Choice #2 – 1997 Seattle Mariners
There are two reasons why I would choose the 1997 Mariners over the 1995 Mariners for The Show. First, you get to play with Ken Griffey Jr. at his absolute peak. Second, you’re getting to play with early prime Alex Rodriguez.
The 97 Mariners are a flawed team (bullpen is an abomination), but they have some of the biggest stars in the history of baseball, all on one team. You have Edgar Martinez, continuing to show why he’s the greatest designated hitter of all time. Randy Johnson, having as good if not better year in 1995, finished second in the AL Cy Young voting. ARod is a bonafide star, even with missing 22 games during the season.
The rest of the roster isn’t that bad either. The rotation is slightly better than in 1995, as Jeff Fassero and Jamie Moyer provide good depth behind the dominant Johnson. 1B Paul Sorrento has done an admirable job replacing Tino Martinez’s production, and once again, the “Bone” knocked 40 dingers.
The crown jewel of this Mariners squad is Jr. During the 97 season, Ken Griffey clobbered his way to 185 hits, a .304 average, a 1.028 OPS, 56 home runs, and 147 RBIs. Griffey wasn’t just the best player in the game, he was an icon. The world belonged to him and Michael Jordan.
The 1997 M’s won the AL West with a 90-72 record, before falling to the dominant pitching of the Baltimore Orioles in four games. It would sure be fun to see if we could get those bats clicking during October in the game.
1997 Seattle Mariners top-ranked players projections
Ken Griffey Jr.- 99
Randy Johnson- 98
Edgar Martinez- 92
Alex Rodriguez- 90
Jeff Fassero- 85
Dan Wilson- 83
Jamie Moyer- 82
Jay Buhner- 82
Joey Cora- 80
Paul Sorrento- 80