34 Days Until Mariners Opening Day: Two #34 Legends

Freddy Garcia of the Mariners unwinds a pitch during a game against the Cleveland Indians. AFP PHOTO/Dan LEVINE (Photo by DAN LEVINE / AFP) (Photo by DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Freddy Garcia of the Mariners unwinds a pitch during a game against the Cleveland Indians. AFP PHOTO/Dan LEVINE (Photo by DAN LEVINE / AFP) (Photo by DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitches.
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 26: Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pitches. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

We are now 34 days away from Mariners Opening Day, so let’s reflect on some of the big Seattle players to wear #34. I hope you can name at least two!

Freddy Garcia with the Mariners

Freddy Garcia was one of the popular players to wear #34, and someone that younger generations might not know very much of. Even for myself, I have a faint memory of who Freddy was, and I don’t think fully I understand the significance of him.

Freddy was one of those pitchers that didn’t throw very hard but he was still extremely effective. His skill led him to a 15-year career in the MLB with a career 4.15 ERA, 34.2 WAR, and 1,621 strikeouts.

Freddy Garcia was an All-Star twice (both when in Seattle), finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote in 1999, and finished third in the Cy Young Award vote in 2001.

Although Freddy began his MLB career in Seattle, he was originally a Houston Astros prospect before joining the Mariners in 1998.

Freddy gave Seattle 5.5 seasons of stellar pitching. His Mariners career ERA sits at 3.89 with a 76-50 record. His best season was in 2001, where he threw a 3.05 ERA, finished with an 18-6 record, and struck out 163 batters. This was his first All-Star selection and was in the Cy Young Award conversation.

To say the least, the longtime veteran’s best part of his career was in Seattle. He may even be in the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame conversation. For a deeper breakdown of #34, check out a Throwback Thursday article written by Chris.

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Felix Hernandez with the Mariners

Do I need to do much explaining? I’ll keep Felix Hernandez’s part short because we all know how important of a player he has been for Seattle. The future Mariners Hall of Famer has given Seattle 15 years.

Isn’t that crazy? Freddy Garcia pitched 15 years in the big leagues but across a handful of teams. It is also crazy to think that we might see Felix pitching in the MLB in another uniform this season.

The King won the Cy Young Award in 2010 and has been runner up twice. He has also made the All-Star team six times and even been in the top 25 for MVP voting.

Other Mariners that wore #34

There are a couple of notable names that wore #34 briefly while with Seattle. Some fans might remember when Randy Johnson wore #34 for one game back in 1993. Why?

Well, his friend and mentor Nolan Ryan had just suffered a career-ending injury. To honor him, Randy wanted to wear Ryan’s number and he did.

Former Seattle second baseman Bret Boone also briefly wore #34. During his rookie season in 1992, the young 23-year-old wore #34 on his back. Boone had that number on for 33 games before changing to #5 in 1993.

When he returned to Seattle in 2001, he wore #29 which you might be the most familiar with.

So, we fans remember Freddy and The King to wear #34, but both Boone and Randy wore #34 for a short time. #34 is not as significant as #51 in Mariners history, but it is quite up there.

Next. Felix Hernandez has his eyes on the HOF. dark

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