#7: RHP Shigetoshi Hasegawa
You already know I had to put Shiggy on here.
Though never a very consistent pitcher for the Mariners, Hasegawa’s 2003 season was such a great story that he had to be included on this list.
Born in Hyogo, Japan, Hasegawa was somewhat lost in the hype of the Mariners’ other two Japanese stars: Ichiro Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki. Middle relievers are never the talk of the town, but Shiggy would make himself known in ’03.
Hasegawa took over the closing duties for the Mariners when Sasaki landed on the disabled list after his infamous staircase injury.
Due to a successful first half prior to Sasaki’s injury, Shiggy found himself on the American League All-Star team in July. Suddenly, he was in the spotlight and rightly so.
In Sasaki’s absence, Hasegawa totaled 15 saves in 16 closing appearances, filling the role nicely on short notice.
Though Hasegawa’s three other years in Seattle weren’t as spectacular, he still became a fan favorite and earned his respect as one of the more memorable Mariners in recent history.