As the Seattle Mariners prepare to start their 45th season on Thursday, we delve into the history books for a look at previous opening days.
Excitement is in the air, as the Seattle Mariners get ready to begin their 45th season of Major League baseball. With everything which has transpired over the previous 12+ months, it will be an extra special occasion at T-Mobile Park on Thursday night.
However, as the Mariners prepare to open their 2021 campaign versus the San Francisco Giants, let’s first take a look back. Here are some of the opening day moments which stand out most in franchise history:
The impact of Ken Griffey Jr.
It seems only right that we begin with the first Hall of Famer in Mariners history. As you’d expect with Ken Griffey Jr., he has enough memorable opening day moments to merit a section entirely to himself.
Griffey’s first significant impact on opening day came in just his second Major League season, versus the then California Angels. He powered the M’s to a 7-4 win on the road with four hits, including a three-run homer.
“The Kid” gave a glimpse of what was to come in 1997, in a 4-2 win on opening day over the New York Yankees. He had two hits — both for home runs — as he went on to win the American League MVP award.
Griffey always had a flair for the dramatic, as evidenced when he returned to the Mariners in 2009 after nine seasons away from the organization with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. He hit a home run in the fifth inning in Minnesota, helping Seattle to a 6-1 win over the Twins.
Although not nearly as exciting, it’s also worth noting the 13-time All-Star hit a double in his first ever Major League plate appearance, on opening day in 1989. Just a week later he blasted his first home run in his inaugural at-bat in the Kingdome.
NEXT: THE MARINERS' MOST CLUTCH OPENING DAY HIT