Yesterday we were given the wonderful gift of the traditional annual commercials that our extremely talented Mariners marketing team produces for our enjoyment. As any Mariners fan would know, these commercials are a great way to get a fun look at our baseball heroes and their personalities, unless your name is Kyle and you play 3rd base… Then these commercials are nothing about your personality.
Since the Mariners started manufacturing these commercials in 1994, we fans have been blessed with over 130 segments of our favorite Mariners throughout the years. 1995, oddly enough, was my least favorite year of commercials. 2005 was comprehensively my favorite year of commercials, so I’ll do myself a favor and not list them all below. It was extremely hard to narrow these down to one tailored list, but I chose the ones that I could best relate to. Here are my favorite 10 Mariners commercials, ranked in chronological order:
10. Dan Wilson collects snapshots of his favorite players (1996): Dan Wilson is my favorite Mariner of all time, so naturally I’d want to include one of his greatest masterpieces. This commercial also ranks high on my list because #BaseballButtz are funny. We all have an inner 5-year-old everyone, just embrace it…
9. A thinking ballclub is a winning ballclub (1997): Because teams who think together, win together. You gotta admire the sentiment behind it all. This is when the Mariners were a winning ball club, and who doesn’t want that to happen again? I can already see a remake in 2017, “A controlling the zone ballclub is a winning ballclub”.
8. English Lessons (2000): Kazuhiro Sasaki was one of my first favorite pitchers on the Mariners. His rookie year in the MLB (2000) was one of the first years I started investing heavily into learning names, stats and creating heroes out of the guys I watched on TV. Kaz was a cool dude and boy could he close a ballgame. This commercial charms your pants off because Kaz learns English by listening to “English – The Dave Niehaus Way”. *dries tears*
7. Late Night BP (2001): Safeco Field has a pesky but accurate reputation of being a pitcher’s ballpark, meaning that Safeco was not designed to see a lot of home runs fly out of it. This commercial features then pitching coach Bryan Price and Skipper Lou Pinella taking part in a late night batting practice. Lou is knocking them out of the park. True to Sweet Lou style, he ends the commercial with a defiant “who says this isn’t a hitter’s park”.
6. The Wizard (2002): Another player that I was fortunate enough to really learn and understand the game of baseball with was none other than Ichiro Suzuki. This commercial ranks in my top favorites because it reflects one of the more positive part of the mid-2000s Mariners: how good of a player Ichrio was. While he is still one of the more durable players in MLB, nothing could stop Ichi in these years. His production and accuracy are something that will ever be replicated.
5. The Great Wall of Beltre (2006): If you’re a Mariners fan and you genuinely do not like Adrian Beltre, we cannot be friends. While the Mariners currently have an excellent and loyal third baseman, you cannot deny that Adrian is the best. If you cannot appreciate Adrian by himself, at least appreciate Felix/Adrian friendship turned “rivalry” that was formed in those years. Without Adrian, we would not have this wonderfully gif-able moment to cherish forever.
4. Double Play Twins & Serious Heat (2007): 2007 was a great display of quirky creativity by the Mariners. I could not chose between these two spots, so I picked them both. Double Play Twins features Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt as the our reliable middle infielders of the mid-to-late 2000s. There’s no real sentimentality behind this. It’s just creative and whimsical and I may or may not be petitioning for a Cano/Marte remake. Serious Heat plays on Felix Hernandez and his reliable fastball. This is when Felix was still somewhat the new guy. At this point, people still were not sure what to do with the 21-year-older hurler from Seattle.
3. Impressions (2012): This is on here for the pure nostalgia of it. Not one single person in this commercial still plays for the Seattle Mariners and wait… No wait, that’s Kyle Seager in the middle. Phew. Other than our reliable Kyle, we have the ghost of shortstops past Brendan Ryan, George Sherill, Mike Carp (lol), something called Chone Figgins and Ichrio. This commercial does not really do much but give you a good laugh for the sheer peculiarity of the whole affair, but hey that is really all you need sometimes.
2. Hawt Corner (2015): This is by far one of the best commercials ever produced in the history of forever. The dynamic duo of Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen, *sniffle* head the lyrical group “Hawt Corner”. Hawt Corner is there to add some a soundtrack to the great style of play that Kyle provides for us at third base. I’ll stop talking because this commercial rocks for itself.
1. Mirror Images (2016): Edgar Martinez is a very important guy in the Seattle Mariners organization. Not a lot of people will ever mean so much to a fan base, as much as Edgar does to Mariners fans. Edgar has been in a ton of great commercials for the Mariners over the last 15 some odd years (see honorable mention below), but I liked the message that this commercial sent the best. This commercial features Robinson Cano and his mirror image, Edgar Martinez. It’s a passing of the torch in some ways to me, and I think the Edgar stamp of approval speaks volumes. Calling it now, Robinson Cano 2016 AL MVP. (p.s the light bat returns and that is pure gold)