Mariners Editorials: Reliving the 2001 ASG at Safeco Field


Ichiro Suzuki led off the 2001 All-Star Game with a single (USA Today).

2001 seems like so long ago. In some ways it was, and it some ways, in the grand scheme of history, it wasn’t.

It was, without question, a trying and difficult year for America.

There have been a lot of trying and difficult years for the Seattle Mariners. We’re semi-engulfed in one right now. But the year 2001, sandwiched around America’s heartache, was one of the best years in franchise history.

Sure, the M’s didn’t win the World Series. But they did win 116 games, tied for an all-time record. They rejuvenated the city once again. They gave me great pride in that I could go and rub it in to all my Yankee-fan-friends, at least until the Yanks topped the M’s in the ALCS.

The 2001 Mariners gave us Ichiro’s rookie season. They gave us Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Paul Abbott, Aaron Sele, David Bell, Carlos Guillen, Mike Cameron and so many more.

And for one night in the middle of that 116-win season, Safeco Field gave us the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was a night to show off the great city of Seattle to the world. A night to show off one of the best teams in history.

Do you remember that night? Eight Mariners made the all-star team: Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, Bret Boone, Mike Cameron, Garcia, Jeff Nelson and Kazuhiro Sasaki. It was made sweeter by the fact that even though recently-departed Alex Rodriguez made the team, he was surrounded by Mariners — and that he was missing out on all the Pacific Northwest fun.

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The American League beat the National League that night, 4-1. Ichiro led off the bottom half of the first with a lead-off single off of former Mariner great Randy Johnson.

Ichiro finished 1-3. Boone was 0-2. Olerud and Edgar were 0-2 also. Mike Cameron went 1-3.

On the mound, Freddy Garcia worked a perfect inning for the win. Kazu got the save. Jeff Nelson also threw a scoreless inning.

As you watch the all-star game tonight and admire Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz with pride, remember the 2001 All-Star Game. For Mariners’ fans? There’s never been a better one.

Go M’s!

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