The other day I popped in one of my favorite videos of all time, “My Oh My.” Recently, the Mariners have been pretty depressing, and every once in a while I need to remind myself that at one time, the M’s were really good. The mid ’90s were the golden years of baseball in Seattle. We had this guy called Ken Griffey Jr. No doubt, Kenny was the best player of the league at the time and of the decade as well. You’re a pretty good player when you’re drawing comparisons to Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
There was also this guy on the ’95 team named Randy Johnson. He was the most dominant pitcher in baseball. With his bad ass mustache and his trend setting mullet, he mowed down hitter after hitter, guaranteeing the Seattle bats a chance to win the game.
I could go on and on about all the talent we had on that team; Edgar, Tino, Cora, Buhner, etc. With the best player in baseball (Griffey) and the best pitcher (Johnson), expectations were high for this team. However, 27 games into the season, on May 26th, Ken Griffey Jr. was injured, breaking two bones in his left wrist while making a highlight catch. It wouldn’t be until August 15th that Griffey would return to a team clinging to a 51-50 record and 12.5 games back of the California Angels.
Many baseball fans consider the ’95 ALDS the best of all time. Coming from two games down, the Mariners tied the series at 2-2, forcing a decisive game five to be played in the Kingdome. Game five would produce one of the most memorable games in any Mariners’ fans’ heart…
The game was tied, 4-4, going into extra innings. In the top of the 11th, the Yankees drew first blood with a single by Randy Velarde driving in pinch runner Pat Kelly to seize a 5-4 lead. But the Mariners Refused to Lose. Little Joey Cora started things off by drag bunting and safely reaching first base, then Griffey singled and Cora advanced to third base.
With no outs, runners on first and third, Edgar Martinez stepped to the plate. Jack McDowell wound up, and Edgar hit a double into left field, scoring Cora to tie the game. And then Griffey was waved in, all the way from first. The throw was late, and Griffey slid into home late safely. Cementing an ALCS BERTH! In one of the most celebrated images in Mariners history, Griffey was mauled by his teammates at home plate as they were one series away from the world championship! The words of Dave Niehaus echoed, “MY OH MY”!!!
The Mariners would go on to lose in six games to the Cleveland Indians, dropping the last game on their home turf, the Kingdome. Although the magical ride ended, the fans in Seattle finally knew what it was like to have a successful baseball team, and the Mariners were no longer a crappy expansion team but a permanent part of Seattle culture. That double by Edgar is known for how it sent the M’s into the ALCS, but it could also have been the hit that built Safeco Field.
By Kevin Cacabelos, adapted from his posting athttp://www.seatownsports.net