On Sept.30, the Seattle Mariners topped the Oakland Athletics 2-1 to end a two-decade-long playoff drought. Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh led his team to victory when he hit a walk off home run. This caused the team to clinch a wildcard berth in the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Raleigh came on as a pinch hitter and secured the win for the Mariners when he hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. This was Raleigh’s 26th home run of the season, which is the most ever hit by a Mariners catcher.
Fans erupted in victory, as they celebrated for 10 minutes on the field. The fans and players could all feel the weight of the drought being lifted off their shoulders.
The celebration did not end there. Nearly an hour later, tens of thousands of fans were still cheering and commemorating the historic victory. After the team conducted their own clubhouse celebration, they stepped back on the field to show their fans love for their undying support. Manager Scott Servais gave a speech discussing the importance behind the memorable victory. “We did it. These players behind me are special. They care. They care about winning the right way. They care about representing the city of Seattle,” said Servais via an Entertainment and Sports Programming Network interview.
Being in the Pacific Northwest, there are many students from the Seattle area who are big Mariners fans. One student in particular, Ben Tallent ’26, has been a fan of the team since childhood.
“The last time they went to the playoffs I wasn’t even alive,” Tallent said.
Tallent has grown up watching the Mariners and recalls “going to friends house to watch games with them,” frequently. Tallent also explained how he has remained a loyal fan despite the drought that the Mariners have endured.
Tallent has attended several games this season and has enjoyed seeing his favorite team do well. He recalls the moment he found out they won, noting how he “started jumping in the air.” This triumphant feeling seems to be widespread throughout the Mariners fan base after the incredible game.
“I think this team has potential to be really good,” Tallent said. “If they can get past the Blue Jays and then take on the Astros, I think they can go pretty far.”
The first three playoff games can be watched on ESPN for anyone wishing to follow the Mariners postseason run.
The team’s success has been a culmination of teamwork and several other important wins leading up to the final game. As the Mariners head into the playoffs, the loyal fanbase have their heads held high and are ready to take on whatever obstacles come their way.