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All-Time Team – Seattle Mariners
First Base – Alvin Davis
John Olerud had three very good years for the Mariners. But Alvin Davis posted seven solid campaigns for the team before his skills began to diminish in 1991. The 1984 American League Rookie of the Year hit more than 20 home runs for Seattle three times, knocked in more than 100 runs twice, batted over .290 three times, and compiled an on-base percentage in excess of .400 on two separate occasions. Davis hit 27 home runs, batted .284, and knocked in a career-high 116 runs as a rookie, before having arguably his best season three years later, when he hit 29 homers, drove in 100 runs, and batted .295. He hit a career-high .305 in 1989, while also posting a career-best .424 on-base percentage and .920 OPS.
Second Base – Bret Boone
Harold Reynolds stole more than 200 bases for the Mariners over the course of seven full seasons, appeared in two All-Star Games, and won three Gold Gloves. But Reynolds hit only 17 home runs and knocked in just 295 runs during that time. Meanwhile, Bret Boone compiled 143 home runs and 535 RBIs in his seven years with the club, four of which he spent starting at second base. Boone had his finest season in 2001, establishing career highs with 37 home runs, 141 runs batted in, 118 runs scored, 206 hits, and a .331 batting average, en route to earning a third-place finish in the league MVP voting. He surpassed 20 homers and 100 RBIs in each of the next two seasons as well, earning a total of two All-Star selections and two top-10 finishes in the MVP balloting during his time in Seattle. Boone also won three Gold Gloves.
Third Base – Russ Davis
There really wasn’t much to choose from here, unless I wanted to take Edgar Martinez out of the DH spot and put him at his original position of third base. Since Martinez was far better suited to serve the team as a DH, Russ Davis seemed like the best available option at third. He hit more than 20 home runs in each of his three full seasons with the
Mariners, while also driving in a total of 204 runs.
Shortstop – Alex Rodriguez
Although it now seems like ages ago, Alex Rodriguez began his career with the Mariners, serving as the team’s starting shortstop for five years, before moving on to Texas and, later, New York. During his time in Seattle, A-Rod earned four All-Star selections, four Silver Sluggers, and two top-five finishes in the A.L. MVP voting. He hit more than 40 homers three times, knocked in more than 100 runs and batted over .300 four times each, and scored more than 100 runs all five years. Rodriguez had his finest all-around season for the club in 1996, when he hit 36 homers, knocked in 123 runs, accumulated 215 hits, and led the league with 141 runs scored, 54 doubles, and a .358 batting average, en route to earning a second-place finish in the MVP balloting.
Left Field – Jay Buhner
Although Jay Buhner played right field almost exclusively during his 14 years in Seattle, the presence of Ichiro in right necessitated the shifting of Buhner to left field here. Buhner started in right field for the Mariners from 1991 to 1997, averaging 32 home runs and 99 runs batted in during that time. He surpassed 40 homers and 100 RBIs three times each, while also topping 100 runs scored on two separate occasions. Buhner had his best year in 1996, when he hit 44 home runs, knocked in 138 runs, scored 107 others, and batted .271, en route to earning All-Star honors for the only time in his career.
Center Field – Ken Griffey Jr.
Was there ever any doubt? Over parts of 13 seasons in Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr. established himself as the greatest player in franchise history. Junior hit 417 home runs, knocked in 1,216 runs, scored 1,113 others, accumulated 1,843 hits, batted .292, and compiled a .374 on-base percentage for the club, while earning 10 All-Star nominations, 10 Gold Gloves, and five top-five finishes in the A.L. MVP voting. He surpassed 40 homers six times, 100 RBIs seven times, and 100 runs scored five times, batted over .300 seven times, and compiled an on-base percentage in excess of .400 twice. Griffey had arguably his greatest season in 1997, when he captured league MVP honors by topping the circuit with 56 home runs, 147 runs batted in, 125 runs scored, 393 total bases, and a .646 slugging percentage, while also batting .304.
Right Field – Ichiro Suzuki
Perhaps second only to Ken Griffey Jr. on Seattle’s all-time list of great players is Ichiro Suzuki, who has batted over .300, accumulated more than 200 hits, earned All-Star honors, and won a Gold Glove in each of his 10 years with the team. Ichiro has won two batting titles, led the American League in hits seven times, and won a Most Valuable Player Award. Heading into 2011, he has compiled 2,244 hits and a lifetime batting average of .331.
Catcher - Dan Wilson
Solid and reliable, Dan Wilson started behind home plate for the Mariners for 11 seasons, during which time he batted over .270 four times, led American League catchers in putouts and fielding percentage one time each, and made one All-Star Team. He had his best year in 1996, when he hit 18 home runs, knocked in 83 runs, and batted .285.
Designated Hitter - Edgar Martinez
No question here. Edgar Martinez may well have been the greatest designated hitter in American League history. The right-handed hitter supreme compiled 309 home runs, 1,261 runs batted in, 2,247 hits, 514 doubles, a .312 batting average, a .418 on-base percentage, and a .933 OPS in his 18 seasons in Seattle. Martinez won two batting titles and six Silver Sluggers, appeared in seven All-Star Games, and finished in the top 10 in the league MVP voting twice.
Starting Pitcher – Randy Johnson
This was another no-brainer. In his 10 years in Seattle, Randy Johnson established himself as one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers, and as the greatest pitcher in Mariner history. Johnson surpassed 18 victories three times, struck out more than 200 batters seven times, compiled an ERA below 2.50 twice, won one Cy Young Award, and finished second in the voting another two times. The Big Unit had his greatest season for the Mariners in 1995, when he finished 18-2, with a league-leading 2.48 ERA and 294 strikeouts. He performed brilliantly again in 1997, posting a record of 20-4, along with a 2.28 ERA and 291 strikeouts.
Starting Pitcher – Felix Hernandez
If anyone is ever going to surpass Randy Johnson as the finest pitcher in franchise history, it is likely to be Felix Hernandez. Only 24 years of age at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign, King Felix has already posted 71 victories for the Mariners, won one Cy Young Award, and finished second in the balloting on another occasion. Blessed with an outstanding arsenal of pitches, the young right-hander established himself as a dominant pitcher in 2009 by leading all A.L. hurlers with a record of 19-5, compiling a 2.49 ERA, and striking out 217 batters, en route to earning a second-place finish in the Cy Young voting. Hindered by a lack of run-support throughout the 2010 season, Hernandez compiled a record of only 13-12. Yet, he managed to capture Cy Young honors by leading the American League with a 2.27 ERA and 250 innings pitched, while also striking out 232 batters.
Starting Pitcher – Mark Langston
Mark Langston had the misfortune of pitching for the Mariners during the relatively early stages of their existence, before the team became a winning franchise. Nevertheless, the hard-throwing left-hander posted a winning record in three of his five seasons as a regular member of the team’s starting rotation. Langston first broke in with the Mariners in 1984, earning a second-place finish in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting by compiling a record of 17-10, along with a 3.40 ERA and a league-leading 204 strikeouts. He topped the circuit in strikeouts two other times, having arguably his best year in 1987, when he led all A.L. hurlers with 262 strikeouts, while also finishing 19-13 with a 3.84 ERA and 14 complete games. Langston had his last big year for the team the following year, going 15-11, with a 3.34 ERA and 235 strikeouts. He ended his time in Seattle with an overall record of 74-67.
Starting Pitcher – Jamie Moyer
The ageless one, Jamie Moyer, spent parts of 11 seasons in Seattle, during which time he compiled an outstanding won-lost record of 145-87. Moyer won at least 13 games for the Mariners eight times, surpassing 20 victories on two separate occasions. The left-hander finished 20-6 in 2001 with a 3.43 ERA, before having his best season two years later, when he went 21-7 with a 3.27 ERA, en route to earning All-Star honors for the only time in his career.
Starting Pitcher – Freddy Garcia
Freddy Garcia spent his first five major league seasons in Seattle, compiling an overall record during that time of 76-50. Garcia won at least 16 games for the Mariners three times, posting a career-high 18 victories for them in 2001, when he led the American League with a 3.05 ERA and 239 innings pitched, en route to earning a third-place finish in the Cy Young balloting. Garcia appeared in two All-Star Games as a member of the team.
Closer – Kazuhiro Sasaki
Although he served as Seattle’s closer for only four years, Kazuhiro Sasaki saved a total of 129 games for the Mariners during that time, thereby earning a spot on the franchise’s All-Time Team. Sasaki had his best year in 2001, when he earned All-Star honors for the first of two straight times by finishing second in the league with 45 saves. He also struck out 62 batters in 67 innings of work, while allowing the opposition a total of only 48 hits.
Manager – Lou Piniella
Lou Piniella managed the Mariners from 1993 to 2002. Seattle compiled an overall record during that time of 840-711, for a .542 winning percentage. The team posted a winning record in seven of those campaigns, winning a franchise-record 116 games during the 2001 regular season. Although the Mariners subsequently fell short during the post-season, they nevertheless put together a regular season of historic proportions. Furthermore, Piniella led Seattle to three division titles and two second-place finishes during his tenure with the team.
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