Seattle Mariners Information
The Seattle Mariners played their first season in 1977 at the Kingdome. The Mariners did not record a winning season until 1991. The team struggled throughout their first 13 seasons, as evidenced by finishing in last or next-to-last place in the American League West Division for 10 of those seasons. Although the team garnered stars such as famed spitballer Gaylord Perry, Alvin Davis, Harold Reynolds, and Mark Langston, the Mariners became known for their poor performance and lack of success during the 80's.
In 1989, the Mariners gave their fans a ray of hope by showcasing the first pick of the 1987 draft, Ken Griffey Jr. Lou Piniella was hired as the manager for the 1993 season, and would remain aboard as the team's skipper until 2002, winning two American League Manager of the Year Awards. In the mid 90's, the Mariners began to organize a solid team around a core of great baseball stars that included Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Jay Buhner.
The 1995 miracle season included a Seattle trip to the postseason, where the team won the American League Division Series, beating the infamous New York Yankees. The late 90's era of the Mariners was marked by the team setting an all-time record for most home runs hit in a single season. However, this was not enough to launch the team deep enough into the playoffs, as their pitching consistently faltered. In 1999, the team began play at their new stadium, SAFECO field. 2001 saw the Mariners pull together for an astounding 116 wins, a feat that was accomplished with the help of Japanese phenom AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Ichiro Suzuki. The team sent eight players to the all-star game that season, only to succumb to the New York Yankees for the second consecutive year in the American League Championship Series.
The Mariners are in the midst of rebuilding their team. In 2009, they posted an 85-77 record, finishing third behind the LA Angels and Texas Rangers. 2010 was a poor season for the team when they finished in fourth place at 61-101. They hired Eric Wedge as their new manager to lead them into the 2011 season, but they still finished in fourth place with a slightly improved record of 67-95.
During the off-season, the Mariners traded young pitcher, Michael Pineda, for highly-touted catcher, Jesus Montero. The Mariners will rely on him and returning stars Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez to guide their young talent with hopes to return to the playoffs in the near future in a tough AL West.