The Double

griffey1995In 1995, the Seattle Mariners had their first breakthrough season in their young 19 years franchise history when they won their division ( AL West) for the first time by beating the California Angels in a tiebreaking game for the AL West title at the Kingdom ( Mariners home field) to advance to the MLB postseason for the first time as well. Mariners would get the wild card New York Yankees in the ALDS in which the MLB implemented after the 1994 World Series was cancelled. The home-field format in the Division Series was a bizarre one with a 2-3 format basically the lower seed would get the first two games at home then the higher seed would get the final three games home if necessary. The Yankees took the first two games at home including a 15th inning game 2 win to bring the Yankees within one win away from advancing to ALCS. The Mariners roared back at home and tying the series at 2-2 including dramatic game 4 where Edgar Martinez hit the game winning grand slam in the bottom of the 8th to give the Mariners an 11-8 game 4 win to send it to a deciding game 5 back at the Kingdom again. In game 5 the game was a tight dramatic affair, the Yankees took the lead 4-2 in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 8th, Mariners star player  hit his 5th home run of the series to cut the lead down to 4-3. Later in that same inning the Mariners would tie it 4-4 on a walk when the bases were loaded. The game would go to extra innings with Mariners star pitcher Randy Johnson making a rare relief appearance. The Yankees got a run to go up 5-4 in the top of the 11th and now were three outs away from advancing to the ALCS. The Mariners lived by their slogan “Refuse To Lose” as Cora got a bunt down and beat out a tag to first base. Griffey hit a single as Cora went to 3rd base as there were now runners on 1st and 3rd base with nobody out. The Kingdom was alive and well as Edgar Martinez had a chance to be the hero again. Martinez lined a double down the left field line scoring Cora as well as Griffey who slide home for series winning run as he was mobbed by his teammates. Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus had the famous call on the winning play. “The throw will be…late and the Mariners are going to be play for the American League Championship! I don’t believe it! it just continues! my, oh my!” The Mariners would fall to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS but it was a season that more than exceeded expectations for the Mariners. There was rumors that Seattle would lose their baseball team but after this magical season they were able to keep Mariners and eventually get a new stadium. It was simply the season that saved baseball in Seattle.

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