THE BEST SIX WEEKS OF MY LIFE

“I’m sitting here in Pioneer Square, and I’m eating a Luis Sojo Burger. This is unbelievable. I think I’m going to cry. And I better take it all in, because I know this will never happen again in my lifetime.”

For those of you who weren’t there in 1995, you will never understand what that season meant to the city of Seattle and to the people who grew up following the Mariners. Because I’m not exaggerating when I say this. That season changed everything. EVERYTHING. Everything that is good or bad about Mariners baseball all came about because of those epic six weeks in 1995. If the Mariners hadn’t made that playoff run, in the manner that they did, at the time that they did, I doubt they would even still be here today.

My backstory as a Mariner fan is a little bit more personal than most. You see, I wasn’t one of those “The New M’s!” fans who jumped on the bandwagon when Ken Griffey Jr. showed up in 1989. Nor was I was one of the “Refuse to Lose” fans who suddenly showed up in 1995. No way, sir. I was a diehard. My brother and I were Junior Mariners going all the way back to 1981.

I was 7 years old in 1981. And that was the first summer that my parents signed me up to be a “Junior Mariner.” Have you ever heard of the Junior Mariner program? Of course you haven’t. The Mariners only had about 7,000 fans a game back then. They were the most ridiculous franchise on the face of the Earth. But my mom signed me up to be a Junior Mariner in 1981, which meant I got a package in the mail containing a crappy plastic batting helmet, a 99 cent batting glove, and free tickets to 8 games during the 1981 season.

Oh, and they weren’t the good games, mind you.

No way.

The Junior Mariner (aka free) games were the ones against the A’s, the Rangers, the Indians, and the Twins. Good lord. Did you ever watch a game between the 1981 Mariners and the 1981 Twins? Of course you didn’t, no one did. I swear, they had so few fans in the stands those nights that they probably would have let me pitch.

So anyway, that’s my backstory. I grew up as a Junior Mariner, my family attended between 20-30 games in the Kingdome every year of the 80′s, and I grew up learning to love a team that in no way was ever going to amount to anything. Seriously, do you know what the highlight of my childhood was as a Mariners fan? The fact that one time we scored 7 runs in an inning against the Yankees. I had never seen this before. Seven runs in an inning? By the Mariners? This feat boggled my mind.

Remember, Al Cowens was considered our “cleanup” hitter back then. As an 80′s Mariner fan, you learned not to expect much.

Through it all– good and bad– I was there in the Kingdome for everything. I sat behind the stupid plexiglass in left field. I fell in love with players like Todd Cruz. I thought Mickey Brantley was going to end up in the Hall of Fame. I convinced myself that you could field a contender with players like Greg “Pee Wee” Briley. Heck, I still say that 1989-90 Erik Hanson was one of the best pitchers of all time.

Year in and year out, I was there, and I loved my Mariners. I followed them with a passion. I was so passionate about them, in fact, that after a particularly frustrating loss in 1989– followed by me smashing a bat into a wall– my mom suggested I might want to attend some sort of anger counseling class. She said my life depended far too much on if the Mariners won or lost that night. And do you know what? She was right. I literally had days of my life where I was pissed off just because Mike Schooler blew a save in the 9th the night before. The Mariners were all I ever thought about when I was a teenager.

As you can guess, I had an unhappy childhood.

—-THE MAGICAL SEASON OF 1995—–

People say that there weren’t any Mariner fans before 1995. And I’m sorry, but that’s B.S. There were tons of Mariners fans. TONS. There were tons of young Mariners fans, just like me. The Mariners were always popular among young people. The only problem was that you sort of had to keep your fandom on the down low when you were talking to people. There wasn’t much incentive to walking around saying, “Hey guys, I’m a Mariners fan”, when you know you’re talking about the worst franchise in American League history. Because you have to remember, the Mariners sucked. Sure they were lovable, and sure people liked them. But they didn’t have a season where they finished over .500 until 1991. They went 83-79 in ’91 (in their 15th year of existence), and people in Seattle celebrated like we had just won the World Series. They had parades and celebrations around the city and everything.

A parade for 83 wins? Does this sound like a fan base that is any way prepared for postseason baseball???

And this is where my story begins.

The year is 1995, and the Mariners are the same old lovable bunch of underachieving players they have always been. You knew they were going to be good, thanks to players like Griffey, Randy Johnson, and Edgar, but at the same time you also knew not to get your hopes up. After all, remember, we’re talking about the Mariners here. Expecting a World Series would be like expecting a cure for the common cold. Sounds nice, but it aint gonna happen.

I was in college down in the Bay Area in the summer of ’95. I was midway through my sophomore year at Santa Clara University, which meant that this was my second year as a Mariner fan living in California. And this, of course, made hardcore Mariner fandom particularly difficult for me.

In 1995 it was almost impossible to follow the Mariners if you didn’t live in Seattle. Remember, this was all pre internet, pre Fox Sports Northwest, pre Baseball Tonight, pre everything. If the Mariners weren’t the Game of the Week on ESPN, they would never be on TV. And guess what? The Mariners never were on the Game of the Week on ESPN. So following them on a day in and day out basis in California was pretty much impossible. If you got 10 seconds of a Griffey highlight on Sportscenter, that was all you could ask for.

And then it happened.

—-GRIFFEY GETS HURT—-

On May 26, 1995, Ken Griffey Jr. smashed into a wall in the Kingdome and broke his wrist. He was likely out for the season.

Crap.

The best player in franchise history? The only reason to watch Sportscenter? The only player we had that anyone outside Seattle cared even the slightest bit about? Hurt. Gone for the season.

Well isn’t that just wonderful.

My thoughts on Griffey’s injury– and on the Mariners’ season in general at that point– were nicely summed up in an interview by a visibly shocked Jay Buhner. He said, “Um, we really can’t afford to even screw up a bunt anymore.”

Nicely put.

So Griffey was out. The Mariners were done. The 1995 season was shot. There was no more reason to watch.

I have to admit, for the first time in my life, I literally gave up on the Seattle Mariners that night. For the first time in my life, after all the heartache, after all the anger issues, after all my Mariner fanaticism, I finally just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Screw it.” For the first time since 1981, I made peace with the fact that the Mariners were going to suck this year, and I couldn’t do anything about it. For the first time in my life, I made the decision not to care.

So I turned off the Mariners, and I moved on with my life.

—- THE COMEBACK —-

Of course you all know what happened next. The Mariners started winning.

Despite the fact that they had lost their best player, the M’s somehow came together and put together one of the most miraculous runs in baseball history. All of a sudden, guys you had never heard of like Alex Diaz and Rich Amaral were pulling out highlight catches every night. Guys like Doug Strange and Chris Widger were getting game winning hits.

Even though the Mariners should have been dead and buried, they weren’t. They kept winning. It was inexplicable.

It was like the famous quote from the movie Rocky. Nobody told these guys it was a damn exhibition. They thought they were still in the race. They think it’s a damn fight!

Around August, it became evident to every Mariner fan on the face of the Earth (even me) that the M’s might actually have a chance to be interesting this year. Because it wasn’t just that the no-name Mariners were hanging in the race. It was also that the first place Angels were starting to lose. The Angels lost their shortstop Gary DiSarcina to a freak broken thumb injury, and all of a sudden they started this complete and inexplicable free-fall.

The Angels were going down. All of a sudden they couldn’t buy a win.

And here came the Mariners!

And better yet… here came the news that Ken Griffey Jr. was going to be back sooner than expected!

As August of 1995 came around, things were starting to get very very interesting in the A.L. West. Even I, the first year skeptic, had started to come back around. Because you could just feel it. The Mariners were not going to go away. They were going to give the Angels an actual run for their money. You could feel it. You could just taste it. The Mariners were going to be in an actual pennant race.

A Mariners pennant race? With a healthy Griffey! For the first time ever!

Allow me to steal a phrase: My oh my!

—- REFUSE TO LOSE —-

Most people name August 24th as the day that “Refuse to Lose” officially began. But I will always disagree with that. I was at the Kingdome a week before that, on August 18th. The M’s were playing the Boston Red Sox that night, it was Bob Wolcott’s major league debut, the Dome was buzzing, and it was a game I will never forget.

Why will I never forget it?

Well because the M’s were facing knuckleballer Tim Wakefield that night. Tim “14-1, 1.50″ Wakefield, to be exact. For some reason the guy was unhittable in 1995. But he came into the Kingdome on August 18th and the M’s just completely ripped him apart. Mike Blowers hit a pair of long home runs off Wakefield that night (including a grand slam in the first), and I remember sitting there thinking, “Holy crap, the M’s just destroyed the best pitcher in baseball. He didn’t even last three innings. Maybe we really ARE for real this season.”

A week later, the M’s beat John Wetteland and the Yankees on August 24th, and Refuse to Lose was officially on.

There are so many great memories of that 6 week stretch run in 95: Trading for Andy Benes… signing Vince Coleman… Doug Strange homering against the Rangers… Tino Martinez beating Dennis Eckersley… the Angels completely collapsing… Norm Charlton being picked up off the scrap heap after he took a ball to the face in Philadelphia, and then having a miraculous renaissance with the Mariners… but the one game I will always remember came against the A’s right in the middle of Refuse to Lose delirium. There was one game where the M’s were down something like 6-0 against Todd Van Poppel, and then got home runs from Vince Coleman and Alex Diaz to tie up the score and eventually win the game.

I swear to God, I listened to that entire game on the radio down in California (on the A’s radio network), and I was jumping up and down on every pitch over the last three innings. It was by far the most exciting comeback I have ever heard in my life. I remember Rick Rizzs and Ron Fairly nearly having heart attacks when Alex Diaz hit a 3 run homer off Rick Honeycutt in the bottom of the 8th. Fittingly, it was the first right-handed home run Diaz had ever hit in his life.

Again, you have to remember, we had never heard anything like this as Mariner fans. Anything. EVER! The team just kept winning, and winning, and winning. Every win was a comeback. And every game was more exciting and more memorable than the one before it. We had entered into that hallowed ground that most baseball fans will only experience once or twice in their entire lives. we had entered baseball nirvana.

None of us in the Northwest had any idea how to handle this.

—- THE ONE GAME PLAYOFF —-

So the regular season ended, and the M’s finished tied with the Angels for first place.

This was a very big deal.

Why was this a very big deal?

Well this aspect of the 95 season has sort of been forgotten over time, but the playoff game against the Angels was the first “winner takes all” playoff game in 17 years. The last time there had been a one-game playoff in baseball, Bucky Dent had homered to knock off the Red Sox back in 1978. So anyone with even a passing interest in baseball history was watching the Mariners-Angels game that night. It was epic. No matter if the M’s won or lost, this sort of thing didn’t happen very often in baseball. It was going to be historic.

I was down in California the night of the M’s-Angels game, and I was on pins and needles all day. I couldn’t concentrate at all. I just sat there in my classes all day, and all I could think about was, “Is Randy Johnson going to come through tonight? Is this really going to be our first postseason as Mariner fans? Can the Big Unit come through in the biggest game of his life?”

Well, obviously, he did. The Big Unit completely shut down the Angels (and our old friend Mark Langston) and pitched one of the most dominating games I have ever witnessed in my life. The Angels weren’t even close to beating him. People forget this now, but for 7 2/3 innings, Johnson threw a one hit shutout. How’s that for clutch? In a one game playoff, in the biggest game of his life, the Big Unit almost had a no-hitter!

Of course everyone remembers the Luis Sojo triple down the right field line that cleared the bases in the bottom of the 7th. Hell, how can you not remember it? It was one of the weirdest Mariners plays I had ever seen. J.T. Snow, one of the best fielding first basemen of the 90′s, completely botched a grounder down the line and it turned into a triple.

Good lord, what a moment. I remember jumping up and down in my living room as Sojo ran around the bases and then scored. The crowd was going crazy. Mark Langston just sat there on the ground, dejected. Because at that point, with the Mariners up 5-0, you knew it was over. That was the game. That was our Bucky Dent moment. Even Dave Niehaus, who was going out of his way not to jinx anything on the radio, all but proclaimed victory after Sojo cleared the bases. Because he knew it as well as we did. With the Mariners up 5-0 behind Randy Johnson? You might as well start printing up the playoff tickets.

Oh yeah, and another small bit of trivia about October 2nd. A lot of people have forgotten this, but the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial came in the exact same night as the M’s-Angels game. In fact, if you listen to the audio tape of the game, you can hear the KIRO news people talk about it around the 4th or 5th inning.

The O.J. Verdict and the Sojo triple. On the exact same night. You talk about history!

—- THE SERIES WITH THE YANKEES —-

And now we come to the historic ALDS against the Yankees.

There are two things that I think should be mentioned when it comes to talking about the Yankees series. First, you have to keep in mind that, as Mariner fans, we had been through the wringer over the past 5 weeks of the season. Emotions were everywhere. People were drained. The Mariners made the playoffs! Our Mariners! The lovable losers! We already felt like we had conquered the world.

The second thing that people should keep in mind was that the Mariners were NOT the big story in baseball at that particular moment. Oh, they might have been huge if you lived in Seattle, but outside of Seattle? No one could have cared less. The big story in baseball (and one that pissed me off to no end) was that the beloved Yankees were playing in their first postseason in 14 years. That was all that anyone talked about on ESPN and in the national media. It was Yankees this, and Yankees that. And oh, how wonderful it is that Don Mattingly will finally get to play in his first postseason. Wouldn’t it be great if Donnie Baseball won the World Series in his final year as a Yankee?

Blah, blahdeeda, blah blah.

Um, isn’t it also a big story that the Mariners are playing in their first-ever postseason? Remember us? You know, we’re playing in this series too.

The world wasn’t yet sick of the Yankees in 1995 (like they would be a few years later), but if you were a Mariners fan, you certainly weren’t all that fond of them. The M’s and Yankees had had a lot of bad blood between them leading up to this series. In particular, there was an ongoing feud between Randy Johnson and the Yankees’ Jim Leyritz that was about as ugly as feuds got. It started with a fastball that Johnson ricocheted off of Leyritz’s head back in ’94, and the ugliness and beanballs had been escalating between the two teams ever since. So when the M’s were matched up against the Yankees in the 95 playoffs, you have to remember that these were two teams that very much already didn’t like each other. The rivalry was already there, even before the ’95 playoffs.

So anyway, the Mariners went to New York and they dropped the first two games of the series. Both losses were heartbreakers. Jim effing Leyritz even beat us in game 2 with a game-winning homer in the 15th. That sucked.

The national media, of course, was very pro-Yankees at this point of the series. The beloved Yankees were about to advance to the ALCS? Donnie Baseball might get to play in a World Series? Hooray for baseball! Hooray for America!

I was still down in California in college at this point, and that night my mom called me on the phone and she dropped a bombshell on me. She said, “Mario, I just got two tickets to Game 3 in the Kingdome on Friday. You want to fly up and see a playoff game?”

I was stunned. Huh? How the hell did she get tickets? Every ticket had been sold out for days. What kind of strings had this woman managed to pull?

“I got them through a guy in Canada,” she admitted. “And it might not have been legal, so don’t ask any questions.”

“You don’t want to know,” my dad affirmed. “Just fly up, it will be fun.”

I was on the next flight home to Seattle.

—- GAME 3 —-

I arrived home and I greeted my mom and dad, and my mom said she had actually gotten tickets to all three games– Games 3, 4 and 5. She said if the Mariners kept winning, we would be able to see the whole series. I said, “Nah, they won’t be winning three games, they’re the Mariners.” So we agreed that I would just stick around all weekend and enjoy my trip to Seattle. If nothing else, I figured I’d get to watch my first ever playoff game, and then I’d fly back to California happy. All would be right in the world.

The big thing to do for Mariners games at that time was to make a sign to hang in the Kingdome. There were probably 2,000 signs at every game during Refuse to Lose, and I wanted to be a part of that. So my first goal was to think up a clever sign I could bring to the game.

Naturally, being that I hated the Yankees, and the media’s relentless fawning over them, the message on my sign was obvious.

“MATTINGLY AINT EVER PLAYING IN A WORLD SERIES,” I wrote, in big angry red letters. “SCREW HIM.”

“Um, do you think that’s appropriate?” my dad asked, after seeing it.

“Probably not,” I said, “But it needs to be said.”

Just to be safe, I painted a much more appropriate message on the back of my sign. I wrote, “Hey Yankees, welcome to the Dome. Now get the hell out.” If I didn’t want to hang up the Mattingly one, I could use that one instead. I decided I would get to the game and make it a judgment call.

Friday night, my mom and I headed off to the Kingdome for Game 3 of the ALDS. And as you can guess, it was complete delirium. 50,000+ screaming fans. The loudest building you have ever heard in your life. For the first time ever, the Kingdome was like a damn gladiator arena. Like the Seahawk games back in the mid 80′s, the fans were actually turning the Kingdome into a weapon to use against our opponents. It was totally unlike your typical Mariners crowd.

I was in the Kingdome for two minutes before I turned to my mom and said, “I don’t think the Yankees will be winning here. It’s too intimidating.” My mom, who was two feet away from me, turned to me and screamed, “WHAT?” It was so loud in the Kingdome that you couldn’t hear a person talking right next to you. And that’s when I had a sneaking suspicion that the Yankees were going to be in for some trouble. They were now in the lion’s den.

The seats my mom had gotten were pretty much as far from home plate as you could possibly get. We were in the 300 level, upper deck, something like seats 999Y and 999Z. We were essentially sitting with our backs against the concrete wall of the Kingdome. Oh well. I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Luckily I had a nice close wall on which to hang up my sign.

I chose the sign that said, “Yankees, welcome to the dome. Now get the hell out.” Call me a wimp, but I opted for diplomacy.

You all probably know what happened in Game 3. The Kingdome was louder than it had ever been before, Randy Johnson shut down the Yankees on 6 hits, some fan threw a quarter and hit Yankee outfielder Gerald Williams in the mouth, and the Mariners lived on to fight another day. It was a lot of fun.

And now there was going to be a Game 4 Saturday in Seattle.

—- GAME 4 —-

At this point I have to add an important anecdote to my Mariners story. You’ll see why in a second.

The next day– Saturday, October 7th– was a very important day in Seattle sports. Not only were the Mariners playing the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALDS, the University of Washington also had a big football game against Notre Dame over at Husky Stadium.

And, well, if you know anything about Seattle, you will know it has always been a football town. Always. Football will always trump baseball in the Northwest. That game had been sold out for months. UW against Notre Dame was HUGE.

For some reason, my parents had tickets to the UW-Notre Dame game that afternoon. I guess they’d had about as much faith in the Mariners winning all three games as I did, because all along our plan had been to go to the Mariners game on Friday, and then the UW football game on Saturday. But now that the Mariners were playing on Saturday too, this wound up being a bit of a dilemma. Hmmm, do we scrap the Husky tickets and just watch the Mariners? Or do we try to hit both games, traffic be damned? What’s the appropriate decision here?

In the end, we decided to watch the first half of the Husky game, and then leave at halftime and drive over to the Kingdome to watch the Mariners game.

And this is the part of the story I will always remember.

To my dying day, I will never forget the visual I saw that day at Husky Stadium. I could live to be 100 years old, and I will never forget the amazing thing that transpired that Saturday, October 7th, 1995. To me, this was the #1 reminder I will always have of how important the Mariners-Yankees series was to Seattle.

At halftime of the UW-Notre Dame game, NEARLY HALF THE STADIUM stood up, headed for the exits, and drove over the Kingdome.

Half the stadium left the Husky game! Against Notre Dame! That has never happened in Seattle, it never will again happen in Seattle, and it was just stunning to see in a football town like Seattle. People actually chose the Mariners over the University of Washington football team. In 1995. It was unbelievable.

To my dying day, I will never forget that.

So anyway, we went back to the Kingdome for Game 4 and sure enough, the Mariners won again. The Yankees jumped out early against Chris Bosio, but the M’s came back on a pair of homers from Edgar Martinez (“Get out the rye bread and the mustard…”) to win the game, 11-8. And I will always remember that Bernie Williams gave us a heart attack when he flew out to the wall against Bill Risley to end the game. It was a sloppy game, and it wasn’t pretty at all, but hey, a win was a win. And now we had forced another do or die one-game showdown tomorrow afternoon.

The ALDS was tied.

It was now winner takes all.

—- GAME 5 —-

Sunday, October 8th was a day that few people who lived in Seattle will ever forget.

My God. How could you ask for a better game? How could you ask for more drama? How could you forget a moment like Edgar Martinez doubling down the line to win the game?

Well for me, I was at the Kingdome that day, and I will say one thing. There was a lot of great drama in that game (Doug Strange walking with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th was a personal favorite), but there was one moment that– bar none– will always be the most exciting baseball moment I have ever seen in my life. I don’t care if the Mariners win 30 World Series in my lifetime, nothing will ever top the moment when Randy Johnson come in to pitch in relief in the top of the 9th.

Picture it: It’s the top of the 9th. The Yankees have two men on. No outs. Tie game. The fans are uncharacteristically quiet because the Yankees are putting together a 9th inning rally.

All weekend long the newspapers have been saying that RANDY JOHNSON MIGHT BE AVAILABLE IN RELIEF. LOU PINIELLA MIGHT OPT TO USE THE BIG UNIT IN A CLOSE GAME.

So Piniella comes out to the mound, and the crowd starts to buzz a little bit.

All weekend long the crowd has been screaming their heads off. This is by far the loudest place I have ever been in my life. My mom, sitting right next to me, hasn’t heard a word I have said for three days. But the minute Lou motions down to the bullpen for the Big Unit, in the top of the 9th, the crowd decides that it is going to explode.

“Now pitching for the Mariners….”

The decibel level immediately climbs up into the stratosphere.

“…. nummmmmmber fifty onnnnnnnne…..”

LOUD SCREAMING.

“…. Rannnnnnnnnndyyyyyyy Johnnnnnnnnnnnnnson!”

Like I said, to the day I die, I will always remember where I was and what I was doing at that exact moment in time. When Randy Johnson came into the game, accompanied by “Welcome to the Jungle” blaring over the loudspeakers, I felt like I was watching a movie. It was like I was watching the movie Major League, and Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn had just been summoned from the bullpen to strike out Clu Heywood. I felt like I was going to pass out. It was so surreal I had to turn to my mom to ask if this was really happening.

The applause for Randy Johnson didn’t die down for about five minutes. And the best part was that you knew the Yankees were never going to score. Randy (a very emotional player) was so pumped up for this moment that he probably could have thrown a ball through the wall of the Kingdome. He was completely amped, and the crowd was going absolutely bananas.

Oh yeah, and the best part of the moment? Looking down in my binoculars and seeing Wade Boggs’ shoulders slump when he realized he was going to have to hit against an amped up Randy Johnson.

To this day, I think back to Wade’s terrified body language in the on deck circle, and it still makes me laugh. He looked like a deer in headlights. He was a future Hall of Famer, a member of the 3,000 hit club, one of the best hitters of the 20th century, yet he knew he had no chance. The Big Unit was going to strike him out, that was just all there was to it.

—- THE ENDING OF GAME 5 —-

Anyway, you all know how the game ended. The Yankees scored once in the eleventh, the Mariners scored twice in the bottom of the eleventh, and 57,000 fans went home screaming into the night in delirious ecstasy.

Well, okay, make that 50,000 fans minus one.

You see, I wasn’t there for Edgar’s double in the eleventh. I didn’t get to see it in person. I’d like to say that I did, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I’d had to leave the Kingdome early that night. I had a test in college the next morning down in California, and I had to catch the last flight out of SeaTac or I wouldn’t have been back for it.

All weekend long I had known that if there were indeed a Game 5, my schedule was going to suddenly get extraordinarily tight. And all throughout Game 5, I kept telling myself, “This game better not go extra innings. This game better not go extra innings.” Because I knew that if it went past 9 innings, I was going to have to leave early.

Sure enough, it did. And I did.

Talk about a dagger to the heart.

It crushed my soul, but I had to leave Game 5 after the M’s went down scoreless in the bottom of the 9th. My dad drove me to SeaTac, I watched the eleventh inning on a TV in a SeaTac bar, and it was one of the greatest moments in my life when Edgar doubled home Cora and Griffey in the bottom of the eleventh to win the game. I celebrated with a bunch of random strangers in a SeaTac sports bar.

And P.S. I still think Cora ran out of the baseline on the bunt just before Edgar’s double.

Ten minutes later I was on a plane back to California. I was still amped. I knew I had been through something I would never experience again in my life.

The Mariners had just had their first postseason experience.

They had won the series with the Yankees. In the most exciting manner possible.

I had actually seen a vendor selling– and had actually eaten— a Luis Sojo Burger at a cafe in Pioneer Square.

After all those years of misery, after all those years of frustration, after all my rage as a kid because the Mariners always let me down, they had finally done something to make the city fall in love with them.

I fell asleep on the plane, smiling.

My baseball fanatic virginity had officially been lost.

For the first time ever, my beloved Mariners were winners.

Mario Lanza
Upland, California
October 8, 2009

4 thoughts on “THE BEST SIX WEEKS OF MY LIFE

  1. Bravo. It is difficult to describe just how electric September 1995 was to someone who didn’t experience it as an M’s fan. You did as good a job as any I’ve seen. And thank God/Jebus/Allah/Ted Williams or whatever deity it is you pray to that you made it to that TV in time at SeaTac. Missing The Double would have haunted you for the rest of your (possibly artificially shortened) life.

  2. No kidding. The funny thing about me watching the end of the game in the airport is that my flight boarded literally 5 minutes after Edgar’s double. If the M’s hadn’t scored in that inning, I wouldn’t have known how the game ended until I landed in San Jose 2 and a half hours later. That would have seriously been the longest flight of my life.

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