Tuesday, July 11, 2006

From Rupe to Ichiro: 30 Years of Mariner All-Stars

Baseball’s All-Star Game is my favorite annual sporting event. I attended the 1979 game at the Kingdome (which I wrote about here), and I also saw parts of the 2001 game from atop a parking garage across the street from Safeco Field (a game which I satirized here). And every so often I enjoy watching my Awesome All-Star Action DVD. The game itself usually blows, but it's the overkill of talent and the crazy collage of different uniforms all mingling on the same field for one night a year that I love so much.

This year is the Mariners’ 30th season, and tonight they’ll represent in their 30th All-Star Game. Just for kicks I entered all the Mariner All-Stars into a spreadsheet, finding that the M’s have sent 31 different players to the 29 All-Star Games played since the team’s 1977 inception.

Along the way, nine Mariners have been selected to play in more than one ASG: Ken Griffey Jr. (ten games, though he sat out two due to injury), Edgar Martinez (seven), Ichiro (six, including this year), Randy Johnson (five), and Alex Rodriguez (four, though he sat one out due to injury), while Bret Boone, Freddy Garcia, Harold Reynolds and Kazuhiro Sasaki have played in two each.

Only six Mariners have been elected by fans to starting positions: Griffey (ten, minus the two games he was sidelined), Ichiro (five, including this year), A-Rod (three, minus the one he was sidelined), Edgar (three), and Boone and John Olerud (one apiece). Randy Johnson is the only Mariner to start an ASG as a pitcher -- a position chosen by the American League manager -- which he’s done twice. Garcia, Reynolds and Sasaki are the only repeat players who haven’t started a game; among the starters, Olerud is the only one not to repeat.

Among the 22 one-appearance wonders, it’s interesting to note that two of the three Mariners Hall of Fame members played in just one game: Alvin Davis and Jay Buhner. Of course, the third HoFer, M’s announcer Dave Niehaus, hasn’t played in any.

The first Mariner All-Star, appearing at the 1977 contest at Yankee Stadium, was Ruppert Jones. The reserve outfielder flied out in his lone plate appearance, and most of it wasn’t even shown on TV -- the network cut away from Rupe’s late-inning, pinch-hitting at-bat to show highlights from earlier in the game.

The ensuing Mariner All-Stars of the following decade didn’t make much more of an impression. In the first ten ASGs in Mariner history, the M’s had ten different players in the midsummer classic -- one token player per game, mostly used as relievers or pinch-hitters. None of them started, and four of them didn’t even get into the game, but I was still grateful for the rule stipulating that at least one player from each team must be on an all-star roster.

Not until M’s 11th season, 1987, did more than one Mariner achieve All-Star status (Harold Reynolds and Mark Langston), and not until their 12th season did any Mariner return to a second ASG (Reynolds).

Not until 1990, the M’s 14th season, did a Mariner start the game. Ken Griffey Jr. became the first perennial Mariner All-Star, elected by fans as a starting outfielder in every ASG of the 1990s. He’s also the only Mariner ever to win the game’s MVP award (1992).

Not until 1995, the M’s 19th season, did more than two Mariners become All-Stars -- Griffey, Edgar, Johnson, and Tino Martinez -- and also fielded more than one starter (everyone but Tino).

Six years later, during the M’s phenomenal 116-win season in which Safeco Field hosted the 2001 ASG, the team was represented by a whopping eight players, including four starters (Ichiro, Edgar, Boone and Olerud).

Then-rookie Ichiro is now a perennial Mariner All-Star, playing in five ASGs in as many seasons, starting in four. Tonight in Pittsburgh he’ll start his fifth game, and play in his sixth. He'll be joined by the newest Mariner All-Star, reserve second baseman Jose Lopez.

All told, that'll make 32 different Mariner All-Stars in 30 All-Star Games. Here they all are, year-by-year...

Ruppert Jones (OF), 0-for-1.

Craig Reynolds (SS) did not play.

Bruce Bochte (1B), 1-for-1 with an RBI.

Rick Honeycutt (LHP) did not play.

Tom Paciorek (OF), 1-for-1.

Floyd Bannister (LHP) did not play.

Matt Young (LHP) pitched one inning, allowing no hits and striking out one.

Alvin Davis (1B), 0-for-1, striking out.

Phil Bradley (OF), 0-for-1, striking out.

Jim Presley (3B) did not play.

Harold Reynolds (2B), 0-for-3.
Mark Langston (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out two.

Harold Reynolds (2B), 0-for-1.

Jeff Leonard (OF), 0-for-1, striking out.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-2 with a walk.
Randy Johnson (LHP) did not play.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 3-for-3 with a double and a home run.
Edgar Martinez (3B), 0-for-1.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out one.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched one inning, giving up two hits and a run.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF) injured, did not play.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-3.
Tino Martinez (1B), 1-for-1.
*Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out three.

Alex Rodriguez (SS), 0-for-1.
Jay Buhner (OF), 0-for-2.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF) injured, did not play.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-1.
Dan Wilson (C), 0-for-1.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-1.
Joey Cora (2B), 0-for-1.
*Alex Rodriguez (SS), 1-for-3.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 2-for-2 with a home run and an RBI.
*Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out two.

*Alex Rodriguez (SS), 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3 with an RBI.

*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-2 with one strikeout.

*Alex Rodriguez (SS) injured, did not play.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-1
Aaron Sele (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing one hit and no runs.

*John Olerud (1B), 0-for-2.
*Bret Boone (2B), 0-for-2.
*Ichiro (OF), 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Freddy Garcia (RHP) pitched one perfect inning, picking up the win.
Jeff Nelson (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out one and walking one.
Kazuhiro Sasaki (RHP) pitched one inning, striking out one, picking up the save.

*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-2.
Freddy Garcia (RHP) pitched two innings, allowing two hits and no runs, with three strikeouts; batted 0-for-1.
Kazuhiro Sasaki (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing three hits and two earned runs, with one walk and one strikeout.

Bret Boone (2B), 0-for-2.
*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-1 and scored a run.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-2, striking out twice, and was hit by a pitch.
Jamie Moyer (LHP) pitched one perfect inning.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (RHP) pitched 2/3 an inning, allowing three hits and four earned runs, with one walk and one home run.

*Ichiro (OF), 1-for-4 with a double.

Ichiro (OF), 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

*denotes starters

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At 1:32 PM, July 12, 2006 , Blogger Steve said...

*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Jose Lopez (3B), pinch-runner, scored a run, one error.

At 11:18 PM, July 10, 2007 , Blogger Steve said...

*Ichiro (OF), 3-for-3 with two RBIs and an inside-the-park home run; MVP.
JJ Putz (P), 2/3 of the ninth with one strikeout, giving up two hits, two earned runs and one walk.

At 8:55 PM, July 15, 2008 , Blogger Steve said...

Ichiro (OF), 1-for-three, with a flyout, single, and strikeout.

At 9:07 PM, July 14, 2009 , Blogger Steve said...

*Ichiro (OF), 1-for-3 with a single.
Felix Hernandez (RHP), one perfect inning.

At 9:06 PM, July 13, 2010 , Blogger Steve said...

*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-2, with a popout to short and a strikeout.

At 8:42 PM, July 12, 2011 , Blogger Steve said...

Michael Pineda (P), 1 perfect inning, 2 K
Brandon League (P), 1 inning, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K
Felix Hernandez (P), did not play

At 11:05 AM, July 12, 2012 , Blogger Steve said...

Felix Hernandez (P), did not play

At 8:26 PM, July 16, 2013 , Blogger Steve said...

Felix Hernandez (P), 1 inning, 1 hit
Hisashi Iwakuma (P), did not play


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