Mariner's History: Forgotten Moonshots Edition

Who doesn't love the long ball? Especially when fan favorites like Dae-Hoo Lee are doing the swatting.
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners / Rob Leiter/GettyImages

The Mariners have a storied history of having a few players with an almost cartoonish physique, a penchant for seizing the moment, and the ability to hit the cover off the ball. Put it all together, and you have the recipe for a player with a cult following. Logan Morrison and Russell Branyan fall into that category, but who else makes the cut? Without further adieu, let's dig into the past and highlight the top five homers by Mariner fan favorites. 

M's start a trend with Russell Branyan

The year is 2010, and the long ball is in; maybe that's why the Mariners sent two prospects (Ezequiel Carrera and Juan Diaz) to Cleveland in exchange for a 33-year-old first baseman with strikeout rates north of 33%. Either way, they did, and Russell Branyan entered the Mariner clubhouse and our hearts by providing 31 homers, many of the moonshot variety. 

Burly first baseman Adam Lind

The Mariners acquired Lind in one of those initially thought "good for both teams" type trades. The Milwaukee Brewers were rebuilding, and Seattle needed a power bat to enter the longball hitting, Lind, who would have mixed results in a Mariner uniform—in 2016, his lone season in the Emerald City resulted in 20 homers and only a 93 wRC+ in 126 games. It did have a couple of walkoff shots, including this one against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

M's link up with Marlins to snag Lo-Mo

Sticking with the trend, the Mariners shipped a talented yet control-averse reliever, Carter Capps, out and gained a fan favorite in the eccentric Logan Morrison. The lefty first baseman who would play a part in Fernando Rodney's arrow celebration also had one of those swings where you just knew when it was gone. Morrison would spend two seasons in Seattle (2015-2016), run solid walk and strikeout rates, and provide double-digit homers in the middle of the lineup. 

M's tap into the Far East for a KBO-star

At 34, Dae-Hoo Lee was already established in the Korean Baseball League, having launched 254 longballs in his first nine seasons. He took five years off and decided a chance at playing in the world's top league was worth strapping the cleats on. Lee didn't play the field, couldn't run, and didn't walk much (6.2%). However, what he did do was deliver the big hit when the team needed a lift, as evidenced by this walkoff homer off tough lefty Jake Diekman. 

Mike Zunino, the true two-outcome player

The year is 2012, and this catcher is playing in the College World Series. They just won the Golden Spikes Award for the best collegiate player in the nation and were lauded for their game management and power. That was enough for the Mariners to draft Mike Zunino third overall. They would rush him through the minors, claiming the defense and pitch calling would carry him as the bat caught up. The bat never aligned with the glove, arm, and pitch calling, but the power was evident. This blast was from his 2017 season, arguably his most successful (.251/.331/.509). 

George Herman Ruth makes his way to T-Mobile

There is something about big guys who can mash a baseball. David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, and even Mo Vaughn had a following because they hit long balls and seemed to take up the entire batter's box. Daniel Vogelbach was one of those guys. He didn't have the sustained success of the above players, but he had a season for the ages in 2019. Then 26, Vogelbach came into the season as the team's starting first baseman, and he didn't disappoint, clobbering 30 homers along the way. This one is arguably his most notable in the distance (444ft) and Aaron Goldsmith, the M's play-by-play announcer's call. 

I could dive deeper into the annals with Bucky Jacobsen or Ken Phelphs, but I'll cut our history lesson short for now. There's more than enough distance, long balls, and memories to recall with Dae-Hoo Lee alone.