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The Seattle Mariners kindled a pair of rivalries in 1995, narrowly beating the California Angels (as they called themselves at the time) for the American League West division title and defeating the New York Yankees in one of the greatest five-game series ever played.
Let's start at the beginning, August 1995, when the Mariners were furthest from first place in the AL West, 13 games back on Aug. 2nd.
Appropriately, August 1995 kicked off with a three-game series between the Angels and Mariners in which the Mariners dropped the first two games. Starting on August third the Mariners went 35-20 for the rest of the season, a stretch sparked by the August third victory over the Angels and punctuated with a one-game playoff victory over the Angels for division crown.
A slightly down year in 1996 in which the Mariners struggled to hold opponent bats to a dull roar intervened before the next battle with the Angels for the division title.
The 1997 season wasn't nearly as exciting as the Mariners won the division by six games and lead the division for the final month of the season. However, it was the Angels in pursuit and the Angels challenging the Mariners head-to-head, playing to a 6-6 draw over 12 games.
After a few years of non-mutual contention, the Angels and Mariners battled again in 2002 for what would be the American League wild-card berth. The Angels finished in second place in the AL West, six games ahead of the Mariners, in position to reach the playoffs and eventually win the World Series.
In 2002, the Mariners third place record of .574 would have been good enough for second place in any other division. Though six games out of second seems far removed, remember that the Mariners were in first place for 121 out of 162 games in 2002!
The most recent chapter in Mariner-Angel rivaldom was written in 2007, when the Mariners finished second to the Angels after challenging them deep into August.
On Aug. 24, 2007, the Mariners stood at 73-53 and the Angels at 75-53, a date which turned out to be a fork in the road.
The Mariners went down the losing path, winning only two of their next 17 games, killing what would turn out to be the team's most recent shot at postseason the play.