Ken Griffey, Jr. and his quest to save the Mariners | Dorktown

Ken Griffey, Jr. and his quest to save the Mariners | Dorktown


(soft string music) – [Narrator] The son of Ken Griffey is the most beloved baseball
player of the last 50 years. Fans were worried that they
wouldn’t ever get to see a player make it into the Hall of Fame with a Mariners hat on his plaque, not because Junior wouldn’t get in. Everyone saw that coming 20
years before the fact but, because it was rumored that his plaque would be sculpted with
his hat on backwards. He’d always worn it like that, not as any kind of statement, but because he was always wearing his dad’s Reds hat as a little kid, and it kept falling in his face
unless he turned it around. The public image of Junior
was one of a guy who, on top of being astounding at baseball, had more fun than anyone, always laughing, starring
in funny commercials, pulling increasingly
ingenious and elaborate pranks on his teammates. The story of the real Ken Griffey Jr. was incompatible with what we saw. (soft string music) The Mariners made Junior 1987’s number one overall draft pick, signing him right out of high school. He became a celebrity very quickly, tearing through the Minors, and receiving a spring training invite with big leaguers in 1989. He played so well that
manager Jim Lefebvre had no choice but to start him at center field on opening day. “He’s shown us he can do everything,” Lefebvre said. “There isn’t one thing he can’t do.” Others agreed. In their 1989 set, the brand new Upper Deck baseball company reserved their number one slot, traditionally reserved for a superstar, for a 19-year-old who had yet to appear in a single Major League Baseball game. He didn’t let them down. Wins above replacement is a metric that attempts to estimate a player’s overall value to his
team in terms of wins. Junior’s mark in 1989 was just over three, the best baseball had seen from a teenage position
player in over 60 years. His season could have been even better had he not missed a month of action after slipping and falling in the shower. Junior was already becoming the
first great Seattle Mariner. The first era, the era of forgotten bums piecing together losing season after losing season in a far flung corner
of the country was over, and Junior ended it. Most have no idea of what he went through. At age 17, he was shipped off from
his Cincinnati home to play Minor League ball
in Bellingham, Washington. He literally could not have
been sent any further from home. Ken Senior, a three-time All-Star, knew what it was to be a baseball star, but his son’s journey was
something else entirely. Junior was saddled with
massive expectations before his 18th birthday. The pressure coupled with the loneliness of being so far from home
weighed on him enormously. He struggled with depression, and years later, he would disclose that
he once made an attempt on his own life in this time. But that time, and every time, Senior was there, helping him navigate an experience that no one can truly be ready for. What was once a combative relationship between the two faded as
Senior came to recognize the burden his son was carrying. Sometimes, he said, “The only privacy he gets
is out in center field.” (smooth music) (calm bouncy music) Here’s Junior during a game in 1990 chasing down an outfield fly. His dad is in the building looking on when Junior pulls a classic Junior move, and steals the catch
from the left fielder. All Senior can do is laugh. (bright keyboard music)
There he is. The 40-year-old Griffey was teammates with his 20-year-old son. Not only that, the two were neighbors in the outfield, and batted right next to
each other in the lineup. In one of baseball’s best
known pieces of trivia, they became the first father-son duo to hit back-to-back home runs. Sure, acquiring Senior in the first place was probably a publicity stunt, but you’re gonna hear these
words from me quite often. Who cares? In ’92, thanks to unreliable pitching, they followed up their
first ever winning season by dipping far into the red. Seemingly undoing years
of positive momentum, they had now finished
dead last in the standings for the sixth time in
their 16-year history. For reasons we’ll eventually get into, this wasn’t such a bad thing. Meet Jay Buhner. In one of the great heists of the 1980s, the Mariners had fleeced
the dreaded Yankees out of the power hitting right fielder, giving up only Ken Phelps in return. Okay, so, here’s my chance to solve
a decades-old mystery for people who watch Seinfeld, but didn’t watch baseball. Remember the episode where Frank Costanza starts yelling at George
Steinbrenner out of nowhere about some guy named Jay Buhner? – What the hell did you
trade Jay Buhner for? (audience laughs) You don’t know what the hell you’re doing! (audience laughing) – [Narrator] And
Steinbrenner goes on instead about some guy named Ken Phelps? – [George] My baseball
people love Ken Phelps’ bat. They kept saying Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps. – [Narrator] Well, this is
what Frank was so mad about. (quirky upbeat music)
(mumbles) Unlike Griffey, Buhner is not a five-tool player. He doesn’t steal bases, hit for average, or field all that well. He is, however, a master
practitioner of blurping. Blurping is a term Buhner
himself came up with, and it refers to the
act of vomiting on cue for the purpose of eliciting pukes from nearby sympathy vomiters. Why? These are the Seattle Mariners. We’ll never be able to
answer ‘why’ questions. ‘When’, ‘what’, ‘who’? Sure, we can help you
with those questions, but not ‘why’. Buhner demonstrated his
true mastery of the craft during a game in 1992. In right field, Buhner executed a blurp, spilling his lunch on the turf. It must have been a
remarkable performance, because when left fielder Kevin Mitchell watched from about 200 feet away, he became queasy, and began puking as well. Finally, Griffey Junior looked
over from center field. He couldn’t hold it in, and began to vomit. The entire Seattle Mariners outfield was vomiting at the same time. Jay Buhner had just
executed the triple blurp in the middle of a baseball game. (soft sting music) – [Reporter] By the
time 1993 rolled around, Griffey’s game reached new heights, and at age 23, was making history to be as great as he
was as young as he was. On July 25th, after homering in each of the previous five nights, this shot off Jose Mesa
made him the youngest player to ever go deep in six consecutive games. Then he did it again
in the game after that. Then he did it again
in the game after that. – [Niehaus] First pitch
from Banks (mumbles) There it goes!
(audience cheers) See ya later! Upper deck, Griffey has tied the Major League record! Holy cow, the kid has done it! – [Reporter] Tying the all-time
record at eight straight, that to this day has only been
done by two other players, regardless of age. When the dust settled on that season, he topped a batting average of .300 to go along with 45 homers. It all led to the most
total bases by a 23-year-old since Hank Aaron back in 1957. At that point, Griffey’s career totals
included 132 homers, 1,428 total bases, and 453 RBI. That was the most career dingers anyone his age had hit
since Frank Robinson. Only Mel Ott over 60 years prior had accumulated that many total bases, while a player so young
hadn’t driven in over 450 runs since Ted Williams prior to departing MLB to fight in World War II. Combined with his fourth
straight gold glove, if it wasn’t clear before, 1993 removed any and all
doubt that we were witnessing a once in a generation talent blossoming before our very eyes. (dramatic bouncy keyboard music) – [Narrator] Just like the 1981 season, 1994 was shortened by a labor dispute, and just like ’81, ’94 was monumentally
weird for the Mariners. One of the most sought-after records was the single-season home run mark of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961. In the three-plus decades to follow, only three guys, 1965 Willie Mays, 1977 George Foster, and 1990’s Cecil Fielder came
within even 10 of that number, and those guys lost pace with him before the
season was even half over. But in 1994, Griffey, who we see here in green, helped to lead an armada of players in pursuit of Maris and his record. Matt Williams, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds and Albert Belle were bum-rushing the history books, but it felt like Junior, who of course was capable of going on home run tears without warning, had the best shot. The strike wiped out the season in August, and ever since we’ve been left to wonder what would have happened. I’m left in a state of
personal conflict here. On one hand, collective actions are good, and labor strikes are cool. On the other hand, I was looking forward to
seeing where the squiggly lines were gonna go on my computer screen. The strike also denied us a
chance to witness some history that was headed in the opposite direction. Over the years, there had been seven teams in the AL West. With that much competition, the Mariners had no chance of contending. But in ’94 the American
League was realigned. There were now only four teams. And as luck would have it, all four were garbage. The strike mercifully abbreviated what probably would have ended up as the worst division in baseball history. At the end of it, the Rangers were leading the West with a 52-62 record. The Mariners, despite being as bad as ever, were only a couple of games out. It was the closest they’d ever come to first at the end of the season. And if everyone else getting worse is what it took to get the
Mariners into contention, so be it. Forget their win/loss record, though. Who cares? The Seattle Mariners seemed like the team of the future. They were wearing new uniforms now, with their re-designed logo
and an electric blue jersey. In a time when domes were still cool, they played in the Kingdome, which sat in the shadow of the Cascades, and in the middle of a
mysterious distant city whose cultural exports were computer stuff, and Nirvana and the Space Needle. Around this time, I was growing up in places
I found ordinary, because you always think the place
you live in is ordinary. It was easy to assign an air of mystique to this far-away futuristic paradise and the superhero who lived there. After some early-’90s rumblings of a potential move to Florida, the anxiety of keeping baseball in Seattle had vanished as well. In a turn of events that sounds made up by an eight-year-old, a majority stake in the Mariners was bought by Hiroshi Yamauchi, the president of Nintendo. Yamauchi was a billionaire who had never been to a baseball game, didn’t know who Ken Griffey, Jr. was, and seemed to be more interested in expanding Nintendo of America’s footprint than actually turning a profit. He wasn’t prepared for how
happy the Mariners actually made people. As he put it, it was as though the
money he spent was ‘alive’. Throughout its history,
Seattle baseball was regularly in trouble, and its only victory was in simply being allowed to exist. Now, they had real identity. They had their superstar. They were the coolest team in baseball. Somehow things had come together. (soft string music) It was the perfect time for things to fall apart. (dramatic orchestral music) While the team was
warming up on July 19th, four of the Kingdome ceiling tiles fell and collapsed into the seats. Nobody was hurt, but Mariners games were immediately relocated to other venues and the players’ strike ensured that there would be no more Mariners home games throughout the rest of the season. The team’s ownership group leveraged this to demand public money for a new stadium to replace the Kingdome, which wasn’t yet 20 years old. If they didn’t get this funding, they would sell the team, likely to someone who would move them out of town. There was no way, no way, this was happening again. Not now. Not the minute Seattle baseball finally found relevance after all these decades. It wasn’t fair. In a different, more normal world, a baseball team would
build a baseball stadium and play there and that would be that. It’s as though Seattle baseball
has to perpetually fight simply to exist, as though it’s running afoul of the order of the universe. It’s determined that a
special election will be held in September of 1995. The public will in effect decide whether an increase in sales tax is worth keeping the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners themselves, who
have never reached the playoffs, or even finished better than
third in their division, have no choice but to convince the public by making their case on the field. They’ll be led by Lou Piniella, now three years into
his decade-long career as the Mariners manager, and beloved by players and fans alike. Piniella had been Ken Griffey
Senior’s teammate in New York, and when he became manager of the Yankees, Senior was traded away. A couple years later, Senior was playing for the Reds, who hired Piniella to
be his manager again, and under Piniella’s watch, Senior was traded away again. Regardless, Senior always liked
Piniella, and so did Junior. No one in recent memory
can throw a more theatrical temper tantrum than Lou. He’ll deliver his Magnum Opus in Cleveland a few years from now, in which he enters a sort of fugue state and doesn’t even remember
everything he said or did. After arguing a call and getting thrown out of the game, he indignantly throws his hat into the infield. He spends another moment
in the umpire’s face, then spins around and kicks his hat. He kicks again, more angrily this time, and just about misses his hat entirely. Lou switches course after this, punting the hat into shallow center, and jawing with the umps some more. He stomps over, bends down, flips the hat back into the infield, and squares up for his kick this time, punting it further. Five kicks. Six kicks. Seven, until he navigates back into the dirt. Finally, he picks up his cap and makes his exit, but not before he throws it into the crowd with one final flourish. A helpful Cleveland fan
throws it back at him, which Lou seemed to
appreciate after the game. Point being, Lou Piniella, is the appropriate man to lead this team. The Mariners started the season 14-12. The evening of May 26th, the Orioles’ Kevin Bass smacks one deep into right-center. It’s the seventh inning of a regular-season baseball game in May. Griffey doesn’t have to do
what he’s about to do, but Ken Griffey, Jr. can only be great. He has no other choice. He sprints about 20 miles, takes off, throws himself at the wall, makes one of the most
iconic catches of the 1990s, and hits the ground 10
feet away from his hat. (dramatic orchestral music) It’s estimated that the Mariners, who haven’t done much of anything in six seasons with their superstar, will be without him for three months. (dramatic orchestral music) Meanwhile, the Mariners and the California Angels are fighting for the division lead. While the Mariners spend
June trading wins and losses at an even rate. The Angels are positioning
themselves for a run, which they finally begin in mid-July. In this span, they go a remarkable 17-3 and even those three losses were squeakers. One was a one-run loss, one an extra innings loss, one a walk-off, Those 17 wins? More than half came by at least five runs. The Angels are clobbering
the American league. In fact, up to this point in the season, they have far and away
the best run differential, in all of baseball; the Mariners all the way down here at +3, almost the definition of mediocre. Throughout the Angels’ streak, they’ve gone nowhere and are
now 13 games out of the lead. Time is running out. (dramatic orchestral music) Griffey actually returns to the field a few games ahead of schedule, but nothing much changes. California’s holding
steady as a rock at about 25 games over .500 — and Seattle is just lying
there like a beached whale. This is all they’d ever done. Even now, with the public
vote less than a month away, and the people of Seattle to impress, the Mariners had failed to present any other version of themselves. It seemed as though they had no other version of themselves across
their entire 19-year history. They’ve experienced one
day at 10 games over .500. Approximately 24 hours in August of 1991. That’s it. Suppose they somehow rally in this very short window and get there again. Great. They’re less than halfway there. This is a team with no
meaningful past to speak of, and in all likelihood, no future. There is only the present. There is nothing to do but march. Whoa. (dramatic orchestral music) Something terrible has happened
to the California Angels. They’re getting ejected, they’re fighting with each other. In general, they’re starting to lose it, and it’s easy to understand why. Losing nine games in a row while holding the division
lead is horrifying enough. But this one is like no other. Over these nine games, they’ve been outscored by 48 runs or just over five per game. They’ve gotten absolutely thumped. Now it’s true that up to this point, there have been 36 nine-game streaks in baseball history that were this bad. But look at who they happened to. Almost all of these
teams were way under .500. They were already totally cooked by the time the losing streak began. And in fact a good number
of these streaks belonged to some of the worst teams in
the history of the game. The only team anywhere
near the ’95 Angels is the 1957 Redlegs who were 61-49, but they were in fourth place and a postseason appearance was
pretty unlikely for them. These Angels were in first
place by a huge margin. They were cruising. In what feels at first like too little, too late, the Mariners finally
smell blood in the water. When they wake up on the
morning of September 19th, they’re suddenly only two games behind. (dramatic bouncy music) It’s their big day. (calm violin music) That evening, they rally
from a 4-1 deficit to take the Rangers into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Griffey finds himself
down to his final strike. What’s important to know
about Junior is that he’s far more than just a power hitter. Most pitches aren’t
home run opportunities, but many, including some
well outside the strike zone, (mumbles) are a chance to slap one through. And with a man on second, – that is all the Mariners need. – (here it comes) and it’s swung on and lined off the glove of the third baseman Ortiz.
(audience cheers) Here comes Strange, the Mariners win it! – Down South, the Angels lose again. Then, they watch the news and wait. (calm string music) With most of the ballots counted, the measure to fund a new Marriner stadium, thereby keeping them in Seattle, currently leads by a thin margin. But these are just the
voters who showed up today. Around 45,000 absentee
ballots are still out there, and they were cast some time ago by voters who hadn’t yet seen the lunacy
that’s currently unfolding. These voters have been
watching these Mariners, the miracle Mariners. The votes yet to be counted, are from people who know
nothing but … these Mariners. (sharp sting music) The counting continues. The next day, it’s announced that with close to half a
million votes counted, the lead has shrunk to 300. There are still 15,000
votes yet to be counted. That night, the Mariners
come from behind again, to knock off the A’s 10-7. Down in Texas, the Angels
answer with another loss. This happens again, and again. The Seattle Mariners are now leading the American League West. If they hold on, they’re headed to the playoffs for the first time in their history. (dramatic orchestral music) It all happened so quickly, it’s disorienting. The Angels cheated fate by dropping nine in a row down the home stretch, and keeping a comfortable lead. But then, after briefly gathering themselves, they’d dropped nine in a row, again. Losing streaks of this size
are extraordinarily rare in baseball. Since the Angels were
founded 35 years ago, they’ve only suffered a handful, and typically during
seasons in which they were way out of the playoff race and didn’t have much to play for. Now, at the worst possible time, they’ve suffered two in the space of a month. No new results from King
County votes since the 21st. It’s time to meet two more heroes. First Tino Martinez, just another of the Mariners seemingly endless supply of power hitters. His career will be defined by memorable clutch home runs, although many of them come
after he leaves Seattle. And then, there’s Dave Niehaus. – [Alex] I have zero emotional investment in the Mariners, but the way their long time broadcaster Dave Niehaus would call big moments, still made my goosebumps get goosebumps. And whether it was his
trademark phrases like, ‘Breaking out the rye bread and mustard for a grand salami,’ or just his overall
infectious enthusiasm that made a random Tuesday night in August feel like Game 7 of the World Series, he simply had a unique
way to connect with fans and bring the game to life. Tragically, Niehaus was taken from us far too soon shortly following the 2010 season, leaving a void that’s
truly impossible to fill. For so long, through years
and years of misery, the one thing Mariner fans could take solace in was knowing
they’d be treated to Niehaus’ pure brilliance for three
hours night after night, starting with their first pitch in 1977 and continuing for 34 years and nearly 5,300 games thereafter. – [Jon] It’s a wild, back-and-forth game between
the Mariners and Athletics. Down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Tino Martinez steps in
with a man on first. Listen closely here as Dave Niehaus’ voice momentarily fades out before
returning closer to the mic. – [Niehaus] Here comes
the pitch to Tino swung on and belted, deep to right field, (audience cheers) And that will be flying away. And the Mariners win it! He was probably spinning in his chair. – I asked in part one why anyone would wanna watch the Mariners in those atrocious early days. Well, there’s your reason. Regardless of the quality, or lack thereof, of the product put forth on the field, Niehaus always, always, always provided an A++ broadcast. Bad news comes on the 26th. The measure has, for the
time being, lost the lead. But it’s still alive. There are still about
3,000 ballots yet to be counted. After weeks of sniping at one another from different parts of the country, the Angels finally have
to drag their sorry asses up to Seattle and meet their conquerors in person. They get thumped, 10-2 to thanks to homers
from Griffey and Jay Buhner. It’s their seventh consecutive win, and the Mariners now lead
the West by three games, With just six to play. (loud buzz music) The next day, it becomes clear. The vote has failed. (cal keyboard music) The Mariners lose to the
Angels that afternoon, win their next two games
against the Rangers, and end up splitting the series in Texas after getting thumped 9-2 and 9-3. They left exactly enough room for the Angels to catch up to them, and the Angels did. Their 144-game schedule ends in a tie. It necessitates something
Major League Baseball hasn’t seen in 15 years. A special one-game tiebreaker between the Mariners and Angels to decide who goes to the playoffs. What comes next for the Mariners, and where they end up playing next year, no one can really say. But if nothing else, this much is guaranteed: The Seattle Mariners will
play one more baseball game. The final game of an absurd
season will turn out to be its most absurd. For one, the timing is odd. This is without question
the most important game the Mariners have ever played,
and yet the first pitch is at 1:00 PM on a Monday afternoon. Oh, at least it was the biggest story of that Monday afternoon, right? No, it wasn’t. It’s time to meet Randy Johnson. (soft string music) Who at six-foot-10,
became the tallest player in the history of Major League Baseball when he entered the bigs in 1988. Everyone thought he had greatness in him. It showed up in flashes, most notably in 1990 when he threw the first
no-hitter in Mariners history. But he led the league in walks three years in a row, and his ERA hung around four, placing him around the middle of the pack. And then, Nolan Ryan came down. Before a Mariners-Rangers game in 1992, Johnson ran into the future Hall of Famer and confessed that
something in his mechanics wasn’t working. Ryan said, “Hey, try landing on the front of your foot instead of your heel. Randy listened, and just like that, his numbers drastically improved, and he was well on his way to becoming one of the most accomplished pitchers baseball has ever seen. He was also among the most intimidating. He had a 102 mile-per-hour fastball, but his most devastating pitch was a 90 mile-per-hour
slider that had so much on it that it looked like a fastball. It was almost unfair. It was called Mr. Snappy. – [Alex] So with the
future of the organization hanging in the balance, Seattle skipper Lou Piniella had the ultimate ace up his sleeve, as he was able to give the
ball to Johnson on short rest. And it’s completely clear
why that seemingly risky move wasn’t so risky, but was in fact the obvious call. The Big Unit wasn’t just
the team’s top pitcher, but he was the very best in the entire American League by miles. In terms of both OPS
allowed and ERA, no one was close to him. He notched at least 12
strikeouts in nine games, existing on his own stratosphere relative to the rest of the league, on his way to fanning nearly 300 batters despite an abbreviated MLB season. So while Seattle had the runaway
Cy Young-winner on the hill, the Angels ace was out of commish, with All-Star Chuck Finley having tossed over 100 pitches the prior afternoon to get them to this game. That meant that Angels hopes rested on longtime Marriner Mark Langston, who Seattle had traded to Montreal in the deal that landed ’em Johnson. The Mariners were oozing confidence in a game that they got to host based on the flip of a coin. Piniella saw a win as
a foregone conclusion. So did left fielder Vince Coleman. (calm keyboard music) And Randy was indeed an
untouchable force of nature for the first six innings of this one, retiring each of the Angels
for first 17 batters, before his bid for perfection was broken up by his
ex-roommate of all people. Langston was pretty good too, allowing just one run through six, but then things got away
from him in the seventh. The Mariners loaded up the bases with former Angel Luis Sojo at the dish, who then punched a grounder to the right that probably should’ve been an inning-ending three-one putout, but that instead first baseman JT Snow flubbed. Snow could only watch as the ball bloomed into foul territory and underneath the Angels’ bullpen bench. By the time right fielder
Tim Salmon dug it up, two Mariners had scored. An unfortunate set of
circumstances turned disastrous (audience cheers) when Langston’s throwing error allowed for the ultimate embarrassment: four runs scoring on a ball that touched an infielder’s glove for what has to be the first and only time in the history of organized baseball. Thanks to the fielding work of two Angels that would each win gold gloves that season. That is baseball for you. With the game now blown wide open, the M’s could just sit back and ride Johnson to the AL West title. (bright keyboard music) – [Jon] Well, now
the Seattle Mariners are guaranteed to exist for
at least a few more days, as they move on to make their first-ever playoff appearance in the 1995 ALDS. And, if this were a work of fiction, this is exactly the way we would write it. (dramatic keyboard music)

100 thoughts on “Ken Griffey, Jr. and his quest to save the Mariners | Dorktown”

  • Great series. Griffey is my favorite ballplayer of all time and I'm a Mets fan. You should do a 2015 Mets special. That team rode a fairy tail at mid-season until the pixie dust ran out when it counted the most. I lived in Oregon for a few years and never made the trip to Seattle. Was thinking about moving there from PA but decided on Salem instead. I would love to go someday when I move back to Oregon. Living in Ohio now.

  • Fun fact: The 1995 Mariners team is one of the biggest reasons for the development of the Backyard Baseball games.

  • So many hours of my childhood dedicated to perfecting the skills of Ken Griffey Jr Baseball on Super NES. Betcha I still got it.

  • Who actually believes that Ken Griffey Jr. missed a month of the season "after slipping and falling in the shower"?

  • I thought the blurping story was gonna have some significance like they started winning or something. But nah, just baseball's first triple blurp in a live game lol

  • A good companion piece with this video is Gaming Historian's video on how Nintendo came to own the Mariners. It's equally fascinating. You're in for three hours, why not 20 minutes more? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHqg8FEpXac

  • That moment when you realize you have a Jay Buehner(sp?) baseball card in that old box from your parents house

  • Another great video. The 1995 season was amazing! Refuse to Lose! First year of college and with good internet and the ability to actually listen to games and follow, was an amazing year! 5 players with over 100 RBI that season.

  • When you guys started talking about Dave Niehaus I had to stop the video for a moment cause I was crying. That man was everything in my childhood and early adulthood. I don't consider myself a Mariners fan any longer (the reasons, which actually not all that complicated, aren't worth getting into) but I definitely grew up as one. I lived through the history this video retells and hearing a master of this craft (and Alex, you're pretty cool too!) recount it is something truly special to me. Thank you.

  • I guess the '95 playoffs get their own episode? Deservedly so!!

    I'm guessing Edgar Martinez will draw mention in that episode — I MEAN HE DAMN WELL BETTER — but I kept waiting to hear his name in this episode too. He won the batting title in '95 after all, and 'pert near the MVP (it's tough to say anti-DH bias didn't cost him that, either). He was phenomenal all throughout '95.

    The other thing I kept expecting to hear was Jay Buhner's boast, upon being asked if the team targeted the newly-created Wild Card with the Angels seemingly out of their reach, that the team would win the division. People laughed at the time. Perhaps that too draws mention in episode 3.

  • IMMAAGINE BEING A LIFETIME MARINERS FAN, and actuuallly going to games and thinking they’ll eventually make the playoffs in your lifetime! Ha couldn’t be me…. oh wait…that’s me ?

  • I dont know what had happened and I'm not sure if I should look it up tbh. But it's the week where the next video could come out a little later and it makes the desicion even harder. Do I care enough for Baseball? Mariners?

    lol it's the double game

  • Junior started having muscle and ligament injuries. This came right after steroid testing started in MLB. Muscle and ligament injuries are possible side effects of past steroid abuse.

    While I'm at it, glaucoma and an increased risk of stroke are side effects of past steroid abuse. Twins fans don't like to hear that.

  • Watching this in the midst of everything going on right now actually made me a little emotional, I miss sports…

  • 25:30 FYI. That shadow running down Randy Johnsons left thigh. That ain't his quad muscle. They called him the big unit for a reason.

  • “The kingdome which sat in the shadow of the cascades” Proceeds to show image with Olympic Mountains in background

  • As an amateur psephologist, the drama set out over that public vote absolutely enthralled me. Especially due to the closeness of the result.

  • I remember this year. I gave my ticket to the last game when edgar drove home griffey to my uncle who had never been to a baseball game.

  • As someone who lives in spitting distance from Seattle, I love Seattle and Western Washington, and I can never think of it as ordinary.

  • I saw Jr. when he was with Bellingham. He played the Eugene Emeralds. The difference in attendance from the games before he showed up, and when he played, were just amazing. Standing room only, all for the same reason: so we could saw we saw him back in the day.

  • grew up watching griffey jr and playing his n64 games…am a diehard mets fan but i love ken griffey jr. sweetest swing there ever was.

  • Given Ken Griffey Jr.s injuries and the kind they were, I will always think of him on steroids.
    I remember a pre steroids Alex Rodriguez going to the Mariners. Alex and his transformation was probably greater then the transformation Barry Bonds went through when he went to the Pirates.

  • This team is so much weirder than I thought. Can't wait for parts 3-6 but I feel like you could do a whole part about "blurping"

  • I returned to Seattle in July of 1995. The day I came back, the Mariners were 34-37. I take credit for everything that happened thereafter.

  • Thank you SB Nation for helping me get through this quarantine. This series has been amazing so far. looking forward to more.

  • In the video the narrator says the vote has failed but the numbers on screen shows 246,500 yes and 245,418 no , wouldn't that mean it was a success ?

  • Jon should do a video about the 2001 Colorado Rockies, who had the best team batting stats in baseball, and the worst team pitching stats in baseball that year.

  • Dave Niehaus is one of the greats in broadcasting baseball with Vin Scully, Jack Buck, and Ernie Harwell.

  • Love the format of this video. Great work guys. Looking forward to this style of storytelling for other sports also

  • I'm 40 years old & have been watching baseball since I was 7 (1987), Griffey Jr. is by far and away the best player I've ever seen and I always say this. "He made it look easy, he was born to play baseball." They should make a movie about him and call it, The Natural

  • hahaha you say baseball is boring but then find people vomiting funny, im not surprised by the likes of you juvenile men

  • I was a 16 year old ballplayer living in Seattle during this season. Never had more fun as a fan. Thanks for making this and allowing me to realize that magical summer.????

  • From 1/1/90 to 12/31/00, I was between the ages of 7 & 17. The 90’s was the decade I followed all 4 of America’s top sports; football, basketball, hockey & baseball. I picked a guy from each sport to emulate as a kid growing up. Football was Derrick Thomas, basketball was Shawn Kemp, hockey was Sergei Federov, although Gretzky was by far the best to ever play hockey….then Griffey Jr. for baseball. Those were the days, I loved the 90’s so much, because all 4 sports were all quite popular for me then. Now, I only really follow football because…….well, when Griffey Jr. left Seattle, it’s like a little piece of me had died, along with the love for baseball. Baseball became very tainted because of all the big names in the 90’s were all getting caught using steroids, and now just these last few years with the Astros completely dirtying up the game by cheating, in such a pitiful way to boot. Who knows what other teams cheat in baseball? Even though it was my Nats who beat them in the WS last season. Definitely another bad look for baseball smh. Anyways, idk why I wrote all that ha.

  • I'll cry tears of joy when I see the picture of Griffey smiling while getting dog piled I'm a lifetime MS fan that picture always hits me hard, that series with the Yankees was the best thing I've ever seen the only thing close was Ichioros first magical season

  • It's hard to imagine John Bois saying, "The entire Seattle Mariners outfield was vomiting at the same time," with a straight face

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