Jason's Motivation pages

1995 Seattle Mariners' Miracle Season: Refuse to Lose

 

 

 


I know that putting this page under the "Motivation" might be weird but know that this is the single most emotional sports moment of my entire life. Not an avid fan and smarting from the 1994 baseball strike, I vowed never to watch baseball again. Then IT happened.

The 1995 Seattle Mariner Game was nearly orgasmic for the entire city. I was going to college and by mid-season, the Mariners were in their usual poor form and 13 games down. Then from nowhere, they started to not only win, but win in spectacular fashion. It seemed game after game, they would get behind and then through heroic effort, come back to squeeze out a win. And it seemed every night, it was a different hero until the entire city was in a near religious fever. For the first time in their 19 year history, we really felt like they had a chance for the World Series.

Every night, the city would practically shut down as everyone rushed to a television set. Forget getting a ticket because it was sold out every night. I was working as a security guard at the University and I would sit in front on a TV and ignore my duties for three hours (sometimes not even starting my lock-up rounds until after 10:00 PM and then spend half the night catching up.)

The other thing you must understand about all of this is the Mariner's announcer. He is a legend named Dave Neihaus and has one of those voices that perfectly represent baseball. He is viciously beloved by the fans because he's been announcing Mariner games from the first game and getting on in years, the city wanted a championship for him as much as they wanted one for themselves. He tends to get excited and escalates to sheer yelling, holding nothing back while he lets his emotion take over and speak for the entire Seattle fan population. He has more than a few catch phrases that electrify his audience and make him even more loved, if that's possible.

So what I have done is to post here the sound bites and the transcription of each.

Click for mp3
Transcription
Comments
"… Wetteland one more time set and here comes the 2-2 pitch to Edgar Martinez, now and A FAST BALL SWUNG ON AND HIT TO DEEP CENTER FIELD… BERNIE WILLIAMS GOES BACK AND IT IS… GET OUT THE RYE BREAD AND THE MUSTARD THIS TIME, GRANDMA, IT IS A GRAND SALAMI! AND THE MARINERS LEAD IT 10 TO 6 … I DON’T BELIEVE IT, MY OH MY!!!"

I was sitting in my in-laws' living room, literally sitting on edge of the couch, rocking back and forth with my hands clasped to the side of my head, mumbling "Come on Edgar, one time, baby, one time, right here, Edgar..."

When he hit it, I jumped up with my hands in the air, unbelieving that the moment was happening. I was afraid I was going to get my hands chopped off by their ceiling fan.

Dave Neihaus had tons of rye bread loaves and salamis sent to him, sometimes on hook and line, lowered to his announcing box from fans above.

"… to Tino, SWUNG ON AND BELTED DEEP TO RIGHT FIELD, AND THAT WILL BEEEE… FLY AWAY. AND THE MARINERS WIN IT 9 TO 8 IN PERHAPS THE MOST INCREDIBLE GAME IN THEIR HISTORY!!!!" Another game when last minute heroics pulled out a big win. I think I hyper-ventilated when this happened.
"… (????) SWUNG ON AND BELTED, DEEP TO RIGHT FIELD, THE MARINERS HAVE DONE IT, FLY AWAY!!!!! JUNIOR WITH A TWO-RUN HOMERUN AND THE MARINERS HAVE GOT THE 8TH INNING APE OFF THEIR BACK!!!"

Junior smacks another home run and Dave Neihaus goes nuts.

"… and October was for watching somebody else in the playoffs. Then came this year…

“ … RIGHT OVER THE HEART OF THE PLATE!!! RANDY LOOKS TO THE SKY THAT IS COVERED BY THE DOME AND BEDLAM!!!! AS THE MARINERS NOW ERUPT!!! NINETEEN LONG YEARS OF FRUSTRATION IS OVER!!! THIS IS JUST … INDESCRIBABLE!!!"

Randy Johnson delivers a fiery meteorite right down the middle of the plate that had to break the catcher's hand. This won the one game A.L. West tie-breaker.
"…Edgar Martinez, swung ON AND LINED DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT. HERE COMES JOEY, HERE IS JUNIOR TO THIRD BASE, THEY’RE GONNA WAVE HIM IN…THE THROW TO THE PLATE WILL BEEEE…. LATE!!!! THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. I DON’T BELIEVE IT, IT JUST CONTINUES!!! MY OH MY!!! THE MARINERS WILL PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP…"

Far and away the single most emotional moment I've ever experienced as a result of sports. Little Joey Cora was on second and Ken Griffey, Jr. was on first. With two outs in the ninth, the Mariners were 1 run behind and all seemed lost. Then there was this moment.

I've watched the video and when they show Junior rounding third base, my eyes bulge. He is a home run hitter so not known for his base running speed but when he approaches third and rounds it, for the love of God he is accelerating like a wild, graceful, powerful animal. There was no need to wave him anywhere; he was going for everything and giving the same. When he gets to home and they miss the tag, the team rushes out and dog piles him and the entire dome erupts in a super nova. I thought Dave Neihaus's heart was going to explode and expected to see glass shatter out his booth in a big explosion.


Email -- jason@grose.us
Web -- http://www.grose.us/