On the afternoon of January 30, during the first day of the Mariners FanFest for 2010, Buhner, Blowers, and Valle participated in a discussion and question and answer session with Dave Sims and the Mariner fans. A fan asked about their best moments as a player. I took out my pen to record their answers as best as I could because I knew what was probably coming. Here’s what I jotted down as they talked.
Buhner said: “1995, it’s the season that saved baseball in the Northwest. The greatest thing was the different spirit of the team as we made the run. It was contagious. We couldn’t be surprised at winning; we found all the ways to win. And Anaheim was continuing to lose; they were finding all the ways to lose. The Kingdome was the funnest place to go. The camaraderie: we’d all go into the stadium at 1, everyone eating lunch, hanging around afternoons before the games. We were a family. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. It was like a first love.”
Blowers: “Going off what Jay said, yeah, that ’95 season was the funnest. Watching Junior fly around 3rd base; in the Kingdome the dugout was at field level, so we could see it clearly, and just roared out onto the field when he slid into home. Any of the personal accomplishments I had; they don’t top that moment.”
Valle: “I’d spent 14 years with the Mariners, but in ’95, it was the first season I was with the Rangers. And we came into town [in mid-September] and got swept 3 games in that series in Seattle. In the visitor’s clubhouse that series, we heard the screams of fans coming down the ramps, banging on concrete. They were so excited. I never heard that as a Mariner. That excitement, unabashed love.”
Buhner: “All that you see here now is because of that ’95 team. I’ll always be in contact with those guys. It was pretty special, no doubt about that.”