Mariners Analysis: Have A (Birth)day
By Adam Levi
#1 Ken Phelps The Ultimate Birthday Boy (8/6/87)
The 1987 season was not one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history, not by a long shot. That is of course unless you ask Ken Phelps, the Mariners first basemen/designated hitter. That was his most prolific year, in an otherwise underwhelming year for the budding Seattle franchise. Most impressive about his standout outing was that even in his best year as a pro, this was arguably one of his best games, and it happened on his birthday.
Through the first 4 innings the game moved back and forth between the California Angels and Mariners, and in the 3rd Phelps knocked the 1st of his 2 doubles on the night. He would have scored later in that inning but he was thrown out at home plate. His next at bat in the 5th he got that 2nd double, this time scoring 2 runs, breaking the game open now to 7-3. In the 6th, Phelps and the Mariners continued their scorching extra-base hit frenzy with 3 runs in the inning -a single shy of the team cycle- including Phelps’ personal 3rd hit, this time in the form of a triple (his only one that season).
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Phelps made sure to continue his stellar birthday spectacular when he drew a walk and later scored in the bottom of the 8th off a Rey Quinones single. That would be Phelps’ last plate appearance of the game he wishes would’ve never ended. His final stat-sheet read like such: 3-4, 2 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI and a walk. In the 29 years of Mariner birthday baseball since Phelps put a clinic, no Mariner has been able to dethrone his most incredible birthday showcase.