazuhiro Sasaki
Ok, so I made it a baker’s dozen because I had trouble omitting one of these final players from the list.
Kaz Sasaki came to the Mariners as a 32-year-old after playing 9 years in Japan. He immediately became one of the best closers the M’s have ever had, putting up 37, 45, 37 saves and then another 10 in his fourth and final season in the MLB. Sasaki was named an all-star in 2001 and 2002.
12- John Olerud
While Olerud best days may have come in Toronto, the helmet-wearing first baseman brought gold glove quality defense and consistent hitting to the M’s lineup.
The veteran was known for his leadership after winning consecutive pennants in Toronto and helped guide the M’s to a 116-win season in 2001.
11- Dan Wilson
Another member of the 2001 squad, Wilson was a mainstay behind the plate for the M’s for 12 seasons and one of the best defensive catchers in history.
He ended his career with a .995 fielding percentage, which is the highest for a catcher in American League history, and also the sixth highest in MLB history.
10- Mark Langston
In 1984, Mark Langston put up 17 wins and 204 strikeouts, cementing himself as the Mariners’ ace in his rookie season.
Langston went on to win two gold-gloves and an all-star birth before eventually being traded as part of the package that landed them Randy Johnson- who in case you haven’t heard, was pretty good himself.
9- Alvin Davis
The 1984 AL Rookie of the Year (Langston finished 2nd to him) mashed 27 homers and 116 RBIs while maintaining a .284 batting average in his first season with the M’s.
Alvin Davis played eight seasons with the Mariners between 1984-1991 before finishing his career with the California Angels, a 40-game season that Seattle fans tend to omit from their memory. Davis was also the first Seattle Mariner to ever be inducted to their Hall of Fame.
8- Alex Rodriguez
Yes, once upon a time the most controversial figure in baseball was a Seattle Mariner and a pretty damn good one at that.
Rodriguez came up as an 18-year-old and played parts of seven season with the M’s. Just to refresh your memory, A-Roid was a four-time all-star, four-time Silver Slugger and MVP-runner up with Seattle and put up three 40+ HR seasons. Oh yea and again, this was all before the age of 25 and the PEDs.
7- Jamie Moyer
The ageless wonder was a fixture in the Mariners’ rotation for 10 years after coming over from Baltimore in 1996 as a 33 year-old.
Moyer garnered Cy-Young consideration in 1999, 2001 and again in 2003- as a 40-year-old, and was named an all-star in the ’03 season as well.
He put up double digits in the win column for seven consecutive seasons, including 20 and 21 wins in 2001 and 2003 respectively and, continuing the theme, was an integral piece of that 2001 team.
6- Jay Buhner
Jay Buhner is the player whom Frank Costanza famously reams out George Steinbrenner for trading away in the 1996 Seinfeld episode The Caddy.
Also to note, Buhner put up seven consecutive 20+ HR seasons for the Mariners during the 1990′s (and another later on in 2000), including three 40+ years from 1995-1997.
5- Edgar Martinez
Edgar is a legend in Seattle, as he played every single game of his MLB career in a Mariners uniform. Much like Buhner, he put up seven consecutive 20+ HR seasons for the Mariners from 1995-2001 (and also another later on in 2003).
Martinez was a six-time all-star, four-time Silver Slugger and retired with a career slash line of .312/.418/.515 and an OPS+ of .933.
4- Felix Hernandez
King Felix is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game today and still just 27 years old after debuting at 19.
Hernandez has won a Cy Young award and finished runner-up and 4th in other seasons, and is currently enjoying a season for which he’s a frontrunner for the award yet again. The four-time all-star could very well shoot higher up this list before long.
3- Randy Johnson
The Big Unit chucked for parts of 10 seasons with the M’s, being nominated for the Cy Young five times and winning it once during his tenure (went on to win four consecutive Cy Young’s with Arizona from 1999-2002).
Johnson represented the Mariners at the all-star game five times and put up some ridiculous stats, such as six seasons of 200+ strikeouts that included a 1993 season that saw him fan 308 batters. He also went on to post four 300K+ years with Arizona and became a World Series champ.
2- Ichiro Suzuki
In Ichiro‘s first 10 seasons he accomplished the following: an average over .300+ each year, 10 trips to the all-star game, 10 Golden Glove awards, three Silver Slugger awards, a Rookie of the Year award and was named MVP.
He’s a sure-shot Hall of Famer as the greatest Japanese-born player ever, and newest member of the 4,000 hit club.
1- Ken Griffey Jr.
An MVP, 10-time all-star, 10-time Golden Glove winner and seven time Silver Slugger who put up six seasons of 40+ HRs with the M’s in his 11 years spent with the club.
Ken Griffey Jr. was the first true iconic superstar the Mariners ever had and owner of the smoothest swing in the game, which will help him land in Cooperstown.
There’s my list, debate away!