The Seattle Mariners certainly don’t have the longest history for teams in Major League Baseball, but they have had a fascinating one. Over the years, the Mariners have had some memorable players that include Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and, of course, Ken Griffey Jr. They’ve also had a lot of great players on the mound.
Seattle is known for seemingly always having one pitcher that dominates the rest of the league, even if the team isn’t successful at the time. Let’s take a walk down memory lane for the Mariners franchise and look at their five best pitchers in team history. Before we get to the lists, some of the pitchers that just missed the cut include Gil Meche, Joel Pineiro, Paul Abbott, and Mike Moore.
5. Mark Langston
The first pitcher on the list is Mark Langston, who got his start with the Seattle Mariners back in 1984 when he was 23 years old. Langston was actually a draft selection for the Chicago Cubs in 1978, but three years later was selected by the Mariners in the second round. Langston had a strong rookie season, posting a record of 17-10 with a 3.40 earned run average.
In total, Langston spent more than five seasons with Seattle as he was traded to Montreal during the 1989 campaign. Overall, Langston had a record of 74-67 with the Mariners and an ERA of 4.01 with one All Star Game appearance prior to his trade. Langston then went on to have a long career with the California Angels before retiring as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 1999.
4. Freddy Garcia
One of the best players to ever come from the country of Venezuela, Freddy Garcia signed with the Mariners when he came to the United States, and was just 22 years old when he made his debut with the team in 1999. Garcia shone in his rookie season, posting a record of 17-8 with 170 strikeouts, and finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Like Langston, Garcia was traded during his sixth season with Seattle, put it was a fine career that he had with the Mariners. He finished with a record of 76-50 in Seattle and an ERA of 3.89, striking out 819 batters. Garcia played for a total of seven franchises before retiring after the 2013 season.
3. Jamie Moyer
Not many people can say that they’ve played 25 or more seasons in Major League Baseball, but Jamie Moyer is one of those few people. After spending time with the Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, and Red Sox, Jamie Moyer came to the Mariners via trade in 1996 at the age of 33 and spent 11 different seasons in Seattle.
During that time, Moyer had more than half of his 269 career wins (145), posting an impressive win percentage of .625. Moyer also had an ERA under 4.0 and helped the Mariners have one of the finest seasons in MLB history in 2001 with a record of 20-6. Moyer played for eight teams in his MLB career, but many of his years were with the Mariners.
2. Felix Hernandez
Selecting the top two was the hardest part of the list, and the silver medal goes to “King” Felix Hernandez, the second player on the list from Venezuela. At just 19 years old, Hernandez joined the Mariners and got off to a strong start in his limited rookie campaign. Things only got better as Hernandez became the long-time ace for Seattle, spending all 15 of his MLB seasons with the franchise.
Hernandez put together some incredible seasons in Seattle, including his 2009 Cy Young-winning season where he posted a 19-5 record and 2.49 earned run average. In total, Hernandez finished with 169 wins and 2,524 strikeouts to go along with his six All-Star appearances and two ERA titles.
1. Randy Johnson
“The Big Unit” may have come into the MLB with the Montreal Expos, but he’ll always be remembered for truly getting his start with the Mariners. Acquired in a 1989 trade, Randy Johnson spent 10 different seasons with Seattle, more than any other team during his illustrious career.
Johnson dominated while with the Mariners and finished with a record of 130-74 and a 3.42 earned run average. He was able to strike out 2,162 batters, as well, which is insane for less than 10 full seasons. Johnson may have won his World Series title with Arizona, but he’ll always be remembered as a Mariner.