Valentine’s Day Special: Mariners Players We Love

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz of the Mariners hug.
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz of the Mariners hug. /
1 of 5
Seattle Mariners players embrace.
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 26: Former Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma hugs Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Mariners Players That We Love

In the Valentine’s Day spirit, we together as a staff at Sodo Mojo have each put together a combination of our favorite all-time Mariner and our favorite current Mariner. We all have our favorites who we have that certain affinity for, and it’s no different for us. So, without any love lost, here are some of the Mariners that we just adore.

Jake’s All-Time Favorite Mariners Player

I would like to give a quick shoutout to Charlie Furbush, who on numerous occasions would walk up and have full-on conversations with me and my little brother during games in the bullpen, and even remembered my name when I said hello to him before a game at Camden Yards a while back. But my favorite Mariner of all-time is without a doubt Félix Hernández.

I would replicate his twisting motion in little league as a boy. I would tilt my hat ever so slightly to my left, just like Félix. I wore his blue and white twisted rope necklace around my neck 24/7. I also have a few truly special memories of King Félix. Before a game in 2014, he was hanging out with Fernando Rodney and Jesús Sucre in the outfield.

I was relentlessly calling out his name like any 11-year-old kid. He stopped what he was doing to come over and say hello. I took off my shirt, as I was wearing my Félix jersey, and handed that to him along with a baseball. Thankfully, an older gentleman let me borrow his sharpie and Félix signed my jersey and my ball. Both are still on display in my room at home.

Another memory of Félix I have is his post-game interview after his perfect game. My family was lucky enough to purchase tickets prior to August 15th, 2012, so I was blessed enough to witness history in its entirety. We made our way over to the mob of fans by the M’s dugout. I don’t recall much of what he said that day, but I do recall how Félix made the interview about the fans and talked about how it was for us, the people of Seattle.

That’s why I loved Félix. He could’ve forced his way out of the situation he was in any time during his 15-year career in Seattle, as he was the best pitcher in the American League and wasn’t sniffing the playoffs. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he left. But he didn’t. He stayed loyal to the organization that took a chance on a 16-year-old kid from Venezuela. He wasn’t just the king, he was our king.

Jake’s Favorite Mariners Player Right Now

This one was a lot easier for me to decide. My favorite current Mariner is undoubtedly Kyle Seager. As a little leaguer, I loved to copy his laid-back two-handed stance, only from the right side. I played third base growing up, and watching Kyle win that Gold Glove with his signature bare-handed do-or-die play on the occasional slow roller gave me a tremendous sense of pride and confidence playing third base myself.

What is there not to love about Kyle’s sidearm slings, his moonshot home runs, and his beautiful left-handed follow through. My affection for him continues to rise as he climbs the all-time Mariner leaderboards. Seager even had his very own awesome commercial spot. It will be a really sad day when he plays his final game in a Mariner uniform, but he has given me memories that will last a lifetime.