MLB Power Rankings: The 50 Greatest Players in Seattle Mariners History

Alex CarsonCorrespondent IIIFebruary 1, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: The 50 Greatest Players in Seattle Mariners History

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    Five of the best.

    From "Mr. Mariner" to "The Bone," there have been nicknames.

    From Arquimedez Pozo's one plate appearance to Edgar Martinez's franchise record 8,678, there have been different lengths of stays.

    Since 1977, the Mariners have employed hundreds of players. While not every team has a history rich with players like the Yankees, they all have a large pool of players where you'll find interesting characters who defined the franchise.

    The following rankings were determined by a combination of stats, longevity with team and character. Only factors we know were considered.

    Without further delay, here is a look at 50 players who wore the trident or compass rose that we'll never forget.

50: Scott Bankhead

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    • Name: Scott Bankhead
    • Acquired: Trade from Kansas City in 1986
    • Years as Mariner: 5

    When compiling this list, I didn't want to just hit the sort button on WAR or something like that. This isn't totally stat based, after all.

    So when you look for some obscure Mariners names like Mike Moore or Jim Beattie, you won't find them. While they may rank high on an overall WAR list, I at least wanted guys to have winning records or be somewhat memorable.

    Enter Scott Bankhead.

    He squeezes in at just over a .500 record and an ERA that doesn't look like a balloon. He spent five seasons with the Mariners after coming over from Kansas City.

    Plus, check out that picture. Bankhead is on the right.

49: Leon Roberts

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    • Name: Leon Roberts
    • Acquired: Trade from Astros in 1977
    • Years as Mariner: 3

    Roberts spent three seasons with the M's, coming over from Houston in time for their second season.

    He posted a .276/.349/.458 line during those three years with 47 homers, which is better than a kick in the pants for an expansion club I suppose.

48: Richie Sexson

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    • Name: Richie Sexson
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2005
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    OK, are you done? Stop huffing and puffing at me. I didn't want to list him, either.

    While we remember the awful contract, the decision to give it to him and his performance at the end, Sexson was one of the best power hitters in team history his first couple years.

    In 2005 and 2006, he hit .263/.353/.523 with 73 home runs and 228 RBI. After that? Well, at least we got the obligatory opening day home runs.

    In his final season here, some fans complained about how loud I was booing him, and I actually was threatened by Safeco Field staff to be quiet or leave.

    I didn't stop.

#47: David Bell

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: David Bell
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1998
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    Bell manned the hot corner for the Mariners for four seasons. He was fairly average with the bat but provided solid defense.

    He is part of one of the few three generation MLB families.

46: John Halama

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: John Halama
    • Acquired: Trade from Houston
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    Halama is the first of all three players to make this list who came to Seattle by way of the Randy Johnson trade to Houston.

    In four seasons, he went 41-31 with a 4.46 ERA. He didn't blow a lot of hitters away, but he also ran an extremely-low walk rate. He was one of the first soft tossers to have success at Safeco Field, helping shape the type of pitcher the Mariners could target on the cheap.

    During a stint down in Tacoma in 2001, Halama threw a perfect game. OK, AAA. Yes, doesn't count for this list. Still it is impressive nonetheless and it came while under Mariners contract.

45: Jose Lopez

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    • Name: Jose Lopez
    • Acquired: International free agent
    • Years as Mariner: 7
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Lopez is only on this list so I can use the above picture one last time.

    OK, that's not totally fair. I'd have to use guys like Richie Zisk or Tom Lampkin if I left off every former Mariners player I couldn't stand.

    Lopez wasn't the worst disaster, but his potential was never reached. Despite his 2009 season when the home run total deceived, he was just never good. Some people say he got lazy, slow and fat. Others said he didn't care.

    I don't like to question how much an athlete cares or if he's lazy, so we'll leave that alone.

44: Bruce Bochte

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    • Name: Bruce Bochte
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1978
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    No, not the manager of the Giants. There's a t in this last name.

    Bruce Bochte was a pretty decent hitter for the M's. He was a long ball threat, but he hit a respectable .290/.370/.429 line during six seasons here.

    After this tenure, he actually boycotted the entire 1983 MLB season, citing increasing player salaries as destroying the game.

    I wish I could rank you in the top 10 for that, Bruce.

43: Joey Cora

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    • Name: Joey Cora
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1995
    • Years as Mariner: 4
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Most remember Joey Cora from the call of "The Double."

    Dave Niehaus' voice was starting to crank up in volume as he blurted: "Here comes Joey!"

    Cora came to the Mariners just in time for that 1995 run. In four seasons, he hit .293/.355/.406 as a fan favorite. He's been linked twice now as a candidate for the Mariners manager position, but he has yet to get a big league job.

42: Aaron Sele

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Aaron Sele
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2000 and 2005
    • Years as Mariner: 3
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Sele had two short stints with the Mariners. The first only lasted two seasons, but it was a success. He went 32-15 in those two seasons as part of a solid starting rotation.

    He was another local product, having grown up in Pouslbo and attended Washington State. While at Wazzu, he actually was mentored by his eventual Mariners teammate John Olerud, who was also a pitcher in college.

41: Carlos Guillen

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Carlos Guillen
    • Acquired: Trade from Houston
    • Years as Mariner: 6

    Perhaps I was employing confirmation bias, but I hated when Guillen was traded to Detroit. I just knew he was going to break out soon. Sure enough, he became a three-time All-Star after leaving and had a fine career.

    Before that, he came to Seattle from Houston as part of the Randy Johnson trade. He had to spend some time at second and third base until Alex Rodriguez left for Texas.

    The best memory in Seattle is surely that beautiful squeeze bunt he laid down to score Rickey Henderson to complete the sweep of the White Sox in the 2000 ALDS.

    Guillen always seemed to have these solid second halves, and you just wondered how good he might be if he put it together over a full season. Unfortunately, we got the answer too late for us.

40: Mike Blowers

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
    • Name: Mike Blowers
    • Nicknames: "Blow"
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1992, 1997 and 1999
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Rally fries, predictions

    Mike Blowers is more known for this generation with his uncanny "pick to click" predictions and the always-awesome rally fries.

    Before he entertained us so well on TV, he played for the Mariners. He had three tours of duty that totaled six seasons in Seattle. He played all over. Third base, first base, both corner outfield spots and even a game at catcher.

    Most of my memories of Blow are during celebrations. Jumping on Bosio or  jumping 20 feet in the air during "The Double." 

39: Jarrod Washburn

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    • Name: Jarrod Washburn
    • Nicknames: "Beaver"
    • Acquired: Free agent signed in 2006
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    The Mariners love signing players that frustrated them while with the Angels. Those players usually end up continuing to frustrate the Mariners. Before there was Chone, there was Jarrod.

    It was really sweet of Washburn to put together a good half season in his final year in Seattle so they could ditch him for a warm body. Luke French isn't a player to do cartwheels over, but he's basically Jarrod Washburn but younger and cheaper.

38: Chris Bosio

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    • Name: Chris Bosio
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1992
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    Bosio wasn't amazing during his tenure with the M's. In fact, he wasn't good at all.

    You have to include him, though, as he was the second Mariners pitcher to throw a no-hitter. We'll always have that picture of Omar scooping and firing in our heads, followed by the big guy pointing to the sky.

37: Gil Meche

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
    • Name: Gil Meche
    • Acquired: First round of 1996 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Awards: 2004 AL Comeback Player of the Year

    Meche had so much potential and was so highly touted that a lot of people grew frustrated with him.

    However, he did have a winning record in Seattle. Meche went 55-44. The 2003-04 campaigns were his best seasons, and 2006 was respectable.

    His final contribution to the club was signing that contract with the Royals, which gave the Mariners a supplemental pick in the following draft. They took Matt Mangini. Tommy Hunter was taken two picks later.

    I digress easily.

    Meche wasn't a superstar, but for a short period he was part of a solid rotation on a good team.

36: Tom Paciorek

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    • Name: Tom Paciorek
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 1979
    • Years as Mariner: 4
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Paciorek came over as a free agent in 1979 and eventually he was traded a few seasons later for three players that won't be on this list.

    During his stay, he batted .296/.343/.460 with 39 homers. That's not as good as you may want from your boppers, but when you're the upstart Seattle Mariners, that's among your team leaders.

35: Brian Holman

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    • Name: Brian Holman
    • Acquired: Trade from Expos
    • Years as Mariner: 3

    Brian Holman is part of a couple historic Mariners memories.

    First, he was part of the trade for Mark Langston that brought him and Randy Johnson to Seattle.

    The second was his near perfect game in 1990 against the Oakland Athletics.

    Having retired the first 26 batters, he was one out away from immortality. Up comes former Mariners star Ken Phelps, who had been shipped off to New York for Jay Buhner.

    Phelps got the last laugh, launching a ninth inning two-out home run to snap what would have been the first no-hitter and perfect game in Mariners history. It was also the final home run of Phelps' career. 

34: Kenji Johjima

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    • Name: Kenji Johjima
    • Nicknams: "Joh"
    • Acquired: International free agent, signed in 2005
    • Years as Mariner: 4
    • Awards: two-times led AL in caught stealing

    Johjima was the first Japanese born catcher in the major leagues. He came over after a nice run in Japan in 2006.

    "Pull Power Kenji" as I called him swatted all 48 of his big league homers to left field. As has been discussed ad nauseam is how Safeco Field handles right-handed pull hitters.

    Kenji's defense wasn't great. Some didn't like the footwork or plate blocking at times, but he did have a strong arm and was able to gun down runners who tried to steal.

    It was quite the head-scratcher when he was handed the huge extension he got, and possibly more of a head-scratcher when he opted out of it and went back to Japan.

33: Kazuhiro Sasaki

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Kazuhiro Sasaki
    • Acquired: International free agent signed in 2000
    • Years as Mariner: 3
    • Awards: two-time All-Star, 2000 AL Rookie of the Year

    Kaz was the first of two consecutive AL Rookie of the Year winners for the Mariners, both imports from the far East.

    I can still hear Dave Niehaus' voice ringing in my ear, growling out "The Thang!" That split-finger was a nasty out pitch.

    While Sasaki certainly benefited from being the closer during the best three-year stretch in club history, he did his part.

32: JJ Putz

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: JJ Putz
    • Acquired: 6th round selection 1999 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Awards: 1x All-Star, 1x Relief Man of the Year

    Putz spent half-a-dozen seasons in Seattle, and finally had his chance to be the bullpen ace when Eddie Guardado fell off a cliff in 2006.

    Some of my favorite experiences at Safeco Field involve Putz. He was downright nasty for that stretch. His entrance to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" was always a blast. I even went out and joined the crazies in center field once, removed my shirt and joined in on the chant.

    In 2007, when he had an Eric Gagne-type closer season going, I took my mom up to Mt. Rainier for her birthday. With the radio on while we stood at sunrise, that first blown save happened. I was bummed, even with a gorgeous view in my face.

    I wish I could rank Putz higher just because of the experience he provided, but closers just aren't that valuable. Just like Putz was a random find when Guardado went down, it was an easy decision for Jack Zduriencik to ship him off to the Mets for the huge haul they got.

    Putz was awesome, though. Though Sasaki had more saves, Putz didn't have the 2000-2003 Mariners offense Sasaki did. It showed in Putz's peripheral numbers which were better.

    He was a big fat jerkhead for what he said about Ichiro, though.

31: Ruppert Jones

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    • Name: Ruppert Jones
    • Nicknams: "Winny"
    • Acquired: First pick in 1977 expansion draft
    • Years as Mariner: 3
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Someone had to be first.

    The first player taken in the expansion draft. The first All-Star. The first to lead the team in home runs.

    Sure, it's not tough to be the first when no one has done it before, but Ruppert Jones will always hold a special place in Mariners lore.

    Jones had good speed to go with the power, stealing 13, 22 and 33 bags in each Seattle season respectively. He got on base at a decent clip and played respectable outfield defense.

    There had to be a first, and you did a fine job, Mr. Jones.

30: Randy Winn

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
    • Name: Randy Winn
    • Nicknams: "Winny"
    • Acquired: Trade from Tampa Bay
    • Years as Mariner: 3

    It's not often a manager gets traded. And while it technically wasn't a trade, it realistically was.

    Once Lou Piniella had enough and wanted to be closer to family, he was allowed to go to Tampa Bay to become the Rays manager. In return, the Mariners got one of their best players at the time, Randy Winn.

    The Rays had the prospects coming, so letting Winn go wasn't a huge deal. The Mariners had opted not to hang on to Mike Cameron (stupidly), so they needed a new cheap center fielder.

    Winn's stay in Seattle wasn't long lived and he was another on the long list of players who didn't hit well at Safeco, but he provided superb defense and overall was a nice asset.

29: Mark McLemore

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Mark McLemore
    • Nicknams: "Supersub"
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2000
    • Years as Mariner: 4

    Mark McLemore more than earned his nickname of "Supersub" while with the Mariners.

    In 2001, while rotating all over the field, McLemore was able to rack up over 400 at bats. While juggling all those responsibilities, he hit .286 with a great .384 OBP.

    I trust the hoards of players who have said that playing multiple positions or coming off the bench makes it tough to stay sharp and can cause bad results at the plate. Therefore, I have to respect the heck out of Mac's ability to excel while doing it.

    While the success didn't last forever, he had a nice three-year stretch before the fourth and final year saw a sharp decline in his on-base skills.

28: Ken Phelps

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    • Name: Ken Phelps
    • Nicknames: "Digger"
    • Acquired: Purchased from Montreal
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Traded away for Jay Buhner

    Ken Phelps was a local product from Ingraham High School. After being brought in from Montreal for cash, he had his first crack at regular playing time. Already 31, this was pretty late to begin an everyday playing career.

    Phelps made the most of it, though. He had a home run in one of every five games while with the Mariners, averaging 17 per season.

    After those six seasons, now at the age of 37, the Mariners were able to flip Phelps to the Yankees for Jay Buhner.

27: Phil Bradley

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    • Name: Phil Bradley
    • Acquired: third round of 1981 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Bradley spent five seasons with the Mariners.

    Most of the cool stuff he did was while not a member of the Mariners, such as hitting the first night home run at Wrigley Field and being the starting quarterback at Mizzou.

26: Franklin Gutierrez

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Franklin Gutierrez
    • Nickname: "Death to Flying Things"
    • Acquired: Trade from Cleveland in 2009
    • Years as Mariner: 2
    • Awards: one-time Gold Glove

    Quickly rising on this list, you can expect the best defensive center fielder in baseball to find his way inside the top 20 soon.

    For now, he sits here. Having just won his first Gold Glove a season after he should have, the jury is still out on Guti's offense.

    Because of the great defensive seasons and his decent offensive season in 2009, his overall value in his two seasons with the Mariners is good enough to vault him to this spot.

    I watched nearly every inning of Mike Cameron's tenure in Seattle, and I must say, Gutirrez might be better with the glove. He's just that special kind of player, where you just hope he will not embarrass himself with the bat so that you have yourself an above-average player to build around.

     

     

     

25: Dave Henderson

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    • Name: Dave Henderson 
    • Nicknams: "Hendu"
    • Acquired: 1st round of 1977 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: 1986 ALCS home run, gap teeth

    Before "Junior," there was "Hendu" patrolling center field in the Kingdome.

    A league average fielder with some pop in his bat, Henderson is another one of those guys who had modest success tucked away in the Northwest, playing his games after those in New York went to bed.

    He's also a guy who got better after he left, but he did have a decent stay in Seattle.

24: Dave Valle

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
    • Name: Dave Valle
    • Acquired: Second round of 1978 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 10

    Dave Valle dealt with a lot early on: the "Dave Valle Line" beer promotions around that batting average and general criticism.

    While Valle never became an All-Star, he did put together a decent defensive career while providing occasional pop.

     

23: Erik Hanson

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    • Name: Erik Hanson
    • Years as Mariner: 6

    Hanson wasn't an amazing pitcher or anything, but statistically, he had a nice run with the M's.

    He won 18 games for Seattle in 1990, which was a career high. He was the opening day starter the following season.

22: Arthur Rhodes

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    • Name: Arthur Rhodes
    • Acquired: Signed as free-agent in 2000; Signed as free-agent in 2008
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Famous for: Earring incident

    I'm not sure why, but it's sort of fun to say the full names of some guys.

    Arthur Lee Rhodes is one of them.

    Rhodes had two stints with the Mariners. The 2008 visit was with a lousy team that lost 100 games, so we'll sorta forget that one. It was his first stint from 2000-2003 that etches him in our memories.

    Of course, the 2001 team as a whole was awesome. Rhodes played a big role in that as the lefty setup man with his right-handed tag-team partner Jeff Nelson, all to pave the way for closer Kazuhiro Sasaki.

    Arguably, Rhodes was probably the best reliever of the three.

    We'll always remember Rhodes' incident with former Mariners shortstop Omar Vizquel, now with Cleveland. Apparently, the sparkle in Rhodes' earring was too much for the Little O, so he complained. When the umpires made Rhodes remove it, he lost his cool and ended up ejected.

    Lame, Omar. Lame.

21: Joel Pineiro

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Joel Pineiro
    • Acquired: 12th round selection in 1997 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 7

    Pineiro's first couple years as a full time starter for the Mariners were good. He was part of a solid rotation and had a good offense and defense aiding him.

    He's actually a great case study for why stats like ERA and wins alone don't tell the whole story for a pitcher. The defense and offense on the post-2003 Mariners teams were radically different than what the team and Pineiro enjoyed in the first three years of the decade.

    This isn't to say that Pineiro didn't have talent and had no part in those good numbers, but a pitch-to-contact guy needs some help.

    Pineiro didn't have a ton of strikeouts but he didn't walk a lot of guys either. He threw the ball into the strike zone with decent stuff. That's why the results could vary so much, especially when the supporting cast was not as good towards the end.

     

20: Mark Langston

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images
    • Name: Mark Langston 
    • Acquired: Second round of 1981 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Traded for Randy Johnson, combined no-hitter last in Angels history
    • Awards: one-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves

    Many Mariners fans will always remember Langston for two events.

    The first was being traded to the Expos for Randy Johnson. The second was his being the starting pitcher for the Angels in the one-game playoff that sent the Mariners to the playoffs for the first time, capping off that amazing 1995 season.

    Much of Langston's success came in the uniforms of other teams, but he did don the blue "S" for six seasons, and he was pretty effective.

    Sometime this next season, Felix Hernandez will pass Langston for wins in franchise history. Until then, Langston sits at fourth in franchise history.

19: Tino Martinez

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
    • Name: Tino Martinez
    • Acquired: First-round pick in 1988 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Replacing Don Mattingly
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    Hey, remember when we traded Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson for Russ Davis and a bucket of baseballs?

    Yeah, me too.

    Before Tino was tasked with replacing a legend, he came up with the Mariners. The season before he was stolen away by the Yankees, Martinez was part of that magical 1995 team.

    While he had a slow start to his career, he broke in during that 1995 season, and the success carried over in New York.

    While he obviously had his best success in the Bronx, Martinez did have a fine stay in Seattle.

18: Omar Vizquel

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Omar Vizquel
    • Acquired: International free agent
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Famous for: Final out of Chris Bosio's no-hitter
    • Awards: one-time All-Star, one Gold Glove

    It's hard to blame the Mariners for trading Vizquel away just as his defensive wizardry and offensive production was starting to kick in. They had this kid named Alex Rodriguez knocking on the doorstep and that forced their hand.

    Growing up in Venezuela, Vizquel didn't have a baseball glove. He may have used a milk carton or just his bare hands. That explains how he developed such soft hands and made that bare-handed play look natural.

    That was the ending to Chris Bosio's no-hitter: the image of of Vizquel's hat flying off as he scoops the ball and fires it across the diamond just in time to make Mariners history.

    Omar's stay was short, but it left a lasting impression. While we understand why he became expendable, it's hard not to miss the silky smooth footwork and pillow-soft set of hands making plays.

     

     

     

     

17: Raul Ibanez

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    • Name: Raul Ibanez
    • Acquired: 36th round of 1992 draft; Signed as free agent in 2004
    • Years as Mariner: 10

    Ibanez served two five-year tours of duty with the Mariners, each very different from the other.

    His first time up, after an unlikely rise to the majors after being a 36th round draft pick, Ibanez wasn't great. He never topped 10 homers in a season. He was never given an everyday job and he attributes these shortcomings to that, but it's not like he really earned more playing time.

    After a successful three-year stint in Kansas City, the Mariners brought Ibanez back. This time around, he got a full-time job and produced at the plate exceptionally well.

    His defense began to decline, then fell off a cliff. However, he was still above average at the plate which made him a good contributor for most of those five years.

     

     

     

16: Harold Reynolds

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
    • Name: Harold Reynolds
    • Acquired: Drafted first round, secondary phase of 1980 draft
    • Years as Mariner: 10
    • Famous for: ESPN/MLB Network broadcaster
    • Awards: two-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, 1991 Roberto Clemente Award

    Many people now know Harold Reynolds as a Seattle "homer" during broadcasts of MLB Tonight.

    Well, good for you, Harold. The only people upset by your favoritism are the East Coast fans who can't accept a single minute of coverage not going to their teams, even when some have their own networks (See: ESPN for the Red Sox).

    Before all that, Reynolds was a slick-fielding middle infielder for the Mariners.

    In 10 seasons in Seattle, Reynolds won three Gold Gloves, played on two All-Star squads and in recognition of his community service, he was awarded the Roberto Clemente award in 1991.

15: Adrian Beltre

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    • Name: Adrian Beltre
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2005
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Famous for: Taking a bad hop to the..
    • Awards: two Gold Gloves

    Many fans will remember Beltre for all the wrong reasons.

    The contract he signed after his monster 2004 with the Dodgers became something that some Mariners fans attacked him over for the duration of his tenure here.

    Here's the thing, though: Beltre was not only worth that contract, it was actually a bargain.

    Due to inflation from other mega-deals that happened after Beltre signed with Seattle, the value of a win went way up. By the time his deal expired, he was without a doubt paid fair market value for the skills that he brought to the table.

    The problem is that most fans associate large paydays with offensive production. That's just not right. Beltre's defense should be considered if you're one that believes a run saved is as valuable as a run scored.

    It always makes me chuckle that "defense and pitching wins championships" is a cliche phrase. Yet, when it comes to big paydays, fans hate seeing a guy whose value comes from his offense and defense. It's not like Beltre was a AAA hitter, either.

    Then there's his toughness. There are no metrics, conventional or otherwise, that can gauge this. When a ball jumps up and bites you in the particulars, though, and you stay in the game for another five innings with bleeding testicles that eventually land you on the disabled list, I think it's time to just consider the guy tough.

    Yeah, he'll always be remembered for that big contract. In my eyes, though, he was worth every cent.

14: John Olerud

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    • Name: John Olerud
    • Nicknames: "Johnny O," "Big Rude"
    • Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2000
    • Years as Mariner: 5
    • Famous for: Wearing helmet in field
    • Awards: one-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves

    John Olerud was a local kid who got to come play for his hometown team eventually.

    Born in the area, he went to college at Washington State. Of course, he hit well while there. What some don't know is that he also was a heck of a pitcher. He even had an undefeated 15-0 season, with over 100 strikeouts and a sub-three ERA.

    Scouts were really interested in his bat, though. It showed, as Olerud spent zero time in the minors. After being drafted, he went right to the major leagues with Toronto.

    A couple of World Series wins and a stint in New York later, Olerud came home to play for the Mariners.

    One of my favorite baseball stories involves Olerud and Rickey Henderson coming to the Mariners in 2000. As it goes, Rickey commented on how Olerud wore a helmet in the field, noting that he played with another guy who did that. Olerud replied: "That was me." Was it a joke? Who knows with Rickey.

    John Olerud was a quite an assassin of sorts. He just went about his craft, in a way that you almost didn't notice or appreciate him. When you look at the numbers, though, it's hard not to have a great appreciation for his body of work.

    One of the slowest guys ever, of course, he became the third Mariners player to hit for the cycle.

    That was John Olerud. He just got the job done quietly, and you were left amazed to find out what he had done.

13: Freddy Garcia

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    • Name: Freddy Garcia 
    • Nicknames: "The Chief"
    • Acquired: Trade from Astros
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Randy Johnson trade, Felix Hernandez's hero
    • Awards: two-time All-Star, 2001 ERA Champion

    The cornerstone of the trade that sent Randy Johnson to Houston, Garcia was a top prospect the Mariners had big hopes for.

    Those hopes panned out. Freddy spent half-a-dozen seasons in the Emerald City and racked up enough wins to sit third on the all-time list in franchise history.

    He's Felix Hernandez's hero, too. That has to count for something! 

    After six seasons, amidst a sharp decline for the Mariners, he was traded to the White Sox for Jeremy Reed, Miguel Olivo and Mike Morse.

    Yeah, I'd rather have kept "The Chief," too.

12: Mike Cameron

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Mike Cameron
    • Nicknames: "Cammy"
    • Acquired: Trade from Reds
    • Years as Mariner: 4
    • Famous for: Replacing Ken Griffey, Jr. in center field
    • Awards: one-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves

    Mike Cameron.

    Those two words always get my heart pumping. From his amazing short stint in Seattle, where he was tasked with replacing the franchise icon (and pulled it off), to the frustration of seeing the team let him walk away.

    It's pretty amazing to look at the stats and see that my man-crush isn't the only reason for ranking Cammy this high. Perhaps it's more an indictment of how few good players this franchise has had, but it pleases me nonetheless.

    Replacing a legend is never easy. Very few are able to capture the love of the fans quickly, the way Cameron did with a spectacular catch in his first series at Safeco Field. Just like that, the loss of Junior stung a little less.

    He was part of that amazing 2001 roster. He hit four home runs in one game. He played flawless defense.

    Then, with no rhyme or reason, he was gone.

    In one of the most mind-boggling moves by former GM Bill Bavasi (and that says something), Cameron was non-tendered after the 2003 season. Even after two years of value that would earn him double his 2002 wage, Cameron was willing to take a pay cut to stay in Seattle.

    Instead, he was cast away so the Mariners could afford to pay a middle reliever and bring back Raul Ibanez.

    Cammy always had that big smile on his face, and just eased into our favor. No, it wasn't an easy task to replace an icon.

    For a short time, though, he did it.

11: Bret Boone

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
    • Name: Bret Boone
    • Nicknames: "Boonie"
    • Acquired: Drafted in fifth round in 1990; Signed as free-agent in 2000
    • Years as Mariner: 7
    • Famous for: Boonie bat flip, named by Jose Canseco in "Juiced"
    • Awards: three-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers

    Bret Boone stands only behind Rickey Henderson and Jay Buhner on the "character" list of former M's players.

    Originally drafted by the team, Boone played in a couple seasons before being sent to the Reds in a trade that brought Dan Wilson to Seattle.

    He came back just in time for the historic 2001 season, when he burst onto the scene for the best stretch of his career.

    Yes, he was named by the insane Jose Canseco in the book "Juiced," but the facts in that book have been proven false. Also, yes, he added some weight and saw a surge in his offensive production.

    We shouldn't judge, though. Boone's second tour of duty with the Mariners saw him hitting in the best lineup he'd ever been part of in the prime of his career.

    Boone always had a flair for the dramatic. The "Boonie Bat Flip," pictured above, was a perfect example of that. He was a slick-fielding second baseman who always seemed to come through when we needed him to.

    This list only attempts to list players by what we know. What I know is that for a solid stretch, Boone was one of the most entertaining and productive players we've known in Seattle. What I also know is several acounts from people who have met Boone, and those accounts say he was kind of a jerk.

    Originally at No. 10, he drops to No. 11 to make room in the top 10 for...

10: Dan Wilson

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Dan Wilson
    • Nicknames: "Dan the Man," "Willie"
    • Acquired: Trade with Reds in 1993
    • Years as Mariner: 12
    • Famous for: Former hockey goalie, post-season numbers, inside-the-park grand slam
    • Awards: 1x All-Star

    When Lou Piniella left the Reds for Seattle, as the story goes, he wanted to bring a catcher with him. So the Mariners traded second baseman Bret Boone to get their man.

    "Dan the Man," that is.

    While Wilson was never a big thumper and had his problems in the postseason, he was without a doubt one of the most steady Mariners ever.

    Having earned all-state honors three times as a hockey goalie in high school, stopping a baseball must have seemed easy for Wilson.

    Though defensive metrics for catchers (especially beyond the past decade) are generally considered unreliable, Dan Wilson was recognized as one of the best in the league. He was tremendous at stopping balls in the dirt, saving many runs, passed balls and advanced bases.

    There were some great moments, too. I was at the game in the Kingdome when he hit an inside-the-park grand slam. No easy feat for a catcher, even on that bouncy turf.

    The frustration of Dan Wilson's playoff woes have to be harnessed. Yes the timing was terrible to slump that bad, but we have to remember it was a small sample and doesn't take away from all the other amazing things he did for the team, and in the community.

    I originally had Wilson tabbed for #11, but the more I thought about it, he really is one of the all-time Mariner greats and deserved a spot in the top 10.

9: Alvin Davis

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Alvin Davis
    • Nicknames: "Mr. Mariner"
    • Acquired: Drafted in sixth round in 1982
    • Years as Mariner: 8
    • Famous for: Record for most games reaching base safely to start career
    • Awards: 1984 AL Rookie of Year, 1984 All-Star

    Alvin Davis was "Mr. Mariner" long before we knew about Junior, Randy, Jay, Edgar or Ichiro.

    Named Rookie of the Year, setting a major league record by reaching base safely in his first 47 games  and making his lone All-Star Game appearance all in 1984, it would be easy for people to have felt letdown that his career only lasted nine years, eight with the Mariners.

    That wasn't the case, though.

    He was the bright spot of a team that had been miserable since its inception. While he didn't have a Hall of Fame-type career, he did put butts in the Kingdome seats when there was little else to root for. For that, he's unquestionably a Mariners Hall of Famer.

8: Jay Buhner

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    Tomasso Derosa/Getty Images
    • Name: Jay Buhner
    • Nicknames: "Bone"
    • Acquired: Trade from New York Yankees in 1988
    • Years as Mariner: 14
    • Famous for: Buhner Buzz Cut Night, Catch at Fenway tumbling over wall
    • Awards: one-time All-Star

    If you're a Mariners fan, I don't have to remind you about all the bad trades that have been made that made us yank our hair out.

    Getting Jay Buhner wasn't one of those.

    In one of the best trades in franchise history and one of the worst for the Yankees, Buhner came over in 1998 for Ken Phelps. The trade is looked at so poorly in New York, that it made it into an episode of "Seinfeld."

    Buhner would go on to be one of the longest-tenured Mariners in franchise history, and also one of the most beloved by fans.

    There was the commercial when Safeco Field opened in which Buhner reflected the sun off his bald head to blind batters. That same bald head was motivation for the popular promotion called "Buhner Buzz Cut Night," in which free tickets were issued to fans who showed up to the game with hair, then let Buhner take to their dome with clippers.

    One story that Dave Niehaus loved to tell was about a game at Fenway Park. Buhner had asked the umpires before the game what the ruling would be if a ball was caught while falling over the short right-field fence. He was reportedly told that as long as the fielder climbed back over the wall before throwing it, it would be an out. Throwing it while on the other side would be a home run.

    As fate would have it, Buhner had a chance that very night to test that out, as he caught a ball while tumbling over the fence.

    The home run at Yankee Stadium that hit the ambulance. The sight of him chugging into third base to become the first Mariner to hit for the cycle. The pine tar. The shades while batting.

    Someday, the Mariners should change their ridiculous retired-number policy. Jay Buhner has provided us a ton of wonderful memories and I'd like my kid to ask "Hey dad, who was number 19?"

    I'd say: "Let me tell you about 'The Bone,' son."

7: Felix Hernandez

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Felix Hernandez
    • Nicknames: "King Felix,"
    • Acquired: International free agent, signed in 2002
    • Years as Mariner: 6
    • Famous for: Lowest win total for a Cy Young winner in history
    • Awards: 2010 AL Cy Young Award, one-time All-Star, one-time ERA Champion

    Finally reaching the potential we all dreamed of, winning the 2010 AL Cy Young Award, Felix moves up a spot past Jay Buhner.

    Having been initially scouted as a 14-year-old already throwing 94 miles per hour, the Mariners kept tabs on him until they were legally permitted to sign him after his 16th birthday.

    Some thought it was too soon when the U.S.S. Mariner blog coined the nickname "King Felix" as Hernandez was rocketing through the minors.

    It's pretty amazing when you realize Felix is still only 24-years-old. Entering his age-25 season, he'll have a Cy Young and six years in the big leagues under his belt.

    He's more than earned the nickname with the dominance and presence he has on the mound. His fierce competitive nature and never wanting to hand over the ball, coupled with his special talent is the kind of thing teams dream of finding.

    Plus, he hit a grand slam off Johan Santana. Come on, can he get any more awesome?

    Long live The King.

6: Jamie Moyer

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
    • Name: Jamie Moyer
    • Nicknames:
    • Acquired: Trade from Baltimore in 1996
    • Years as Mariner: 11
    • Famous for: Defying age
    • Awards: one-time All-Star, 2003 Roberto Clemente Award

    Jamie Moyer isn't as decorated with awards as the next five guys you'll see.

    All he did was show up and pitch.

    Statistics combined with longevity and contributions away from the diamond put him at this spot on the list. Moyer was simply dependable, and as you saw age catching up in his face and hair, it somehow forgot to spread to his arm.

    He never threw hard, not even as a young buck. He was methodical, though, and knew which part of the strike zone to attack depending on the hitter. He almost had a catcher's mentality while on the mound.

    Moyer has kept a book of every batter he's faced. The information he's compiled was utilized in games and shared with countless teammates. He proved that you don't need to have a heater that touches 100 or a wicked slider with tons of break.

    Off the field, the Moyer Foundation has done a lot for the Seattle community.

    He's was a class act, a wonderful teammate by all accounts and certainly worthy of induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame someday.

    You never know. While he's pushing 50, he might not be done yet.

5: Alex Rodriguez

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images
    • Name: Alex Rodriguez
    • Nicknames: "A-Rod"
    • Acquired: #1 overall pick in 1993
    • Years as Mariner: 7
    • Famous for: Using steroids, dirty antics on the field, youngest player to reach 300, 400, 500 and 600 home runs.
    • Awards: five-time All-Star, four Silver Sluggers

    There is no doubting A-Rod's talent. He was the best player in the game for a period, and will likely break the all-time home run record.

    While those of us in Seattle remain bitter about his departure and point to things like his admitted steroid use and dirty tactics like slapping balls from hands or yelling "I got it" while running the bases, we'd be silly to not give him credit for his natural abilities.

    When Rodriguez got called up to the Mariners, he was 18. The youngest position player in franchise history and a rare position player in the majors as a teenager. He was that good.

    Plus, you can't watch "The Double" without seeing him jump on top of Griffey after he scored that winning run.

    We'll continue to boo him like crazy when he comes to town. Remember, though, we boo him because we wish he hadn't left.

4: Randy Johnson

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
    • Name: Randy Johnson
    • Nicknames: "The Big Unit"
    • Acquired: From Montreal in trade for Mark Langston 
    • Years as Mariner: 9
    • Famous for: Height, intimidating look, early wildness, threw no-hitter in both leagues, four consecutive Cy Young Awards.
    • Awards: five-time All-Star, 1995 AL Cy Young, no-hitter

    When you think intimidation, nastiness and domination, you think Randy Johnson.

    The Mariners sent Mark Langston to the Expos for a wild Johnson. Though he was big and had great stuff, there were concerns about his command.

    Boy, did he ever fix that.

    "What might have been" always pops into our minds. Even though the Mariners got a pretty good package of players from the Astros when they traded Randy away, it's hard to lose a player of that caliber.

    Visions of Randy seemingly bursting his fists through the Kingdome's roof as he touched the sky after that win in 1995 are fresh on our minds.

    There was an ugly divorce, but that doesn't change how amazing The Big Unit was for the Mariners. This may change in a few years, but as of now, he's unquestionably the best pitcher to toe the slab in the Mariners history.

    What might have been, indeed.

3: Ichiro

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    The StanceRonald Martinez/Getty Images
    • Name: Ichiro Suzuki
    • Nicknames: "Ichi," "Sultan of Slap"
    • Acquired: Japan posting system, signed free-agent contract in 2001
    • Years as Mariner: 10
    • Famous for: Only second player to win MVP and Rookie of Year in same season, first Japanese-born position player in MLB history, strong arm, 200 hits every season, Gold Glove award every season, second fastest player in history to record 2,000 MLB hits, only player to hit an inside-the-park home run in an All-Star Game.
    • Awards: 2001 AL MVP, 2001 AL Rookie of Year, 2001 Stolen Base Champion, 2005 Commissioners Historic Achievement Award, 2007 All-Star Game MVP, 10 Gold Gloves, 10-time All-Star, two-time Batting Champion, seven-time MLB Hits Leader

    Simply typing the awards above, I was surprised. I could have turned this into a book had I included Ichiro's awards from Japan and some of the other awards he's won in America.

    Perhaps it's fitting that, since Ichiro replaced Randy Johnson wearing No. 51 for the Mariners, he should replace him for this spot on the greatest Mariners ever list.

    It was close. The tiebreaker is probably Ichiro playing everyday as a position player and how well he has performed while surrounded by a mostly crummy roster.

    There are so many great things we'll remember about Ichiro when telling his story to our grandchildren.

    Two-hundred hits, a .300 average, Gold Gloves and All-Star selections every season. His insane routine before every season, every game and every at-bat. The way he protects his bats like a ninja would his sword. The quotes. How he references his dog. The odd outfits he wears when showing up for spring training. His historic All-Star Game profanity-laced pep talks.

    The list goes on. He's truly one of a kind.

    He's often been blamed for the team's failures and accused of being selfish. That is hilarious, considering how steady and consistent he has been over a decade of mostly bad baseball in Seattle.

    Ichiro has been a real treat to watch. He could quite possibly become the first Hall of Famer to spend his entire career with the Mariners.

    Let's not count our chickens, though. We can only hope he sticks around and that the team repays him with a better supporting cast.

2: Ken Griffey, Jr.

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    The SwingJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

     

    • Name: Ken Griffey, Jr.
    • Nicknames: "Junior," "The Kid"
    • Acquired: Drafted No. 1 overall in 1987; Signed as free agent in 2009
    • Years as Mariner: 13
    • Famous For: Scoring on "The Double," backwards hats, hitting warehouse at Camden Yards during home run derby, hitting back-to-back home runs with his father, All-Centry team member
    • Awards: 10-time All-Star, seven Silver Sluggers, 10 Gold Gloves, three-time Home Run Derby winner, 1997 AL MVP, 1992 All-Star Game MVP

    The sweetest swing we ever saw. The backwards hat. The smile.

    The Kid.

    Ken Griffey, Jr. will likely be remembered as the face of the franchise. He was the most prolific and decorated Mariner we've seen.

    Currently fifth on the all-time home runs list with 630 dingers on his stat sheet, "Junior" is a lock to make the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. It's well deserved and enough to make him the greatest player to ever don the compass rose.

    Had this list been made a year ago, that's exactly where he'd have been. I can't, however, look past the way he left the team. Twice.

    The first time, we understood. Family first. It hurt, but we understood. The second time, our hero packed his stuff and went home due to a bruised ego. No press conference. No final at-bat. Not even a video saying goodbye and thank you.

    This doesn't diminish what he meant to the team and city. He was an important cog in the machine for 10 wonderful years and quite possibly helped save baseball in Seattle.

    He's the guy I pretended to be in my backyard with my hat spun around. Trying oh-so-hard to duplicate that pretty swing, racing around the bases, and lying underneath a teammate dog-pile with a huge grin on my face.

    He was the best. He wasn't, however, the greatest.

1: Edgar Martinez

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    Harry How/Getty Images
    • Name: Edgar Martinez
    • Nicknames: "Gar," "Papi"
    • Acquired: Signed as minor league free agent in 1982
    • Years as Mariner: 18
    • Famous For: "The Double," namesake of the DH of the Year award
    • Awards: seven-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, 1992 and 1995 batting title

    In the opening slide, I mentioned that every team has players that define their franchise. If I had children and wanted to show them what a Mariner should be, I'd point to Edgar.

    From the "Eeeeeeeeeedgaaaaaaar" chants, the stories about his eye-training skills and, of course, "The Double," no other player in Mariners history was so steady and dependable.

    Chances are good that Ken Griffey, Jr. will be the first to enter the Hall of Fame with an "S" on his bronzed hat. Edgar's support on this year's ballot slightly slipped due to the amount of new strong candidates. While many expect he'll make it some day, the road to get there won't be easy.

    So, how could a player who might never get into the Hall of Fame be ranked above a few sure-fire first ballot guys?

    He never quit on us.

    The argument will always be made about Edgar not playing defense. When he stepped into the batters box, though, he was among the most feared right-handed hitters in the game. He didn't always do it with the long ball, but Edgar had elite on-base skills and drove the gap well.

    In 1995, Edgar posted a 7.5 WAR. Only John Valentin, Barry Bonds and Albert Belle posted a better number. From 1995 to 2001, which was Edgar's best stretch, only Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa and Griffey posted better cumulative WARs.

    You don't have streets and awards named after you unless you've done a few things right. Edgar just happened to do everything right for the Mariners.

    A true role model and icon of Seattle, Edgar Martinez is the greatest Mariner of all-time.