MEMORABLE MARINER MOMENTS.
Saturday night proved a monumental moment in the history of the Seattle Mariners
baseball team. Although the game ended in a loss to the Texas Rangers, it was sandwiched between two touching ceremonies.
was honored in a ceremony prior to the game for his breaking of George Sisler's 84 year-old record for hits in a single season. Ichiro had tied and brokern Sisler's record the evening before, and the late Hall-of-Famer's family was on hand for the occasion. It was wonderful to see Sisler's daughter present, and one of the family members said some kind words before presenting Ichiro with a St. Louis Browns hat, autographed by George Sisler himself. Ichiro, in turn, presented the family with a baseball bat. It was also announced that there would be an exhibit of Ichiro and his record-breaking run at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. (By the way, Ichiro reached 260 hits for the year on Saturday, with a single. He finished the season with 262.)
was honored with a wonderful and touching ceremony following the the ballgame. Davie Niehaus emceed the event, which was attended by many dignitaries, including Orlando Cepeda. Holli Martinez gave an endearing speech about Edgar. Annie Wilson, in turn, gave a warm speech in honor of Holli. Jay Buhner, recently inducted into the Mariner's Hall of Fame, did an awesome job, praising Edgar. Dave Valle likewise paid tribute to his former teammate, with Alvin Davis present. Dan Wilson and Bret Boone also spoke very well of Edgar. The crowd was treated to highlight films of Edgar in action on the field, as well as to some of his HILLARIOUS baseball and hardware commercials.
Commissioner Bud Selig (who was booed throughout both ceremonies, interestingly) announced that the league's designated hitter award would forever be named after Edgar Martinez. The crowd roared and was on its feet. Governor Gary Locke issued a proclamation in honor of Edgar, honoring him with "Edgar Martinez Week" in the State of Washington. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced to the audience that a street near Safeco would be named after Edgar, and a giant street sign bearing the man's name was unveiled.
There were chants of Ed-Gar all throughought the ceremony. Edgar finall got up and said a few words to the audience. Along with Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez has long been of my favorite players and favorite Seattle Mariners. I can still remember his early days in the late '80s, where he spending time between AAA Calgary (where he was tearing it up) and with the Seattle club. I even remember his game-winning hit at a Mariner home-opener back it...gosh, '89 or '90. I was a lucky member of the audience in Game 4 of the 1995 ALDS against the Yankees, where Edgar belted a Grand Slam. The following night was the the double that will live in infamy, which every serious Mariner fan will never forget.
Many of those present and speaking at the ceremony, such as Selig and Buhner, suggested that Edgar will make it into Cooperstown. I hope that happens. Edgar has had a stellar career. He was the game's best designated hitter. I will miss Edgar.
(Downtown Seattle, WA)