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Franchise Timeline

1980

Record: 59-103, Finished 7th (of 7) in AL West

With virtually the same roster as 1979 except for the loss of center fielder Ruppert Jones, the 1980 Mariners were playing .500 ball through early June, their best start to a season to date. But the offense and pitching slipped dramatically.

After a 7-19 record in July and in the midst of a 12-game losing streak, original Manager Darrell Johnson was replaced on August 4 by first-time Manager Maury Wills. The season ended with 8 consecutive losses.

Bruce Bochte (.300) and Danny Meyer (over 70 RBI for the 3rd time in four seasons) had consistent seasons at the plate. Starting pitchers Floyd Bannister (3.47) and Glenn Abbott (12-12) had solid seasons, and lefty Shane Rawley (7 wins, 13 saves) was excellent out of the bullpen. 1980 stats >>

1981

Record: First half 21-36, 6th of 7; Second half 23-29 5th (of 7) inAL West

Under the new ownership of George Argyros, the Mariners acquired veteran sluggers Richie Zisk and Jeff Burroughs during the off-season to improve the offense. Maury Wills did not last long as manager. On May 6, he was replaced by Rene Lachemann, who was promoted from the Mariners Triple-A Spokane affiliate.

The season was shortened to 109 games by a two-month strike in midseason (June 11-Aug. 10), which divided the season into two halves.

Left fielder Tom Paciorek emerged as an offensive leader, finishing second in the AL batting race (.326) to Carney Lansford. Tom was also in the top ten in the league in on-base pct., slugging pct. and OPS. Zisk also finished in the top ten in batting (.311), slugging and OPS.

During the second half play, the Mariners won 7 of 8 games in mid-September, and were just 3.5 out of first place and a playoff spot before fading in late September.

Memorable Moment: Paciorek hit game-winning, game-ending (this was before the term “walk off”) home runs in back-to-back games against the Yankees at the Kingdome May 8-9. The second game-winner thrilled a Bat Night crowd of 51,903. 1981 stats >>

1982

Record: 76-86, Finished 4th (of 7) in AL West

Led by the fourth-best pitching staff in the A.L., the Mariners posted their best record to date, 76-86, including 45-41 at the All-Star break, and a .500 record on August 17. Future Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry signed with the Mariners during spring training, joining Floyd Bannister, Jim Beattie and rookie Mike Moore in the rotation. The bullpen, led by Bill “Cuffs” Caudill (26 saves) and rookie LHP Ed Vande Berg (78 games), was outstanding all season.

Right fielder Al Cowens, DH Richie Zisk and first baseman Bruce Bochte led the offense. Home attendance topped 1 million for the first time since 1977.

Memorable Moment: When the season started, Gaylord needed just three wins to reach 300 milestone. On May 6, he pitched a complete game and beat the Yankees 7-3 at the Kingdome for number 300. He became the 15th pitcher to reach the mark, just the fourth since 1924.

On the entertainment side, the Mariners introduced the popular USS Mariner Victory Ship, which was stationed beyond the center field wall and fired a cannon after every home run and home team victory. And on May 8, “Funny Nose Glasses Night” drew a crowd of 37,000 to the Kingdome. 1982 stats >>

1983

Record: 60-102, Finished 7th (of 7) in AL West

After a tough 26-47 start to the season, Del Crandall replaced Rene Lachemann as manager on June 25.

It was a year when several prospects were promoted from the farm system for the first time (shortstop Spike Owen, lefty Matt Young, second baseman Harold Reynolds, outfielder Phil Bradley) and others established themselves in the Major Leagues (outfielder Dave Henderson, 20-year old pitcher Edwin Nunez).

Right hander Glenn Abbott was the last of the original Mariners to play for the team. He missed the entire 1982 season with an elbow problem plus viral meningitis. “Abby” returned to the rotation in June and went 5-3 before being traded to the Tigers in late August.

Bill Caudill earned 26 saves for the second season in a row, fourth best in the AL.Jim Beattie fired the first one-hitter in club history on Sept. 27, 1983 vs. the Royals.

First baseman Pat Putnam was voted Mariners Player of the Year by the Seattle BBWAA. He led the team with 19 HR and 67 RBI.1983 stats »

1984

Record: 74-88, Finished 5th (of 7) in AL West

The Mariners farm system truly blossomed in 1984. Seattle's first legitimate star, first baseman Alvin Davis, arrived on the Major League scene and captured the hearts of Seattle fans. The first inductee into the Mariners Hall of Fame, Davis produced 116 RBI, 27 home runs and a .284 average. Alvin was named to the 1984 All-Star team and voted the AL Rookie of the Year by the national BBWAA.

On the mound, lefty Mark Langston won a club record 17 games, led the American League in strikeouts (204) and was voted AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News.

In addition, homegrown players like third baseman Jim Presley, catcher Dave Valle and Danny Tartabull made it to the big leagues for the first time.

Third base coach Chuck Cottier replaced Del Crandall as manager on September 1.

Memorable Moment/Weekend: The Detroit Tigers came to the Kingdome for a Memorial Day Weekend series against the Mariners. The Tigers were 35-5, one of the hottest starts in MLB history. The Mariners swept all three games. The Tigers went on to win the 1984 World Series. 1984 stats »

1985

Record: 74-88, Finished 6th (of 7) in AL West

The Mariners opened the season sweeping the A’s and Twins to go 6-0 on the first homestand, still the longest win streak to start the season in club history. Farm products Phil Bradley (26 HR) and Jim Presley (28 HR) emerged to add power to the offense, as did DH Gorman Thomas (32 HR).

The starting rotation included four homegrown Mariners (Mike Moore, who was 17-10, Mark Langston, Matt Young and Bill Swift) and two more were featured in the bullpen (righty Edwin Nunez and lefty Ed Vande Berg).

Memorable Moment: In the fifth game of the season, trailing the Twins 7-4 at the Kingdome with two outs in the ninth and the bases loaded, Phil Bradley blasted a grand slam to win the game and keep the Mariners undefeated in the first week of the season. 1985 stats »

1986

Record: 67-95, Finished 7th (of 7) in AL West

Memorable Moment: On Opening Night, April 8, at the Kingdome against the Angels, the Mariners trailed the entire game. In the bottom of the 9th inning, third baseman Jim Presley hit a 2-run HR to center to tie the score at 4-4. In the bottom of the 10th with two outs and the bases loaded, Presley belted a grand slam to win the game.

After a winning 5 of the first 8 games of the season, on May 8 the Mariners slumped and a managerial change was made as future Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams replaced Chuck Cottier.

Presley led the offense with 27 homers and 107 RBI. Rookie right fielder Danny Tartabull established himself, with 25 homers and 96 RBI. DH Ken Phelps added 24 homers and Alvin Davis had his usual steady season.Mark Langston led the A.L. with 245 strikeouts. 1986 stats »

1987

Record: 78-84, Finished 4th (of 7) in AL West

The Mariners won a then-franchise high 78 games, with its young core of position players (Alvin Davis hit .295 with 29 HR and 100 RBI; Harold Reynolds, Jim Presley, Phil Bradley) and talented young pitchers (Mark Langston, Mike Moore, Edwin Nunez, Scott Bankhead).

Milestones and awards: Mark led the AL for the third time in four years with 262 strikeouts, set a club record with 19 wins and was an AL All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner. Harold was also selected to the All-Star team and led the league with a club record 60 stolen bases.

Memorable Moments: It was also the year that Ken Griffey Jr. was the first overall pick in the draft by the Mariners and played for the Northwest League Bellingham Mariners. In September, Edgar Martinez made his first trip to the Major Leagues. 1987 stats »

1988

Record: 68-93, Finished 7th (of 7) in AL West

Second baseman Harold Reynolds turned in another All-Star performance (.300 average) and earned his first Gold Glove Award. Lefty Mark Langston won his second Gold Glove Award and was second in the A.L. with 235 strikeouts. RHPs Mike Jackson and Mike Schooler became key members of the bullpen.

Jim Snyder replaced Dick Williams as manager on June 5, and in July, Woody Woodward replaced Dick Balderson as general manager.

Memorable Moment: On July 21, the Mariners traded lefty DH Ken Phelps to the Yankees for young OF Jay Buhner. “Digger,” a Seattle local from Ingraham High, played for two more seasons, and “Bone” starred in Seattle through 2001. The trade has been made legendary by Frank Costanza in a classic 1996 episode of “Seinfeld.” 1988 stats »

1989

Record: 73-89, Finished 6th (of 7) in AL West

The 1989 season was franchise-changing for the Mariners. A 19-year old Ken Griffey Jr. impressed new manager Jim Lefebvre during Spring Training, making the Opening Day roster and launching a new era of Mariners Baseball. He doubled in his first at-bat on Opening Night in Oakland. Another rookie started the season for the Mariners, future Hall of Fame shortstop Omar Vizquel.

On May 25, young left-handed pitcher Randy Johnson arrived in Seattle as part of a five-player trade with the Montreal Expos for Mark Langston.

“Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis (21 HR, 95 RBI, .920 OPS) and veteran DH Jeffrey Leonard (24 HR, 93 RBI) led the offense. Young starters Scott Bankhead, Brian Holman and Erik Hanson joined the “Big Unit” to form the rotation, and Mike Schooler finished with 33 saves.

Memorable Moment: Junior, aka “The Kid,” doubled in his first at-bat in the Major Leagues in season opener at Oakland, and homered on the first pitch he saw on Opening Night at the Kingdome, April 10.1989 stats »