2011 MLB All-Star Game: Top Seattle Mariners Midsummer Classic Moments
Tonight is baseball's All-Star game—a night where (some of) the best players on the planet gather to showcase the sport in an exhibition that means a little, but actually means a lot.
Forget about the whole home-field advantage thing, all the Yankees bowing out and the seemingly low care level from fans. It's the All-Star game, baby!
The Mariners have sent 35 players and coaches to the game in their history. Two have gone 10 times each, 26 have only gone once and one year the team sent nine representatives.
There should be some good moments that have come from that, right? Of course. So let's check them out.
Ichiro and Junior Go 10 Each
Ichiro Suzuki didn't make the All-Star team this season, the first time in his 11-year career that's happened. Last season, he did tie Ken Griffey, Jr. for the most appearances in the exhibition, though, having made his 10th AL team.
That made me wonder how each has performed in those 10 games.
Griffey: 10-for-23, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI
Ichiro: 8-for-26, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
The edge goes to Griffey on offense. Ichiro did actually play in two more games than Griffey, who missed a couple due to injury despite being elected. Ichiro also gunned down Albert Pujols with an outfield assist to second base in one game.
Both have had great All-Star game careers in their own right.
The 2001 Team
The 2001 Mariners, as you may recall, were pretty good.
With the game being played at Safeco Field, the Mariners would showcase their record winning team during the Midsummer classic with nine representatives.
In the starting lineup were rookie outfielder Ichiro, first baseman John Olerud, second baseman Bret Boone and designated hitter Edgar Martinez.
Outfielder Mike Cameron and pitchers Freddy Garcia, Jeff Nelson and Kazuhiro Sasaki were also on the team. Manager Lou Piniella was selected as a coach.
Junior Wins MVP in 1992
Man, that kid was good.
A young Ken Griffey, Jr., already playing in his third All-Star game, would go 3-for-3 in the game, including a double and a dinger off Greg Maddux in the third inning.
He'd of course go on to play in a bunch more of these games, but on this night in 1992, he was the MVP.
Junior Wins Back-to-Back Derbies
A mainstay in the home run derby through the 1990s, Ken Griffey, Jr. won the event three times.
It took him a while to win again after his 1994 victory, but in '98 and '99, he went back-to-back and to this day is the only player to pull off that feat.
Ichiro's Inside-the-Parker and MVP
In the history of the All-Star game, an event that has spanned 78 years, only once has a player hit an inside-the-park home run.
That player was Ichiro, and the year was 2007.
Playing in right field for the National League was former Mariners superstar Ken Griffey, Jr. As Ichiro's bat sent a baseball slicing through the San Francisco air, Junior charged towards the area where the ball was heading, using his veteran instincts to judge the carom.
The problem? It zigged when it should have zagged.
The ball hit off the wall in an awkward spot that sent it shooting off in the opposite direction everyone, including Griffey, figured it would. That left Ichiro to race around the bases and cruise home to meet Brian Roberts for a high five.
All told, Ichiro went 3-for-3 with two RBI and that home run. With the American League winning 5-4, he was awarded MVP honors.