Great Northwest Sports Moments: The Mariners’ 1995 Playoff Run
There was something special in the air for the Seattle Mariners in the fall of 1995. Few times in baseball history has a playoff run become so iconic without culminating in a World Series title.
The first decade and a half of the Seattle Mariners’ history was a dark time. The Mariners didn’t post a winning season for the first 14 years of their existence. But things began to change in the early 1990s as the M’s began to assemble the pillars of a powerhouse.
First came Ken Griffey Jr., a first-overall pick. Then Edgar Martinez cracked the everyday lineup and began mashing the baseball. Under-the-radar trades for Randy Johnson and Jay Buhner paid huge dividends.
By 1995, the Mariners were the talk of baseball, rallying from a 13-game deficit in August to beat the California Angels in a one-game playoff and capture their first American League West title. But they drew an extremely tough challenge in the New York Yankees for their first ALDS opponent.
It didn’t start well. The Yankees flew out to a 2-0 series lead and appeared poised for a sweep. But the Mariners battled back to even the series at 2-2 and force a deciding Game 5 at the Kingdome.
If you’ve followed the Mariners at all and you’ve heard of legendary broadcaster Dave Niehaus, you’re probably familiar with “The Double.”
The Mariners trailed by a run entering the bottom of the 11th – but Joey Cora and Griffey singled to set the table for Martinez. He drilled a double off Jack McDowell to score both runners, win the series, and clinch Seattle’s first ever playoff victory.
In the end, the Mariners’ playoff run didn’t last. They fell to the powerful Cleveland Indians in the ALCS in six games, with Dennis Martinez outdueling Randy Johnson in the clincher.
Still, 1995 lives on in Seattle Mariners lore. Since the Mariners were rumored to relocate before the 1995 run helped explode their popularity.
The Double is widely considered the play that saved baseball in Seattle.