SoDo Mojo readers pick their favorite Mariners

Many professional baseball players have called the Emerald City their home at some point.

And though the Mariners may not have a rich history in terms of, well, you know, winning, fans have still been treated to some quality entertainment from the many great names to have donned the trident or compass. While the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martínez, and Félix Hernández will be the popular choices amongst Mariners fans in deciding their favorite player in the team’s history, I wanted to know who fans gravitated to the most outside of the usual suspects.

So, last night, I sent out a tweet to our readers asking the question, “Who is your favorite unsung Mariner?”

We received a ton of responses with a wide variety in answers and I wanted to share some of those today with eyes set on doing a series highlighting quite a few of these players throughout the month of May.

Of course, the first batch of names that came in were players from the golden age of Mariners baseball, specifically those who were a part of the 1995 team. Rich Amaral, Joey Cora, and Mike Blowers all earned a few nods in our mentions; three guys who weren’t the faces of their franchise, but were perfect complementary pieces for the team’s superstars.

Amaral was an on-base machine, like Cora, and could also play practically every position on the field, while Blowers helped supplement some of the power lost when Griffey broke his wrist in ’95 by hitting 23 dingers.

University of Washington broadcaster Tony Castricone shared a personal favorite of his from that era as well: Tim Belcher. Appearing in just one season for the Mariners, Belcher posted a 4.52 ERA while in 179.1 innings pitched and holds a special place in Castricone’s heart for their shared connection to a small county in Ohio. Cool stuff.

As we head into the 21st Century, we see an even great variety in players pop up from Mike Cameron, Raúl Ibañez, and Jamie Moyer to Charles Gipson and Stan Javier.

I definitely did not expect to see Gipson’s name mentioned but it was definitely a pleasant surprise; outside of 2000, Gipson didn’t do much at the plate but his glove kept him afloat and he came through with some highlight plays over his five years in Seattle. I’m definitely interested in writing a much more detailed profile on him in the future.

Now going into the first years of the Mariners’ current playoff drought, we find players who may be more memorable than most just for being a glimmer of light in some of the darkest times for the franchise. Mark McLemore’s name came up quite a bit, as well as Randy Winn and Carlos Guillén.

We got to see some respect thrown Bucky Jacobsen’s way for his legendary 2004 in which he hit nine home runs and drove in 28 RBIs in 42 games.

Some bullpen arms got some love too, ranging from Edwin Díaz and Fernando Rodney to J.J. Putz and even Eddie Guardado.

But of course, you can’t talk about favorite Mariners relievers without mentioning Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen.

The response we received for this question was fantastic and there are so many names I wasn’t even able to go over in this article, but don’t worry—there will be plenty of content in the next month focusing on Mariners players such as these, as well as guys like Russell Branyan, Dae-Ho Lee, Dan Wilson, Hisashi Iwakuma, and many more.

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