These former M’s went on to win a ring after starting the season in Seattle.
It’s a common theme amongst Mariners fans to note a players’ success after their departure from Seattle, or claim that the Emerald City is where playing careers die. Some fine examples of the former come in the form of players such as Chris Taylor, Justin Smoak, and Adrián Beltré, while the Seattle tenures of Chone Figgins, Érik Bédard, and Drew Smyly, amongst others, support the latter.
How immediate is the success of some of the players that leave Seattle, you may ask? It depends on what you define as ‘success.’ Of course, there is individual accomplishment, and that’s all fine and dandy, but most players devote their time to baseball for one common goal: to win the World Series. That’s what we’ll be looking at today.
In order to make this list, a player must have started his season with the Mariners and ended it with the team that eventually won the Fall Classic. That excludes any players who landed in their championship destination prior to the season’s start. We’re also going to go by one degree of separation, which means the player must have been traded or waived by the Mariners at some point during the season.
In other words, the Mariners must have had some sort of say in where the player wound up. We’ve found six players that fit this criteria in the 42 years the M’s have existed, all of whom are fairly spread out.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
INF TODD CRUZ – 1983 BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Todd Cruz began his MLB career a year after the Mariners joined the league, and by the time he found his way to Seattle, he had already been with four other clubs. The journeyman played all over the infield, and while he carried a dreadful .230/.246/.376 slash line in 1982, he was able to stick in the Emerald City for the following season.
His offensive numbers worsened, but the Orioles took a chance and purchased him from the Mariners on June 30, 1983. Cruz was worth -0.4 bWAR since his move to Baltimore; however, his defensive flexibility proved valuable to the team as they carried him on their ALCS and World Series rosters. The Orioles went on to defeat the Phillies four games to one to win their third and most recent championship to date.
Cruz wound up playing another 95 games for the Orioles before being released in the spring of 1985. He never played another inning in Major League Baseball, but walked away from the game with a ring on his finger.