The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West Division. The team joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977 playing their home games in the Kingdome. Since July 1999, the Mariners' home ballpark has been T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field), located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle.
The "Mariners" name originates from the prominence of marine culture in the city of Seattle. They are nicknamed the M's, a title featured in their primary logo from 1987 to 1992. They adopted their current team colors – navy blue, northwest green (teal), and silver – prior to the 1993 season, after having been royal blue and gold since the team's inception. Their mascot is the Mariner Moose.
The organization did not field a winning team until 1991, and any real success eluded them until 1995 when they won their first division championship and defeated the New York Yankees in the ALDS. The game-winning hit in Game 5, in which Edgar Martínez drove home Ken Griffey Jr. to win the game in the 11th inning, clinched a series win for the Mariners, served as a powerful impetus to preserve baseball in Seattle, and has since become an iconic moment in team history.
The Mariners won 116 games in 2001, which set the American League record for most wins in a single season and tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the Major League record for most wins in a single season.
Through the end of the 2018 season, the franchise has finished with a losing record in 28 of 42 seasons. The Mariners are one of seven Major League Baseball teams who have never won a World Series championship, and one of two (along with the Washington Nationals) never to have played in a World Series (They are also the only American League team to have that distinction). They hold the longest playoff drought in all of the four major North American professional sports, having not qualified for the playoffs since their 116-win season in 2001.
The Mariners were created as a result of a lawsuit. In 1970, in the aftermath of the Seattle Pilots' purchase and relocation to Milwaukee as the Milwaukee Brewers by Bud Selig, the city of Seattle, King County, and the state of Washington (represented by then-state Attorney General and future U.S. Senator Slade Gorton) sued the American League for breach of contract. Confident that Major League Baseball would return to Seattle within a few years, King County built the multi-purpose Kingdome, which would become home to the National Football League's expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976. The name "Mariners" was chosen by club officials in August 1976 from over 600 names submitted by 15,000 entrants in a name-the-team contest.
The Mariners played their first game on April 6, 1977, to a sold-out crowd of 57,762 at the Kingdome, losing 7–0 to the California Angels. The first home run in team history was hit on April 10, 1977, by designated hitter Juan Bernhardt.
That year, star pitcher Diego Seguí, in his last major league season, became the only player to play for both the Pilots and the Mariners. The Mariners finished with a 64–98 record, echoing the record the 1969 Pilots once held; however, the team was able to avoid last place in the AL West by half a game. In 1979, Seattle hosted the 50th Major League Baseball All-Star Game. After the 1981 season, the Mariners were sold to California businessman George Argyros, who in turn sold the team to Jeff Smulyan in 1989, and then to Nintendo of America in 1992.
During the 1992–93 offseason, the Mariners hired manager Lou Piniella, who had led the Cincinnati Reds to victory in the 1990 World Series. Mariner fans embraced Piniella, and he would helm the team from 1993 through 2002, winning two American League Manager of the Year Awards along the way.
The 2001 Mariners club finished with a record of 116-46, leading all of Major League Baseball in winning percentage for the duration of the season and easily winning the American League West division championship. In doing so, the team broke the 1998 Yankees American League single-season record of 114 wins and matched the all-time MLB single-season record for wins set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs. At the end of the season, Ichiro Suzuki won the AL MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, and one of three outfield Gold Glove Awards, becoming the first player since the 1975 Boston Red Sox's Fred Lynn to win all three in the same season.
On October 22, 2008 the Mariners announced the hiring of Jack Zduriencik, formerly scouting director of the Milwaukee Brewers, as their general manager. Weeks later, on November 18, the team named Oakland Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu as its new field manager. Wakamatsu and Zduriencik hired an entirely new coaching staff for 2009, which included former World Series MVP John Wetteland as bullpen coach. The off-season also saw a litany of roster moves, headlined by a 12-player, 3-team trade that included sending All-Star closer J. J. Putz to the New York Mets and brought 5 players—including prospect Mike Carp and outfielder Endy Chávez from New York and outfielder Franklin Gutiérrez from the Cleveland Indians—to Seattle. Many of the moves, like the free agent signing of Mike Sweeney, were made in part with the hope of squelching the clubhouse infighting that plagued the Mariners in 2008. It also saw the return of Seattle favorite Griffey Jr. The 2009–10 offseason was highlighted by the trade for 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee from the Philadelphia Phillies, the signing of third baseman Chone Figgins and the contract extension of star pitcher "King" Félix Hernández.
Griffey Jr. announced his retirement on June 2, 2010, after 22 MLB seasons.
The Mariners fired field manager Don Wakamatsu along with bench coach Ty Van Burkleo, pitching coach Rick Adair and performance coach Steve Hecht on August 9, 2010. Daren Brown, the manager of the AAA affiliate Tacoma Rainiers, took over as interim field manager. Roger Hansen, the former Minor League catching coordinator, was promoted to bench coach. Carl Willis, the former Minor League pitching coordinator, was promoted to pitching coach.
The Mariners hired former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge as their new manager on October 19, 2010.
Dave Niehaus, the Mariners' play-by-play announcer since the team's inception, died of a heart attack on November 10, 2010, at the age of 75. In memory of Niehaus, Seattle rapper Macklemore wrote a tribute song called "My Oh My" in December 2010. He performed the song at the Mariners' Opening Day game on April 8, 2011.
On April 21, 2012, Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw the third perfect game in Chicago White Sox history against the Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle. It was the 21st perfect game in MLB history. Mariners starting pitcher Kevin Millwood and five other pitchers combined to throw the tenth combined no-hitter in MLB history and the first in team history on June 8, 2012. The last combined one occurred in 2003, when six Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees in New York. The six pitchers used in a no-hitter is a major league record. Félix Hernández pitched the first perfect game in team history, shutting down the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 at Safeco Field on August 15, 2012. It was the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Mariners became the first team in Major League Baseball to be involved in a perfect game two times in one season.
General Manager (GM) Jack Zduriencik was relieved of his position by the team on August 28, 2015. Jerry Dipoto, who formerly served as GM of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, was hired as the new GM of the Mariners one month later. On October 9, 2015, manager Lloyd McClendon was fired, and the search for a new manager was begun. Scott Servais was named the new Mariners' manager on October 23, 2015.
Nintendo of America issued a press release on April 27, 2016, stating it would sell most shares it held of Seattle Mariners ownership to First Avenue Entertainment limited partnership. Nintendo retained a 10% ownership share of the team after the sale was completed in August 2016.
The Mariners donned their current uniforms in 1993 (with a slight change to the color arrangement of the wordmarks made in 2015). White jerseys and pants are worn for most home games, while gray jerseys and pants are worn on the road. In 2011, the team brought back an alternate "Northwest Green" jersey that was previously part of the uniform set from 1994 to 1996 to be worn during Friday home games. A navy blue alternate jersey is worn for occasional road games; other variations of a navy jersey had been used as home alternates prior to the reintroduction of the Northwest Green jersey.
A navy blue cap that features a ball and compass "S" logo is paired with the home white, road gray, and navy blue jerseys. A variation of this cap with a Northwest Green brim is worn with the home alternate jersey.
In January 2015 the team announced a new alternate uniform to be worn for Sunday home games. This cream-colored "fauxback" uniform features the current logo and lettering style in a royal blue and gold color scheme, a throwback to the original team colors. Unlike the rest of the uniform set, the back of the jersey does not display the player name. The cap features the current cap logo in the throwback colors.
The Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona, has been the Mariners' home spring training facility since 1994. The complex is shared with the San Diego Padres. On March 25, 2013, in a 16-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, the Mariners broke the team record for total home runs during a spring training season with 52.
This is a partial list listing the past 21 completed regular seasons. For the full season records, see here.
T-Mobile Park (known as Safeco Field from 1999 to 2018) has been home to the Seattle Mariners since the first game vs. the San Diego Padres on July 15, 1999. There were 44,607 people in attendance that night.
Seattle Mariners former chairman and CEO John Ellis announced on June 14, 1997 the creation of a Mariners Hall of Fame. It is operated by the Seattle Mariners organization. It honors the players, staff and other individuals that greatly contributed to the history and success of the Mariners franchise. It is located at the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest in T-Mobile Park.
The Mariners plan to retire uniform numbers only very selectively and subject to substantially higher expectations than those applied to the Mariners' Hall of Fame. To be eligible to have one's number retired, in addition to the criteria outlined for the Mariners' Hall of Fame, the former Mariners should have either: a) been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and been in a Mariner's uniform for at least five years, or b) come close to such election and have spent substantially his entire career with the Mariners. Eligibility shall not commence until after the former player has been voted on once for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which for all practical purposes means six years after retirement.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s number 24 was retired at the beginning of the 2016 season, with the retirement ceremony taking place on August 6, 2016. Griffey had been elected to the Hall of Fame in January of that year.
Edgar Martínez's number 11 was retired during the 2017 season, with the retirement ceremony taking place on August 12, 2017. Martínez played his entire major-league career in Seattle and first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2010. His number 11 was retired in 2017, predating his 2019 election to the Hall of Fame and seemingly establishing the 58.6% of the vote he received that year as sufficiently "close" to election to satisfy the club's bylaws. Jersey number 11 was not issued to anyone else between Martínez's retirement as a player in 2004 until his return to the Mariners as hitting coach in 2015.
Currently, only one other player has definitively met the requirements to have his number retired: Randy Johnson, who played 10 seasons with the Mariners (1989–1998) and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2015.
Despite not officially retiring number 19, the team has not reissued it since Jay Buhner left the team in 2001.
Number 51, worn by Randy Johnson, was withheld from players from 1998 until 2001, when it was issued to Ichiro Suzuki upon his request after wearing it for his entire career in Japan. It was presumably taken out of circulation again, following Ichiro's 2012 trade to the Yankees coupled with Johnson's 2015 election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The number was once again worn by Ichiro upon his return to the Mariners in 2018, until retiring in 2019.
Number 14 (Lou Piniella) was not given to any uniformed personnel between Piniella's 2002 departure and 2015, but it was issued to third-base coach Manny Acta for the 2016 season.
Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.
Uniform number 00 is presumed off-limits, as it has been worn by the Mariner Moose since 1997 (outfielder Jeffrey Leonard was the last player to wear 00 for the M's, in 1990). From 1990 to 1996, the Moose wore the last 2 digits of the year of the current season.
As part of the seventh inning stretch, after the crowd is led in singing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" or "God Bless America" the public address system begins playing the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie". This commemorates a 1985 prank attempt to make "Louie Louie" the state song of Washington.
As part of the mid-inning entertainment during games, three animated hydroplanes race on the T-Mobile Park Jumbotron screen. Each boat is "sponsored" by a local business. Fans are encouraged to cheer the boats on. The hydroplane races are inspired by actual hydroplane races held annually during Seafair, Seattle's primary summer event.
Similarly, in a separate event, a baseball is hidden underneath one of three animated Mariners baseball caps and the fans are encouraged to shout out which cap they think the ball is under at the end of the caps' "dance." Both events are strictly for fun and no prizes are awarded.
In 1994, the Mariners started a promotion called "Buhner Buzz Cut Night" Inspired by Jay Buhner's shaved head; any fan who was willing to have their head shaved before the game—or was already bald—would receive a free ticket to the game and a T-shirt with a slogan such as "Bald is Buhnerful" or "Take Me Out To The Bald Game". Hair 10 inches or longer was collected for charity. The promotion continued until Buhner's retirement in 2001, with a year's hiatus in 2000, and is still remembered by fans today.
Rally Fries are a baseball tradition started by Mariners broadcaster Mike Blowers in 2007. During a game against the Cincinnati Reds, a fan tried to catch a foul ball along the right-field line but in turn spilled his tray of french fries along the track. While chatting on the air and seeing the mishap, Blowers' partner, Dave Sims, suggested that he should send a new tray of fries to the fan. Blowers agreed, and sent his intern to deliver a plate of fries to the man.
At the Mariners' next game, fans made signs and boards asking Blowers for fries as well. Coincidentally, every time the fries were delivered, the Mariners seem to score or rally from a deficit, and thus the "Rally Fries" were created. This became so popular with the fans that signs were even seen when the Mariners were the visiting team, although on August 1, 2009, Blowers established that he only gives out fries at home games.
Generally, Blowers will select a person or a group of people that appeals to him, whether it is through fans wearing elaborate costumes or waving funny signs and boards. The fries are usually delivered from Ivar's, a Seattle-based seafood restaurant with a location at T-Mobile Park. The amount of fries given out varies with the size of the winning group of fans. The winners are generally selected around the 5th or 6th inning, although potential candidates are shown in almost every inning beforehand.
As the 2011 season progressed, the Mariners marketing staff came up with an idea to encourage the growing fanbase of star pitcher "King" Félix Hernández. Every Hernandez start at T-Mobile Park is now accompanied by the King's Court, a designated cheering section for fans to sing, chant, and cheer while donning yellow T-shirts and K cards that are supplied by the team.
The King's Court is both a personal rooting section for Hernandez and trend-setter for T-Mobile Park. The team encouraged fans to dress like Larry Bernandez, Hernandez's alter ego from a Mariners TV Commercial, or show up in wacky costumes, rewarding the best with a ceremonial turkey leg.
The Supreme Court is a special occurrence when the King's Court is extended to the entirety of T-Mobile Park. The first Supreme Court was Félix's first home game following his perfect game in 2012. Since then it has occurred each year at Félix's first home game of each season.
The ultimately disappointing 2017 season had a few bright spots, including the establishment of the Maple Grove, a variation of the King’s Court which honors James Paxton rather than Félix Hernández. At home games where Paxton starts, a group of fans sit by a Maple Grove banner, typically in the left field bleachers. A potted maple tree is also present in their section, provided by the Mariners; the Grove dubbed the tree "Stick Rizzs", in honor of long-time Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs.
When Paxton got to two strikes on a batter, the Grove held up “Eh” Cards, a tip of the cap to Paxton’s home country of Canada and a nod to the "K" (for strikeout) cards held up in King's Court. Variant cards have also been produced for special occasions, such as when a planned Paxton start turned into a Hernández start (a King's Grove, with "K'eh" cards to cheer for Hernández). Other examples include when celebrating Paxton reaching 300 strikeouts, or in tribute to broadcaster Angie Mentink ("A" cards, to show support after she had publicly disclosed her being diagnosed with breast cancer).
The Maple Grove differs from the King’s Court in that it was created and organized by fans, while the Court was promoted by the Mariners marketing team. When asked, Paxton stated that fans creating the Maple Grove was really special to him and that he never imagined that something of the sort would ever be done for him. The Grove continued until Paxton was traded to the Yankees following the 2018 season.
Current roster and Baseball Hall of Fame
The following elected members of the Baseball Hall of Fame spent part of their careers with the Mariners.
Minor league affiliations
Radio and television
The Mariners' flagship radio station is KIRO-AM (710 ESPN Radio), which previously broadcast Mariners contests from 1985 to 2002. Former flagship stations include KOMO-AM (2003–2008), and KVI-AM 570 (1977–1984). Television rights are held by Root Sports Northwest. During the 2016 season, the Mariners averaged a 5.84 rating and 103,000 viewers on primetime TV broadcasts. In years past, Mariners games have also appeared in Seattle on over-the-air stations KING-TV, KIRO-TV, KTZZ-TV (now KZJO), and KSTW. Selected Mariners games are also available on Canadian television, due to an agreement between Root Sports Northwest and Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.
Since 2013, Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith have called games on the radio. The television broadcasts are anchored by play-by-play announcer Dave Sims and color commentator (and former Mariners player) Mike Blowers. Seattle radio personality Matt Pitman hosts the post-game show on the Mariners' radio network, along with clubhouse reporter Shannon Drayer. Spanish-language radio broadcast duties are handled by Alex Rivera on play-by-play and former second baseman Julio Cruz providing color commentary.
The Mariners' broadcast team for 2010 featured Dave Niehaus and Rizzs—back for their 32nd and 23rd seasons with the club, respectively—as well as Sims and Blowers. For the first three innings of each game, Niehaus worked the television broadcast with Blowers while Rizzs and Sims handled radio duties; after the third inning, Niehaus and Sims traded places. Niehaus, who had broadcast for the Mariners since their inaugural season of 1977, died on November 10, 2010. For the 2011 season, Dave Niehaus' duties in the broadcast booth were filled by a collection of former Mariners broadcasters such as Ron Fairly, Ken Levine, and Ken Wilson; and former Mariners' players such as Dave Valle, Dan Wilson, Jay Buhner, and Dave Henderson.
Tom Hutyler has been the Mariners' public address announcer since 1987, first at the Kingdome, and presently at T-Mobile Park. While KOMO 1000 AM was the Mariners' flagship radio station, Hutyler occasionally hosted the post-game radio show.
Franchise records and award winners
- Highest Batting Average: .372, Ichiro Suzuki (2004)
- Most Runs: 141, Alex Rodriguez (1996)
- Most Hits: 262, Ichiro Suzuki (2004) (Major League Record)
- Highest Slugging %: .674, Ken Griffey Jr. (1994)
- Highest On-Base %: .479, Edgar Martínez (1995)
- Highest On-Base Plus Slugging: 1.107, Edgar Martínez (1995)
- Most Doubles: 54, Alex Rodriguez (1996)
- Most Triples: 12, Ichiro Suzuki (2005)
- Most Home Runs: 56, Ken Griffey Jr. (1997, 1998)
- Most Grand Slams: 4, Edgar Martínez (2000)
- Most RBIs: 147, Ken Griffey Jr. (1997)
- Most Stolen Bases: 60, Harold Reynolds (1987)
- Most Wins: 21, Jamie Moyer (2003)
- Lowest ERA: 2.14, Félix Hernández (2014)
- Most Strikeouts: 308, Randy Johnson (1993)
- Most Complete Games: 14, Mike Moore (1985) and Mark Langston (1987)
- Most Saves: 57, Edwin Diaz (2018)
- Most Home Runs: 417, Ken Griffey Jr.
- Most RBIs: 1261, Edgar Martínez
- Most Runs: 1219, Edgar Martínez
- Most Walks: 1283, Edgar Martínez
- Most Hits: 2542, Ichiro Suzuki
- Most Stolen Bases: 438, Ichiro Suzuki
- Highest Average: .322, Ichiro Suzuki
- Highest Slugging %: .561, Alex Rodriguez
- Highest On Base %: .418, Edgar Martínez
- Highest OPS: .934, Alex Rodriguez
- Most Games Played: 2055, Edgar Martínez
- Lowest ERA: 3.01, Tom Wilhelmsen
- Lowest WHIP: 1.14, Hisashi Iwakuma
- Most Innings Pitched: 2658, Félix Hernández
- Most Wins: 168, Félix Hernández
- Most Strikeouts: 2467, Félix Hernández
- Most Saves: 129, Kazuhiro Sasaki
- 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft
- 1977 Major League Baseball expansion
- 1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
- 1995 American League Division Series
- 1995 American League West tie-breaker game
- 1997 American League Division Series
- 2000 American League Division Series
- 2001 American League Division Series
- 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
- The Double (Seattle Mariners)
- Félix Hernández's perfect game
- Rick Kaminski
- List of professional baseball stadiums in Seattle
- List of Seattle Mariners broadcasters
- List of Seattle Mariners first-round draft picks
- List of Seattle Mariners managers
- List of Seattle Mariners minor league affiliates
- List of Seattle Mariners no-hitters
- List of Seattle Mariners Opening Day starting pitchers
- List of Seattle Mariners seasons
- List of Seattle Mariners team records
- List of Seattle Mariners uniform promotion games
- Edward "Tuba Man" McMichael
- Seattle Mariners all-time roster
- Seattle Mariners award winners and league leaders
- Seattle Pilots
- Seattle Rainiers
- Sports in Seattle
- Washington Huskies baseball
- Washington State Cougars baseball