Mariners embrace Aquaman trident as home run prop

April 25th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Daniel Kramer’s Mariners Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SEATTLE -- It stands six and a half feet tall, weighs nearly 30 pounds and was so sharp out of the delivery box that its spikes have been dulled. The Mariners’ new trident, unveiled after each home run and bestowed to each slugger who goes deep, is as profound as it looks. 

“That right there is definitely going to motivate you to hit more homers,” said Julio Rodríguez, who publicly introduced the trident after his two-run shot on Wednesday against Milwaukee. 

Teoscar Hernández got the next dibs with a 414-foot solo blast on Friday, and Jarred Kelenic made his trident debut with an impressive opposite-field liner on Saturday, and another on Sunday.

Each has been a made-for-camera moment capturing what’s easily been the most iconic photos of this young season. Moving forward, it’s a safe bet that the best images of the 2023 Mariners will include this massive prop. 

“We never even got that far ahead,” said utilityman Sam Haggerty, the brains behind the operation, along with shortstop J.P. Crawford. “But then Julio strikes a pose and Teo strikes a pose, and I think over time, like you grab that thing and you're like, ‘Man, I did something.’ And I think it's empowering.”

The idea sparked in the visiting dugout at Wrigley Field after Kelenic’s 482-foot blast to straightaway center on April 12. There’d already been some epic celebratory props introduced in this young season, and the Mariners still had their “swelmet,” though they hadn’t been using it. 

“All these other teams are doing some cool stuff, so why aren't we doing anything?” Crawford recalled thinking. “And then it just popped up there and then after a game, we're looking around [online] and thought I found the winner, and we did. Boom.”

A thorough Amazon browse led them to the final product, which is a replica accessory from the 2018 superhero film “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, who was the first person most compared Rodríguez to when he struck the original pose so stoically. Yet unlike most replicas that are plastic, the Mariners’ is metal, which is why it’s so heavy, as well as more authentic. 

“It should be souped-up,” manager Scott Servais said. “This is the big leagues.”

As such, it came with a fairly significant price tag, one that Haggerty laughed off while choosing not to disclose.

“It’s a hefty piece of metal, so it was more expensive than we probably should have [paid],” Haggerty said. “But it’s The Show.”

So much of the trident celebration remains a work in progress, but a fun one. 

Its sheer size forced the club to holster it near the tunnel leading from the dugout to the clubhouse because it can’t stand on its own along the bench. That also became problematic, so over the weekend, they installed a holster for it next to the bins that store their batting helmets.

The trident is a four-piece item that shipped in under a week to T-Mobile Park. Thanks to handy work from Chris Dewitt and Joe Van Vleck, the co-managers of the Major League clubhouse, as well as an online tutorial, they assembled it quickly. 

The two found an old bat case -- that belonged to Robinson Canó, of all people -- in the bowels of the equipment room that they intend to use to transport it for away games. It’s unclear what approval protocols they’ll need from other clubs, but it shouldn’t be an issue to store in the team charter’s cargo. 

“Oh, we’re definitely bringing it on the road,” Crawford said. “Just don’t ask how, but we’re definitely bringing it on the road.”

Jokes aside, there’s a safety component, too -- especially considering that the trident is only brought out in high-adrenaline moments and from professional athletes. These are big boys. And that’s why they’ve since dulled the edges.

“Sure enough, Julio hits the home run the other day and he jammed a thing right into the dirt here and I'm like, 'Oh, no,’” Servais said. “... I probably won't be grabbing the trident too much. Maybe if we win the AL West.”

Home run props have taken new life the past few years, and they keep getting better. The Pirates have a pirate sword. The Braves have a Big Hat. The Angels have a samurai hat. The Brewers have a cheesehead

They’re all becoming more creative, which is precisely what the Mariners were seeking.

“A lot of teams are doing hats and stuff like that, and we wanted to be a little bit different,” Haggerty said. “And then we wanted to tie in like, the Mariners, the city, and the trident just came out organically.”