As spring training is now underway we have hit 39 days until the first pitch at T-Mobile Park vs the San Francisco Giants. So, let’s look back at the history of Mariners wearing the number 39, specifically the 3 most notable careers spent in the #39 jersey.
Erik Hanson, Mariners #39 from1988-1993
Erik Hanson had a very good six-year career in Seattle. In those six years, Hanson started 143 games and had a 3.69 ERA, and five of his six seasons Hanson had an above-average ERA+ and in four he had an ERA+ higher than 120. Hanson went on to play five more years in the league after starting his career in Seattle, playing in one All-Star Game with the Boston Red Sox.
Rafael Soriano, Mariners #39 from 2002-2006
Rafael Soriano holds a place close to my heart as he was a member of the Mariners teams that are my earliest memories of baseball, and his disappointing career in Seattle is representative of a fan whose earliest memories come from 2002-2003.
Soriano came through the system as a top prospect and started 8 games in his rookie year, 2002. However, he would go on to have a 5-year career in Seattle that was spent exclusively as a middle reliever after his rookie season. He had a 2.89 ERA in 171 innings pitched in his 5 year career that included a lot of missed games due to injury before he was traded to the Braves.
His most famous injury, and one that has always stuck with me watching live and being 8 at the time, was when he was struck in the head by a rocket off the bat of Albert Pujols that forced him to miss games with a concussion.
Edwin Diaz, Mariners #39 from 2016-2018
Edwin Diaz is the most famous Mariner to wear 39 and enjoyed the most success while wearing the number. He is also a major reason why the Mariners won 89 games in 2018 as he had a career year with a 1.96 ERA and a league leading 57 saves. Diaz made his only All Star Game in 2018 and finished 8th in the cy-young voting.
Then Diaz was shipped off to the Mets in a deal that you might have heard of that could end up being a very good trade for the Mariners and already is a horrible trade for the Mets.