Yeah. We went there.
10. Dan Wilson
Dan Wilson was one of my favorites as a child. Mostly, it was because we have the same last name, but also because he was good. He was known mostly as a defensive catcher, and found himself on the roster of every Mariner playoff team so far. He joined the Mariner Hall of Fame in 2012.
9. Mark Langston
Known more for his time with the Angels, Langston began his solid career in Seattle before being traded to Montreal for Randy Johnson. While Alvin Davis won the Rookie of the Year award in 1984, Langston, who also debuted in 1984, won Rookie Pitcher of the Year award and led the league with 204 strikeouts.
8. Jamie Moyer
I legitimately had to check this season to see if Moyer had actually retired. That dude played FOREVER. Twenty-five years, to be exact. He was the second Mariner ever to record a 20-win season, doing so in 2001, and was a stud for the Mariners in their 2001 playoff run. He won a World Series with Philadelphia in 2008 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 2015.
7. Alvin Davis
I couldn’t leave Mr. Mariner himself off the list. I admit that I wouldn’t know anything about Alvin Davis or Mark Langston were it not for a VHS my parents picked up at Eagle Hardware called “Greatest 20 Moments in Mariners History” for the team’s twentieth anniversary, but he was one of the team’s real superstars and a landmark in the organization. He exploded onto the scene in 1984, winning the Rookie of the Year award and being named an All-Star.
He was also the first to be named to the Mariner Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997.
6. Jay Buhner
What a man. Not only is he the subject of one of the greatest Seinfeld quotes of all time, he was a crucial part of the 1995 team and a cult hero in Seattle. Not known for his speed on the basepaths, watching Bone huff and puff into third to complete the first cycle in Mariners history is not only hilarious, it’s just one more reason to love him.
5. Randy Johnson
Like any other fan of a struggling sports team, I have to cling to the past to endure the rough present of being a Mariners fan. A major part of that past involves the Big Unit, a 6’10” power arm who was as big a factor in that magical 1995 run as anyone. I’m not even mad that he’s a Diamondback in the Hall of Fame, he deserved every bit of success he got, and his mark on Seattle is undeniable.
He didn’t need any more help, but my love for Randy increased after he was elected to the Hall of Fame and gave a shoutout to #2 on this list: “The first person that comes to my mind was a teammate of mine for 9½ years and the greatest hitter I ever played with. I’ve faced a lot of Hall of Fame hitters, and my gosh, Edgar is the best hitter that I ever saw. I support him because he was my teammate, and I loved him, and he did so much for Seattle and made me look good during my career there. The first person on my ballot who would get my vote is Edgar.”
4. Felix Hernández
The Mariners have not been an easy team to play for over the last decade and a half, from a competitor’s perspective. Regardless, Felix has kept his faith in the squad and stuck around. His Cy Young award, along with his perfect game in 2012, cement him in Mariners lore as a hero.
Felix’s game has changed over the last two seasons with injuries, but he’s still the King. The King’s court in the left field corner is a stellar tradition and just another sign of Felix’s mark on Seattle. When the King signed his record-breaking contract in 2013, he said: “I always say that this is home. This is my life.” Any player willing to make Seattle home is fine by me, and it looks like I’m not the only one.
3. Ichiro Suzuki
The excitement that Ichiro brought with him to Seattle in 2001 was insane, and well merited on his part. He tore up pitchers, basepaths, and baserunners on his way to winning both AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP while helping the Mariners win a record 116 games. I’ll never forget being at one of the first games between the Mariners and Rangers that season when alex rodriguez (not worthy of capitalization) came back. As Pay-rod came to the plate for his first appearance, he hit a shallow bloop to right, which Ichiro snagged on a sliding catch, to the loudest cheers I’ve ever heard at a professional sporting event. For that, for all his achievements, and for his incredible longevity, He is truly one of the greatest Mariners of all time.
Never an active power hitter, Ichiro excelled at simply putting the ball in play and bolting down the line to beat out the throw. His rookie year, he was clocked at 3.6 seconds from home to first, which equals out to about a 4.8 40-yard dash time for you football fans. Keep in mind the clock starts when he hits a ball travelling somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 MPH with his back turned to the base, that’s impressive speed.
Between his numbers in Japan and the MLB, Ichiro has over 4,300 combined hits, over 3,000 in the MLB. Many have discounted his Japan numbers, but he is undoubtedly one of the greatest hitters of all-time, and a clear first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Also, THIS FREAKING THROW.
2. Edgar Martinez
I love Edgar. Like a lot. He spent his entire career with the Mariners, won the DH of the year so many times they named it after him, and played a crucial role in some of the most special hardware store ads known to man.
The 1990s Mariners had an impact on my life that’s difficult to quantify. My first t-ball jersey had the number 11, the next year I had number 6 for Dan Wilson. As a five-year-old, I remember legitimately struggling to choose between 24 and 11, but even then I had a respect and enthusiasm for Edgar that has only grown throughout the years.
His dedication to not only the Mariners organization but the Seattle area is admirable in every sense of the word. His work with the Hispanic community includes opening Plaza Bank, the first Hispanic bank in Washington, as well as countless hours of volunteer work with children’s hospitals and organizations throughout the Seattle area. His return to the Mariners as hitting coach has had a noticeable impact on the Mariner bats, and will continue for years to come.
Oh, and the hit The Double.
1. Ken Griffey Jr.
Who else? Actually, this was more difficult than expected. Griffey is the first real superstar of his caliber to play for the Mariners with all the numbers and the Nike line to back it up, but I always have a hard time settling the score between Edgar and Junior as the greatest Mariner of all time. In the end, Griffey was more marketable and more dynamic in his play.
Apart from the fact that Seattle likely wouldn’t have pro baseball without him, Griffey was and is an icon to baseball players everywhere. Basketball has Jordan’s jumpman symbol, baseball has Griffey’s swingman. His backwards hat in his Cooperstown shrine eternalizes the swag that only The Kid could bring to the game.