Carlos Guillen’s game winning bunt in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Record: 91-71, Finished 2nd (of 4) in AL West (AL Wild Card)
Pat Gillick was named General Manager of the Mariners after the 1999 season, and starting with the trade of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds, the roster was rebuilt in time for the first full season at SAFECO Field. Starter Aaron Sele, closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, reliever Arthur Rhodes, outfielder Mike Cameron, second baseman Mark McLemore and first baseman John Olerud were key additions.
Shortstop Alex Rodriguez (41 HR, 132 RBI) and DH Edgar Martinez (37 HR, 145 RBI) led the offense, and the pitching staff had the second best ERA in the league. Seattle captured the AL wild card berth, swept the Chicago White Sox in the AL Division Series, and in a classic AL Championship Series, were eliminated by the Yankees in six games. “Sodo Mojo” was introduced as the marketing slogan.
Milestones and awards: 1) Japanese closer Kazuhiro Sasaki with 37 saves, was named AL Rookie of the Year; 2) John Olerud earned a Gold Glove Award, and 3) Alex Rodriguez received his fourth Silver Slugger Award.
Memorable Moment: Carlos Guillen executed a perfect drag bunt in the bottom of the 9th inning, scoring pinch runner Rickey Henderson to win Game 3 of the ALDS vs. the White Sox at SAFECO Field, clinching the series sweep. 2000 stats »
Record: 116-46, Finished 1st (of 4) in AL West
The 2001 Seattle Mariners won a Major League record 116 games, a truly remarkable performance which earned them the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. The Mariners led the A.L. in batting (.288 avg. and 927 runs), pitching (3.54 ERA) and fielding (.986).
Rookie right fielder Ichiro Suzuki became the first position player from Japanese baseball to play in the Major Leagues, and he took the league by storm as the batting champion (.350), stolen base champion (56) and winning the AL MVP, Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. Second baseman Bret Boone signed as a free agent and had the best season by a second baseman in AL history (.331, 37 HR and a league-leading 141 RBI).
In addition, the City of Seattle and the Mariners hosted the 2001 All-Star Game and all its festivities. Eight Mariners were on the AL All-Star team, and Lou Piniella served as one of the coaches. (Freddy Garcia was the starting pitcher and winner.Kaz Sasaki earned a save. Ichiro and Mike Cameron hit safely. Bret Boone, John Olerud and Edgar Martinez were starters).
Memorable Moment: When baseball returned to action after the national tragedy of 9/11, the Mariners clinched their third AL West title. Instead of the traditional dogpile to celebrate on the field, led by Lou Piniella, the Mariners carried the American flag around the infield and knelt in respect to our country before saluting the fans.
In the ALDS vs. the Indians, the Mariners were down two games to one, but came back to win Games 4-5 to advance to the ALCS vs. the Yankees. The Mariners were eliminated in five games.
Milestones and awards: 1) Piniella was voted AL Manager of the Year; 2) Pat Gillick was voted the AL Executive of the Year; 3) Jamie Moyer won 20 games, the second time by a Mariner pitcher; 4) Ichiro, Boone and Olerud received Gold Glove Awards; 5) Home attendance of 3.5 million was the tops in MLB. 2001 stats »
Record: 93-69, Finished 3rd (of 4) in AL West
The Mariners followed up the record-setting 2001 season by winning 93 games, the second-best total in club history. They were in first place from April 10 through August 22, when they were caught and passed by the Athletics, who were on a record 20-game win streak. The 93 victories made it 300 wins in the last three seasons (just the 16th time in Major League history that has been accomplished), but not enough to make the postseason. The fans in the Pacific Northwest turned out in record numbers, as a Major League-best attendance of 3,540,482 at SAFECO Field set a franchise high for the second straight year.
Memorable Game: On May 2 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Mike Cameron, with assistance from Bret Boone, made history. In the first inning, Bret and Cammy hit back-to-back home runs, and after the Mariners batted around, they did it again later in the inning. That is the only time it has happened in Major League history. Mike went on to hit two more roundtrippers, becoming just the 13th player to hit four in one game.
Milestones and awards: First baseman John Olerud won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award, while second baseman Bret Boone and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki each won his second straight .2002 stats »
Record: 93-69, Finished 2nd (of 4) in AL West
For the second consecutive season, the Mariners won 93 games and were in first place for 134 days, but fell two games short of a Wild Card berth. From 2000 through 2003, Seattle won 393 games, the most in baseball. Bob Melvin replaced Manager Lou Piniella, who wanted to move close to home. Lou was “traded” to the Devil Rays (for OF Randy Winn) after the 2002 season, his 10th with the Mariners.
One highlight of the 2003 season was the five-man starting rotation making all 162 starts. The fivesome of Jamie Moyer (21-7, still the franchise record for wins), Freddy Garcia (12-14), Joel Piniero (16-11), Gil Meche (15-13) and Ryan Franklin (11-13) did not miss a single start, the first group to do so since the 1966 Dodgers.
Five Mariners were AL All-Stars: Moyer, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki.
Milestones and awards: 1) Moyer earned his first All-Star Game appearance and pitched one perfect inning; 2) Meche was voted the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award, becoming the first pitcher since Whitey Ford in 1954 to win at least 15 games after not winning any games the previous two seasons (injury); 3) Ichiro and John Olerud each won another Gold Glove Award.
Second baseman Bret Boone led the team in home runs (35) and RBIs (117), and received Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. 2003 stats »
Record: 63-99, Finished 4th (of 4) in AL West
After the successful four-year run, the Mariners struggled out of the gate (8-14 in April), and never recovered. Several midseason trades and roster moves were made with an eye to the future.
Memorable Moment: On October 1, Ichiro Suzuki made history again in 2004 by breaking a record that had lasted 84 years. In the same game, he tied then passed the Major League single-season record for hits, which was set by George Sisler in 1920 (257). Ichiro and finished with 262 while claiming the American League batting title with a .372 average.
While Ichiro chased the hits record in September, all-time Mariners great Edgar Martinez played his final games in a Seattle uniform. The Mariners celebrated his 18-year career with a special weekend in his honor. 2004 stats »
Record: 69-93, Finished 4th (of 4) in AL West
Following the season, the club relieved second-year manager Bob Melvin of his duties, and hired veteran American League skipper Mike Hargrove to lead the team. The Seattle Mariners made several off-season moves, signing free agents: third baseman Adrian Beltre (19 HR, 87 RBI), first baseman Richie Sexson (39 HR, 121 RBI; ranked in the A.L. top ten in homers (39), RBI (121), walks (89) and OPS (.910) and DH Raul Ibanez (20 HR, 89 RBI) , but struggled through a 90-loss season.
Memorable Moment: In his first game as a Mariner, Sexson hit two HRs on Opening Day at Safeco Field, in the Mariners 5-1 win over the Twins.
Ichiro Suzuki became the first player in Major League history to begin his career with five straight 200-hit seasons, and won his fifth consecutive Gold Glove Award. Lefty Eddie Guardado led the team with 36 saves.
One important storyline was the much anticipated debut of 19-year old phenom Félix Hernández. The rookie right-handed pitcher was called up in August and lived up to the high expectations, going 5-plus innings in 11 of his 12 starts, and 7-plus in 10 of 12. He was 4-4 with 2.67 ERA. 2005 stats »
Record: 78-84, Finished 4th (of 4) in AL West
The Mariners were busy in the offseason, signing lefty Jarrod Washburn to bolster the starting rotation and Kenji Johjima (the first catcher from Japan to sign with a Major League organization). Only 3.5 games out of first place on August 2, a disappointing August (11-17) dropped them out of the AL West race.
Joh homered in each of the first two games of the season, and finished with 18 HRs, 76 RBI and a .291 average in his first Major League season. Félix Hernández established himself at the top of the rotation at age 20, and J.J. Putz took over the closer role in the bullpen with 36 saves, a 4-1 mark and 2.30 ERA.
Left fielder Raul Ibanez had a career year with 33 HRs and 123 RBI (4.5 WAR). Second baseman Jose Lopez (AL All-Star) and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt formed a promising double play combination.
Ichiro Suzuki had his usual season, leading the AL with 224 hits, starting the All-Star Game and winning the Gold Glove Award for the sixth straight season. 2006 stats »
Record: 88-74, Finished 2nd (of 4) in AL West
The Mariners improved by 10 games, and finished in second place in the AL West. Manager Mike Hargrove in his third season, resigned unexpectedly on July 1 for personal reasons, the same day the club won its eighth straight game and stretched its record to 45-33, just four games back of first place. John McLaren took over the team on July 2.
Offensively, Ichiro (.351) and Raul Ibanez (105 RBI) led the offense, while Adrian Beltre and right fielder Jose Guillen each drove in 99 runs.
J.J. Putz saved 40 games (tied for second in the league) and posted a 1.38 ERA, earning a spot on the All-Star team. Veteran RHP Miguel Batista topped the team with 16 wins.
Milestones and awards: Ichiro became the first Major League player since 1900 to record three seasons with 230 or more hits. He was named MVP of the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco, going 3-for-3 with the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star history. 2007 stats »
Record: 61-101, Finished 4th (of 4) in AL West
The Mariners had high expectations entering the season with the addition of starting pitchers Erik Bedard via trade and Carlos Silva via free agency. However, the team got off to a poor start and in mid-June was 17.5 games back of first place. They lost 101 games, the most since 1983. On June 16, Bill Bavasi was relieved of his duties as General Manager, and Lee Pelekoudas was named interim GM. On June 19, Manager John McLaren was fired and Jim Riggleman ran the team for the remainder of the season.
Memorable Moment: Mariners legendary broadcaster Dave Niehaus received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence which was presented during Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown on July 27.
Ichiro Suzuki continued his hitting excellence, topping 200 hits (213 to top the AL) and earning a Gold Glove Award for the 8th consecutive season. Raul Ibanez had his third straight season with over 100 RBI with 113. Richie Sexson reached the 300 home run mark on May 1 at Cleveland, joining Willie Horton, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Buhner to hit #300 in a Mariner uniform. (Since then, Nelson Cruz, Robinson Canó and Jay Bruce have done so.). 2008 stats »
Record: 85-77, Finished 3rd (of 4) in AL West
The Mariners made sweeping changes after the 2008 season, as Jack Zduriencik was named General Manager and Don Wakamatsu was named field manager, becoming the first Asian American manager in Major League history.
It was a busy off-season, as the Mariners focused on pitching and defense with the acquisition of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez and left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas.
Return of Ken Griffey Jr.: On February 18, after a nine-year absence, free agent Ken Griffey Jr. signed with the Mariners to serve as DH. He homered in the season opener vs. the Twins at the Metrodome, and in the second home game of the season, hit his 400th home run in a Mariner uniform (613th career).
Memorable moment: On June 19, Junior hit a pinch hit, game-tying home run vs. the Diamondbacks in the 8th inning, which was made famous by Dave Niehaus “old time religion” call on radio.
The Mariners were the most improved team in baseball (85 wins vs. 61 in 2008). The pitching staff had the best ERA in the A.L. (3.87), led by Félix Hernández with a dominant 19-5 record and 2.49 ERA. He made his first All-Star Game appearance, and finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting. David Aardsma saved 38 games, fourth best in the A.L.
Ichiro’s .352 batting average was his fourth season posting a .350 or better average. Jose Lopez led the team with 96 RBI. 2009 stats »