Also known as the 10th Anniversary of the summer that I (and the rest of the Pacific Northwest) fell in love with the Seattle Mariners and Major League Baseball.
Fox Sports Northwest just replayed Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the Mariners and the Yankees. Brought back a lot of memories. That was such an awesome summer. No one thought the M's had a chance at making the playoffs. Instead they had a pretty magical run through September, and won their first ever AL West championship in a fantastic one game playoff with the Angels. They lost the first two games in New York (Game 2 in 15 innings), and had to win 3 straight in Seattle to advance to the ALCS. Thus began the "Refuse to Lose" campaign.
The series had a great cast of characters, in both dugouts. For the Mariners...Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr, Jay Buehner, Randy Johnson (who came in as a reliever in Game 5), Tino Martinez, Joey Cora, and a 20-year-old pre-sellout rookie named Alex Rodriguez. For the Yanks, the old guard of Wade Boggs & Don Mattingly, with Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, David Cone, and a couple of rookies...Mariano Rivera & Derek Jeter. There were also some first class mullets on display thanks to Randy Johnson & Norm Charlton!
Game 5 was wall-to-wall excitement through 11 innings. Every time the Yanks scored, the M's found a way to match it. 5-4 Yanks going into the bottom of the 11th, with the heart of the Seattle batting order coming to the plate. Cora gets on by the skin of his teeth with a lead off bunt, then Griffey gets a walk. Up comes Edgar, coming off a grand slam in game 4, and he just rips a shot to the left field corner to bring home Cora & Griffey. Pan-de-fricken-monium, the place goes bonkers.
A baseball town is born. The road is paved for Safeco Field, record-setting attendance, Ichiro, and 116 wins in 2001. But we're all still waiting and hoping for a World Series championship. Someday.