March Madness: Sodo Mojo’s Top 32 Mariners Moments
#4: Ichiro Walks off Mo vs #5: Old Time Religion
In what might be the most interesting matchup in this region, we pit two Mariners legends against each other. To begin with, the #4 seed belongs to newly reacquired Mariner, Ichiro Suzuki.
Known for his slashing approach and dashing base running, power isn’t typically associated with Ichiro’s game. But in one of his finer moments with the team, Ichiro hit one of the most memorable homers in team history.
It was a classic Felix Hernandez start against the Yankees. Felix had thrown 8 innings of 2 run ball against the Bronx Bombers, and still was in line for the loss. The Mariners trailed 2-1, with the greatest closer in history standing on the bump.
With 2 outs, and Michael Saunders standing on second, Ichiro wasted no time, attacking the first pitch he saw, and sending 29,000 fans home happy. Here is what it looked like:
Baseball doesn’t get any better than when 2 future Hall of Famers face off against each other with it all on the line. And on this night, the score stood Ichiro 1, Mariano 0.
#5. Old Time Religion
Our #5 seed belongs to the best player in franchise history. Back for his second tour of duty, Griffey was able to wake up his old magic tricks. Down 3-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in June of 2009, Griffey reminded us all of 2 things: baseball is the best sport in the world, and Dave Niehaus could still reach back for his 99 mph fastball when he needed it.
The call from Dave Niehaus may artificially raise this moment to this seed. A game tying homer in June against Arizona is hardly memorable. But to some who missed the glory days, and to some who never knew the wonder of Dave Niehaus, this moment was a glimpse into the past.
710 ESPN radio host Mike Salk had this to say:
"“Niehaus’ call is just, it’s gold. It’s as good a home run call as you will ever hear from any announcer as he’s yelling, ‘the old time religions lives,.“It’s so amazing. That was the first time I truly grasped how great Dave Niehaus was and what it could be like to be a Mariners fan after living my entire life elsewhere.”"
The call was great. The moment was great. And 2 Mariners legends were the main players in it. Sorry guys, but this is a fantastic moment.