My dad was always a baseball fan, and being that his family is from New England and growing up during Yastrzemski’s glory days, he was a die-hard Red Sox fan. I was born in 1987 (the birth of his child was what finally got my dad out of his ’86/Buckner depression), and like my dad was a big baseball fan, going through his magazines and watching games with him. Rather than just going along with the Red Sox, at a very young age I settled on the Mariners as my favorite team… for the childish reasons that I liked the colors of their costume and their uniform, liked their team name, and they had a big slugger star I could idolize.
The ’95 ALDS game 4 and 5 are some of my earliest baseball memories and some of my earliest concrete memories ever. I was 7 (about two weeks away from turning 8) in October 1995. Being on the East Coast, these games at the Kingdome started at 10:05 pm eastern time (on the Yankee’s former cable station, MSG, before Steinbrenner started his own network). I remember it being very late, WAY past my bedtime, but my dad would let me stay up (not because he cared much about the Mariners, but because as a Red Sox fan, he relished any opportunity to see the Yankees lose in the playoffs). I have memories of Randy Johnson blowing away batter after batter, and Edgar Martinez’s grand slam AND series winning double (in my mind, it was all the same game, and it was a series winning grand slam in the 11th).
I recently bought a copy of the game on DVD from a bootlegger and watched it, enjoying the glory years of the Mariners from my childhood (Griffey, Johnson, Edgar, A-Rod, Buhner, Dan Wilson) when I was collecting baseball cards. Watching the 13 year old game brought back a lot of memories, and since I hadn’t seen it in so long, I think from the 8th inning on in that game 5 is probably the most exciting baseball game of all time — with the possible exception of all of the close calls in the Red Sox-Yankees 2004 ALCS. Good memories from my childhood contained in that game.
By Dain Goding