Mariner Memories 11/15

Got an unforgettable memory of a Mariners game you attended? We at want to hear about it. The mission of this web site is to build an online community where M's fans can come to learn, laugh, and communicate with one another both in-season and throughout the winter months. Lets jumpstart that ever-growing M's online nation of fans by sharing memories of our favorite team. Send your memories, good and bad, to and we'll post them each and every Sunday.

This week, I'll do as any good publisher would do and post my favorite memories of the team I have loved since as long as I can remember.

There are a ton.

First, the easy ones.

Mariners-Yankees, Game Five, 1995 Playoffs – Need I say more? I woke up that morning anxious to watch the game on the tube, but an unexpected phone call from a friend with an extra ticket made me the luckiest guy in the world. My buddy picked me up with his dad and little brother, and the four of us hit the road for Seattle. Our seats were in the third deck just in foul territory down the right field line. True nose bleeds. But on this day, it didn't matter. I'll never forget the drama that played out – Randy and Black Jack coming in the late innings, Edgar's double down the line, Griffey hauling from first-to-home like he had one of Vince Coleman's fire crackers in his pants. Un-be-liev-a-ble. I'm a sports journalist and go to sporting events several times a week, but I don't think I'll experience anything like that ever again.

Mariners-Angels, 2003 – Again, I got hooked up with some free tickets and, as luck would have it, I ended up in right field about five rows up behind Ichiro. For once, my cherished 1989 Louisville Slugger glove – a signature Eric Davis edition – came in handy. Or so I thought. I'm at the game with about eight or nine friends, and midway through the game John Olerud connects on a pitch. From the crack of the bat, this ball was going my way all the way. Or so I thought. The closer it got, the more it started to sail on me and my 6-foot-2 frame. I jumped and came down with an empty glove. (Eric Davis would have caught it) The guy behind me barehanded it. I buried my face in my hands as my friends laughed at me. That's not it. A few seconds later, I lifted my head out up only to see "2,000" flashing on the Safeco Field scoreboard. That's right, I missed John Olerud's 2,000th hit by, oh, about an inch. The guy behind me didn't. He's got an autographed bat and ball to prove it, courtesy of Johnny O.

Other memories that stick out:

The 16-inning game against the Yankees, in 1991 I believe. Kevin Maas, the rookie phenom for New York with the most ridiculous stance you'd ever want to see, blasted a go-ahead homer for the Bronx Bombers in the top of the 16th. Not to be outdown, Greg "Pee-Wee" Briley answered with a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning. I sat in amazement from the upperdeck. M's win! M's win. Unfortunately, it might have been their only win of the year. (Bad joke)

At another game that year with my dad, I remember the M's walking what I believe were six batters in a row. Anyone remember that? Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful.

Here's another. Remember McGwire's blast off of the Big Unit in July of 1997? Yeah, I think I was in row 15 behind home plate for that one. Somewhere around there, anyway. Lucky me. That homer, if I remember correctly, traveled 527 feet and landed in the bleachers seats that were known as "the clowd crowd." "Guess Big Mac CAN get around on Randy's fastball," I recall thinking at the time. Randy struck out 17 batters in the game, but the M's lost. Oh, the good ‘ol days.

Mariners-Brewers, 1996 – I'm at the game to see my favorite player, Fernando Vina, who was just starting to make a name for himself with Milwaukee. Little did I know that he'd end up being in the play of the game. That play was set up thanks to the cannon attached to Jay Buhner's right arm. Vina lined a ball down the right field line that got held up around the bullpen pitcher's mound in foul territory. (Oh, the luxuries of the Kingdome) With Vina hustling around the bases for what looked like a sure triple, Buhner fielded the ball and let it fly. Poor little Vina didn't have a chance. Bone's throw came whistling into third and beat the astonished second baseman. All little No. 1 could do was bury his face in the infield dirt. I'll never forget that play, even though the entire rest of the world did about, oh, six or seven years ago.

There they are, some of my top Mariners memories. I could go on forever, but those are some of my favorites. Hope you enjoyed them.

I encourage M's fans everywhere to send in their own game memories. I can't think of a better way to get through the winter months!


Joe Kaiser

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