Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13- Seattle Mariners

I just took my temperature a little bit ago and it barely cracked the 100 degree mark, but… I’m still trying to keep my head up and my hands moving to get tonight’s post out for y’all. This is actually going to be a two-part post because the Seattle Mariners are the only team in which I have both of their Stars and Stripes caps from last season. The second part of this post will come on Memorial Day, and I promise that I will do some solid work on it for all of you Mariners and baseball fans out there.

The Mariners, like a lot of teams, have had their history of inviting active and retired veterans of the US and Canadian military into the ball park for a few special nights to pay tribute and praise. One night in particular came on August 4, 2008 when the Mariners invited all service members who were in town for Sea Fair, a month-long celebration and participation by the US Navy, Coast Guard and Canadian Navy similar to that of other major cities who honor the military with fleet weeks. On this particular night, as the Mariners took to the field against the Baltimore Orioles, former Mariners pitcher Brandon Morrow served as ambassador for the team to welcome everyone who came out for an early batting practice session and pre-game concert.

"We are very thankful for what the men and women in uniform do," said Morrow. "On behalf of the Mariners and myself I want to thank you guys. Thank you for what you are doing. I look up to you guys and I have a great appreciation for what you do."

The thing I’ve learned over the last few years, and especially with these posts, is that paying tribute to the military doesn’t necessarily have to be relegated to one night, or week, or month, etc. By simply thanking a neighbor or stranger in uniform on the street for the work that they’ve done for our country is more than enough. At night, before you go to bed or eat a family meal you can give thanks by honoring the memory of those who have fallen to protect the values of the constitution in which we all hold sacred.

Since the Mariners are a newer team I couldn’t find anyone who had played for the team who had also served in the military during, before or after their baseball career; however, there was one gentleman within the organization who is just a part of the legacy of this team as anyone who has donned the blue, gold or teal. His name… well, you’ll just have to sit and ponder that for the next few weeks.

7-1: I had to reach a bit back in history for these numbers, but my findings were quite interesting until I double-checked my work; which thankfully I did before I marked my cap up. The Mariners' first year in the Majors came at the start of the 1977 season. The former Seattle Pilots had moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers roughly a week before the 1970 season and started to make quite a name for themselves by the time ’77 rolled around. The Mariners; however, were starting from scratch. From ’77-2012 the Mariners have played on 31 of a possible 36 Memorial Days; however, two of those days came with double headers while five of those days the Mariners happened to have a day off. In 1977 and 1981 the Mariners played double dips with the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals respectively and took wins in both ends of each series. Not a bad concept to win 100 percent of your Memorial Day games when double headers are played, but I found a slightly better team accomplishment which has proved a little more consistent… sort of.

It’s interesting that I mentioned the Orioles earlier in this post as they are the subject of my marking. And I say that because I didn’t look at these numbers until after I wrote the initial paragraphs. In 1984 the Mariners lost to the Orioles by the score of 7-4 on Memorial Day that year despite the best efforts of Ken Phelps’s bat (Seinfeld reference). In 1985 and 1986 the Mariners and Orioles squared off again, this time with the Mariners reigning victorious. In 1988 the Mariners would topple the Orioles again… and again in 1992… and again in 1998… and again in 1999. In 2002 the Mariners didn’t play on Memorial Day; however, the day before (Sunday, May 26) they cleaned the Orioles’ clock to the tune of 6-2. It would be another nine years before the two met up again on Memorial Day which ended with a victory for Doug Fister giving the O’s the business by the score of 4-3. So, if you’re playing at home, the Mariners lost the first meeting in ’84 and proceeded to embarrass the black and orange seven times over the next 27 years. Unfortunately the Mariners play the San Diego Padres on Memorial Day this season otherwise I would have highly recommended that all of you baseball gamblers out there might benefit from betting on the Mariners if matchup number nine was set. 

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