The Mount Rushmore of the Seattle Mariners

"We don't need no stinkin' last names." -made up quote from Edgar and Ichiro / Presswire

Now that we’ve gotten the more recent expansion teams out of the way, we’re finally to our first team with at least 30 years of history. Unfortunately, it’s one that hasn’t even been to the World Series…

Let’s take a look at who the heroes of the Mariners are.

Rk Player WAR/pos From To
1 Ken Griffey 67.5 1989 2010
2 Edgar Martinez 64.4 1987 2004
3 Ichiro Suzuki 54.1 2001 2012
4 Alex Rodriguez 36.8 1994 2000
5 Jay Buhner 20.1 1988 2001
6 Adrian Beltre 19.6 2005 2009
7 Alvin Davis 18.1 1984 1991
8 Bret Boone 17.0 1992 2005
9 Mike Cameron 17.0 2000 2003
10 John Olerud 15.2 2000 2004
11 Harold Reynolds 13.5 1983 1992
12 Raul Ibanez 12.3 1996 2008
13 Phil Bradley 12.0 1983 1987
14 Julio Cruz 11.4 1977 1983
15 Dan Wilson 11.2 1994 2005
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/17/2012.

These are the WAR leaders among batters for the team. I think you could take the top 4 names there and probably be pretty close. Certainly it’s tough to think of any argument for leaving Griffey, Edgar, or Ichiro off there. There’s so much bitterness in Seattle about A-Rod that I can easily imaging him losing this popularity contest to Buhner or a few different pitchers.

Speaking of pitchers:

Rk Player WAR From To
1 Randy Johnson 36.7 1989 1998
2 Jamie Moyer 31.6 1996 2006
3 Felix Hernandez 27.9 2005 2012
4 Mark Langston 18.1 1984 1989
5 Freddy Garcia 17.2 1999 2004
6 Mike Moore 16.2 1982 1988
7 Erik Hanson 15.6 1988 1993
8 Jim Beattie 13.1 1980 1986
9 Floyd Bannister 12.3 1979 1982
10 J.J. Putz 7.8 2003 2008
11 Joel Pineiro 7.8 2000 2006
12 Matt Young 7.7 1983 1990
13 Jeff Nelson 7.7 1992 2005
14 Scott Bankhead 7.7 1987 1991
15 Brian Holman 7.5 1989 1991
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/17/2012.

Well, well, this is interesting. It’s impossible to leave RJ off, and we’re quickly reminded that Jamie Moyer first rose from the ashes with the Mariners, becoming the oldest pitcher to win 20 games for the first time when he did so with them in 2001. (Yeah, he’s been setting “oldest” records for more than a decade already.)

And then there’s King Felix. And then there’s the team’s first real ace pitcher, Mark Langston, who brought them Johnson in the first place.

Some tough choices here, folks. I don’t envy you. You can also enter your own choice.


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bstar
bstar
8 years ago

Top 4 do seem pretty clear here: Edgar, Randy, Junior, Ichiro. We don’t need no stinkin’ World Series rings, either.

Hartvig
Hartvig
8 years ago
Reply to  bstar

Actually, I find this one pretty difficult. Hernandez may well soon surpass Johnson in WAR for the same number of seasons. ARod is one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Buhner was a big fan favorite. I would love to see Moyer up on the side of a mountain for someone. That’s an incredible amount of talent for a team that’s only be around for 35 years.

All that said, I would probably go with the same 4 as you did.

topper009
topper009
8 years ago

So what is Randy Johnson’s primary team, AZ or SEA?

Doug
Editor
8 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Kind of like the Gary Carter conundrum when he went to Cooperstown. Although, it wasn’t a difficult choice for Carter to go as an Expo – clearly his best years were in Montreal.

It will be a more difficuly choice for Johnson. He played about 40 more games (200 more IP) for Seatte (130-74, 3.42, 128 ERA+, 10.6 K/9) than for Arizona (118-62, 2.83, 164 ERA+. 11.5 K/9). Tough call, but the D-Back numbers are clearly better.

Jacob
Jacob
8 years ago
Reply to  topper009

4 consecutive CYAs & a WS Ring make AZ the choice.

Library Dave
Library Dave
8 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Come on guys! With a 322 ERA+, WHIP of .984, 12.4 K/9 and a .909 winning percentage, how can he be considered as anything other than an Astro! Please disregard that he only pitched 11 games for them.

brp
brp
8 years ago
Reply to  topper009

Griffey, Ichiro, Edgar are locks but I think it makes sense to argue King Felix over the Big Unit if and only if we’re restricting people to one Mt. Rushmore. Otherwise it’s the three hitters and Johnson and case closed, easy.

Evil Squirrel
8 years ago

How often have Hall of Famers worn the same uniform number for the same franchise, with both spending a good chunk of time with that team? I don’t think the Mariners retire numbers, but in just the past 2 decades, they’ve managed to have two future HoF’ers who each wore #51….

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey wore #8.

Doug
Doug
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

Bill Mazeroski wore number 9 for the Pirates, the same number worn by Paul Waner in 1940 (in the 8 previous seasons, Waner wore number 11).

Doug
Doug
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

Tony Lazseri and Joe Gordon both wore number 6.

Lazzeri also briefly wore number 5, before DiMaggio.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

His time with them was short but Leo Durocher was the first Yankee to wear #7. Mantle was the last.

Uncle Leo
Uncle Leo
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

Greg Maddux and Fergie Jenkins both wore #31 for the Cubs.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
8 years ago
Reply to  Evil Squirrel

The Yankees will have a similar problem when Mariano retires.

Thomas Court
Thomas Court
8 years ago

I went with Ichiro, Griffey and Edgar. I like that you are not required to pick four before submitting your vote. Randy Johnson misses here because I already picked him for the Diamondbacks.

Fireworks
Fireworks
8 years ago

I voted for Harold Reynolds. Not because he was a great player, but because that’s pretty much the only team most people associate him with and he’s been an analyst for so long now, he will probably have a stronger case in a decade or two if he’s still one of the talking heads on TV.

Eric H
Eric H
8 years ago
Reply to  Andy

what? Xavier Nady over Mario Mendoza. That’s over the line. His 1979 season was historic!

James Smyth
8 years ago

Some other double-retired numbers include the Expos #10 for Rusty Staub and Andre Dawson (it was unretired for the team’s move to DC. Also the Cubs #31 for Fergue Jenkins and Greg Maddux. There’s the unusual circumstance of Jackie Robinson’s 42, which of course is retired by all of MLB. The Cardinals retired the number again for Bruce Sutter in 2006. You can guarantee the Yankees will do the same for Mariano Rivera one day. What I didn’t know until I read this today ( http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-rise-of-retired-numbers/ ) was that the Reds had previously retired #5 before Johnny Bench. Willard Hershberger… Read more »

Evil Squirrel
8 years ago
Reply to  James Smyth

An entire post could probably be done on uniform numbers different teams have “on ice” (unofficially retired… not on the outfield wall or in the rafters, but are not currently issued). I can think of five the Cardinals have “on ice” in addition to the multitude they have officially retired. I don’t think the Cards would have really retired Sutter’s #42 had it not already been pulled from all of baseball. But he did have the cute distinction of having the stage all to himself that day. After the ceremony, the rain came pouring down and the game never even… Read more »

Doug
Doug
8 years ago

The 1983 White Sox had Julio Cruz and Floyd Bannister, who, by WAR were then the two greatest Mariners of all time.

Jason Z
8 years ago

I’m glad we are doing this for every team. This is my definition of fun. “Only” up to the Mariner’s, and this is already very difficult. Obviously, Junior, Edgar and Ichiro. The fourth I find exceedingly difficult. I will eliminate RJ, because as other’s have said, he is on the D’Backs Rushmore and I believe only one team per player. RJ’s elimination opens a spot for Jay Buhner. In a few years I may say King Felix, but for now Buhner. Not only was he popular and a great player, but he was given to the ages when in Seinfeld,… Read more »

Tmckelv
Tmckelv
8 years ago

Griffey, Edgar, Ichiro for top 3.

King Felix over Randy J for the 4th spot. Because Felix is representative of the future and Johnson is already on Mount Diamondback. I will try to keep to 1 team per player. We will see how that goes.

Eric H
Eric H
8 years ago

Dave Niehaus would score very high among Mariners fans. He was the voice of he franchise from its inception through the 2010 season broadcasting over 5000 games. (He died in November of that year.) He was extremely popular. He even threw out the ceremonial first pitch at SafeCo Field in 1999.

I voted for Edgar, Junior, Ichiro & Felix. It’s difficult to leave off the Big Unit, but he did leave and perform even better elsewhere. Felix will surpass him as a Mariner shortly.

Eric H
Eric H
8 years ago

Mariner fans are also very fond of Lou Piniella. He would certainly garner quite a few votes from the locals who fondly remember his guidance during the ‘glory’ days of the late 90s and early 2000’s

Eric H
Eric H
8 years ago
Reply to  Andy

I didn’t write in Lou when I voted, but as you know well there are many SafeCo ticket buyers who love Lou. If you include Joe Madden for the Rays, I can’t imagine Lou being skipped for the Mariners’ Rushmore, no matter how poorly he dealt with his pitching staff.

He is held in very high esteem nearly reaching the heights of the locals’ love of Dave Niehaus, your favorite baseball broadcaster of all time. 🙂

Latefortheparty
Latefortheparty
8 years ago

The comments here have been illuminating and helpful. For spot No. 4, it’s ARod. Felix’s time will come. That said, with all the baggage ARod’s accumulated over the last decade, I have doubts if he’ll make the Yankees’ or Rangers’ Rushmore. He deserves it somewhere.

Mo Vaughn
Mo Vaughn
8 years ago

Griffey, Ichiro, and Edgar are the obvious ones. I went with Felix for the fourth spot because I think he’ll spend the foreseeable future with the M’s, and Randy is a Diamondback to me. I’m surprised no one even mentioned Alvin Davis…he WAS “Mr. Mariner” after all! Consideration given to Buhner, ARod, Moyer, Johnson also.