Despite being best known for driving in the winning runs for the New York Yankees in the 2000 World Series, Luis Sojo made his living in the Major Leagues with his glove.
Sojo, a career .261 hitter, played 102 games for the 1995 Seattle Mariners, starting 72 times at shortstop and amassing career-highs in runs (50), home runs (7), and doubles (18). His greatest performance of the1995 season, however, came in a one game playoff with the California Angels.
The Seattle Mariners and California Angels finished the 1995 regular season tied at 78-66 (the season had been shortened to 144 games). To determine the American League West Champion, the two teams played a one game playoff on Oct. 2, 1995.
The playoff game started as a pitcher’s duel, with Seattle’s Randy Johnson and California’s Mark Langston habitually shutting down opposing hitters. Langston, a former Seattle Mariners ace, had been traded in 1989 to Montreal in exchange for (ah, sweet irony) Johnson, and the two were their respective staff aces.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, but the game remained close until the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Luis Sojo stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs.
Had Sojo got out, the game would have continued in a 1-0 duel. Sojo, however, delivered one of the most clutch hits in Seattle Mariners history. Sojo ripped a double down the right field line, deflecting off of first baseman J.T. Snow’s glove and rolling near the Angels’ bullpen.
All three runners scored, and then Sojo scored on the same play as a result of a fielding error (see the picture for him crossing the plate). The Mariners took a 5-0 lead and never looked back, winning the game 9-1, and clinching the first Division Championship and first playoff berth in team history.
Luis Sojo’s bases loaded double led the Seattle Mariners to their first playoff appearance, earned the Mariners their first division championship, and opened the door for possibly the greatest moment in Seattle Mariners history: defeating the New York Yankees in the 1995 American League Division Series.