Category Archives: Mariners

Pre-Historic Old School

So I found this on eBay for $30 and free shipping. A 1979 Willie Horton throwback authentic.

Oh what times those were for the M’s! Terrible teams, but awesome double knit unis!

1979 was an all but forgettable 67-95 season. But the M’s finished ahead of the woeful A’s and had a few moments here and there including hosting the All-Star Game that year.

But those Unis! I still love the 1980’s set, from about 1982 through 1986, before the switch to the more traditional button downs, the horrific Circle M logo and the “S” on the cap. I always loved the Trident, not just because I was a TRIDENT Missile Fire Control guy, but because I felt like it was just a really awesome logo.

1979 was also the year Willie Horton, the great Tigers player for so many years came to Seattle and had decent but not great seasons in 79 and 80.

It was also a year before I really became aware of the M’s and the American League in general. I spent the summer of 1980 in the Seattle area, and there were opportunities to attend games that I did not take, but I did hear them on the radio for the first time and like most people, I fell in love with the way Dave Niehaus called the game. That team was even worse than the 79 Team, losing 103 games which seems all but impossible to do unless you are trying to accomplish it. Wayne Cody used to pop champagne whenever the 100 loss happened. He was probably drunk a lot in those days.

Jim Presley wearing the hideous Circle M logo

Jim Presley wearing the hideous Circle M logo

One good thing that happened to the M’s in 1979 that was a positive though, saw them draft a shortstop out of Pensacola by the name of Jim Presley. He would go on to hit the most amazing Home Run I ever saw in 1988 in Baltimore. He played six solid years, including one as an All-Star and MVP Candidate (1986) in Seattle and remains one of my all time favorites.

In the 17th Round that season they also drafted a crafty left hander named Bud Black. He would appear in just two games for Seattle in 1981, before going on to his long and famous career with the Royals, Indians and Giants as well as becoming a manager of some repute.

Even in the worst of seasons, there can be a positive thing or two!

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Randy Johnson’s Hall of Fame Debut

randy_johnson_2004_studio_plus_photofileDo you want to know how fickle Baseball can be? RANDY JOHNSON IS GOING TO THE HALL OF FAME WEARING A DIAMONDBACKS CAP.

I take you now in the way-back machine, back to September 20, 1986, Seattle, in the accursed Kingdome. To celebrate my 23rd birthday, myself and a group of friends attended the (once again last place) Mariners game that night, against the defending champs, the Kansas City Royals. Pitching for the Mariners that night was one of some young pitchers obtained in a trade earlier in the season by the name of… wait for it…

Brett Saberhagen was going for the Royals.

The trade had sent the Mariners beloved lefty Mark Langston to the Expos for the three prospects, including Randy Johnson, who at the time was a VERY tall fireballer with no control whatsoever. He scared the living daylights out of hitters because he was throwing so hard and so wildly. He was Nuke LaLoosh a couple of years before there was a Nuke LaLoosh.

The Mariners, as usual, had a terrible year, finishing a mere 25 games back of the Angels and four back of the 6th Place Minnesota Twins. If you were looking for a high point, it was the night of September 20th, when a new, young Mariners arm took the mound against Brett Saberhagen and the Champion Royals. Read the rest of this entry

Pitch Clocks?

From the “Let’s Provide a Fix For a Problem that Doesn’t Actually Exist File,” Baseball has announced that “Pitch Clocks” WILL BE USED AT AAA AND AA THIS SEASON. The theory here is that the pace of the game will “speed up,” which has been deemed a problem, particularly when the Yankees battle the Red Sox. So here we go again, tampering with the very fabric of the game – again.

When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a “Designated Hitter.” That came about in the American League and while it changed some of the managing of a game, it didn’t hurt things all that bad. Then came ubiquitous artificial turf, which, as far as I am concerned can go burn in hell. This did change the game, badly as far as I am concerned, because not only did it allow gap doubles to become inside the park home runs, it led to the worst baseball abomination of all time – Domed Stadiums.

58521a_lgLook, I lived near Seattle in the early 1980’s, the first time I had ever been close enough to a Major League City to go to a game pretty much when I wanted to go. The Mariners were bad. No, bad doesn’t do it justice. The Mariners were atrocious. When the 1983 team lost it’s 100th game, Wayne Cody celebrated on the air with a bottle of very cheap champagne. I went to at least twenty games that year, including “Fan Appreciation Night” against the Division Winning White Sox. The fans were booing the cheap prizes the team gave out to “thank” them for actually showing up to watch this team of not-so-loveable losers. With Steinbrenner wannabe George Argyros at the helm of the team, it seemed like there was no hope whatsoever for the future and baseball in Seattle was doomed to double-knit uniforms with still a better logo than they have today on the hat. Read the rest of this entry

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