Throughout baseball history there have been several historic teams. The 1927 and 1998 Yankees, the 1906 Cubs, and the 1976 Reds are just a few that come to mind. Those teams had utterly dominant regular seasons and post seasons. And that is where one has to ask the question how significant and great was the 2001 Mariners 116-46 regular season and eventual five game loss to the New York Yankees in the ALCS rank? Now it should be known the loss to the Yankees was at the tail end of one of the greatest dynasties in the sport’s history, so that is nothing to hang your hat on.
For the majority of the time the postseason is what gets remembered and rightly so. But it is also important to sit back and really appreciate what that historical Mariners team did 14 years ago, going 114-46. To put it into perspective there were 12 teams just this season that had 46 or more losses at the All Star Break. The 01’ Mariners had their setbacks, but never suffered more than two losses in a row until a late season “slide” saw them lose four in a row including being swept by the A’s. Seattle that year had some great players including Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, and Brett Boone. That was Ichiro’s first season of professional baseball in the US and it sure was a great start. He led the team with a .350 batting average along with 242 hits on his way to winning the MVP and ROTY. Other notables in the lineup included Edgar Martinez, who had a stellar .423 OBP while driving in 116 runs, most of being Ichiro. The pitching rotation was led by Freddy Garcia and Jamie Moyer who won 18 and 20 games respectively. The thing that sticks out the most is the group of core veterans on the team that had experience and age under their belt, such as Edgar Martinez and John Olerud (won a ring with the Blue Jays almost a decade before. Like many triumphs in sports, experience can carry a team a long way, and in baseball there is no exception.
The 2001 M’s displayed what is one of the greatest seasons in all of professional sports even, though they didn’t win the Fall Classic. They displayed great consistency and effectiveness for 162 games giving the fan base a memorable season that for sure is among the 10 best of all-time. Regardless of if they won the Series or not, it was a feat that will not be matched for a long time.