SEATTLE – So, it obviously can’t be denied that the Major League Baseball rule stating every team must have at least one representative was the main reason the name Mariners was included on the list of All-Stars in the early years of the franchise.
But since the arrival of Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989, the Mariners have had a pretty representative history when it comes to the All-Star Game, with three MVPs, three starting pitchers, and a few others who turned in game-winning moments.
And as another All-Star Game in Seattle awaits, it feels like the appropriate time to recall all of the Mariners who have taken part in past games.
There have been 48 individual Mariners named as All-Stars, making 91 appearances overall.
Some have taken part in more than a few – Ichiro and Griffey are tied for the most All-Star appearances as Mariners with 10.
And then there are the 35 who were selected to just one All-Star Game as a Mariner.
That’s a list that includes some big names such as Jay Buhner, Alvin Davis and Kyle Seager; two who made their debuts last year – Julio Rodriguez and Ty France; as well as some who time might have forgotten such as Matt Young, Craig Reynolds and Floyd Bannister.
But All-Star Games are a time celebrating not only the game’s present but also remembering its past.
So, in that spirit, here’s a ranking of every Mariner ever named to an All-Star Game before 2023.
In this second part, we rank Nos. 11-30 in descending order.
30. P Edwin Diaz
Comment: Diaz was a no-brainer All-Star pick in the year in which he led the AL in saves with 57, including 36 at the break. He had the chance to get the save in the All-Star Game, pitching the bottom of the ninth with the AL ahead 5-3, a lead the team got on a three-run homer by teammate Jean Segura in the eighth. But he gave up a one-out walk and then a home run to Scooter Gennett to tie it. But Diaz held the score there, including striking out Eugenio Suarez for the second out, and got the win when the AL got three runs in the top of the 10th and won 8-6.
29. OF Mitch Haniger
Comment: Haniger, who had 18 homers and 67 RBI at the break in his second season with the Mariners, got two at-bats with a strikeout filling in for starter Mike Trout in right field.
28. OF Phil Bradley
Comment: Bradley was amid his best season, batting .310 with 13 HR at the break (he’d end up at .300 with 26). In his only All-Star appearance, Bradley played two innings in the field and struck out against Montreal’s Jeff Reardon in his only plate appearance.
27. C Dan Wilson
Comment: The 1996 season was statistically the best of Wilson’s career, due in large part to a blazing first half of the season that earned him his only All-Star nod – he was hitting .308 at the break with 12 homers and 52 RBI (he finished at .285, 18 and 83, all career highs). In his only at-bat, Wilson made the last out of the AL’s 6-0 loss as a pinch-hitter on a fly out.
26. 1B Alvin Davis
Comment: Davis was the rookie sensation of the first half of the 1984 season, homering in seven of his first 16 games and hitting .340 at the end of May. He cooled off a little from there but still won AL Rookie of the Year honors and made his only All-Star Game in July. In his only plate appearance, he fittingly got to face the player who won Rookie of the Year honors in the NL – Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden. Alas, Gooden got the better of the battle, striking out Davis after having also struck out Detroit’s Chet Lemon and Lance Parrish.
25. P Fernando Rodney
Comment: Rodney made three All-Star Games for three different teams. In his only appearance with Seattle, Rodney gave a very un-“FRE”-like experience. Entering with two outs in the eighth and the AL down 5-3, Rodney walked Todd Frazier but struck out Daniel Murphy in his only two batters faced.
24. 3B Kyle Seager
Comment: Seager maybe deserved to make the All-Star team a few other times. But this was his only All-Star appearance. And in it, Seager pinch-hit for future teammate Nelson Cruz – then with Baltimore – and got two at-bats without getting a hit, grounding out twice.
23. OF Ruppert Jones
Comment: Jones was an obvious pick as Seattle’s first All-Star, having hit 17 of his 24 home runs for the season by the time of the game and having had an especially hot June (eight HR), though a case could have been made for Julio Cruz, hitting .321 at the break. Jones’ appearance was brief – he led off the third pinch-hitting for pitcher Jim Kern and flew out to right off Don Sutton.
22. 1B John Olerud
Comment: Olerud was one of the great eight named in 2001, winning the fan vote by almost 750,000 over Oakland’s Jason Giambi. Olerud went 0 for 2 reaching on an error.
21. 2B Bret Boone
Years: 2001, 2003
Comment: Boone was one of four Mariners who started the 2001 game in Seattle with the team amid its 116-win season, going 0 for 2. He appeared in the 2003 game, also going 0 for 2.
20. OF Jay Buhner
Comment: Yep, Buhner somehow made just one All-Star Game, despite finishing fifth in the MVP voting in 1995 and 19th in 1997. He was one of a then-record five Mariners to make the game in 1996, in the wake of the memorable 1995 postseason (you might have heard something about that). Sadly, it wasn’t overly memorable from an on-field standpoint as Buhner went 0 for 2 in a 6-0 NL win in Philadelphia.
19. P Jeff Nelson
Comment: Nelson was a late addition to the team, named by his former Yankee manager Joe Torre to replace the injured Mariano Rivera. Nelson made the most of it, pitching a scoreless seventh to officially get credit for a hold.
18. OF Tom Paciorek
Comment: This was one of the odder All-Star Games in history, held Aug. 9 after a roughly two-month strike was finally settled. Paciorek was hitting .328 at the time and had gotten some notice for hitting walk-off home runs (even if no one called them that then) in back-to-back games at the Kingdome in May to beat the Yankees. In his only All-Star Game, Paciorek got one pinch-hit appearance, singling off Tom Seaver but was left stranded there in a 5-4 NL win.
17. OF Mike Cameron
Comment: Cameron was one of a team-record eight Mariners, a late addition when Greg Vaughn pulled out due to injury, though Cameron certainly deserved it, having hit 18 homers with 58 RBI by the break along with stellar defense in center. Cameron, taking over for Juan Gonzalez in the fourth, went 1 for 3 with a double as the AL won 4-1.
16. DH Nelson Cruz
Years: 2015, 2017, 2018
Comment: Cruz has appeared in six All-Star Games overall, including three with the Mariners, but has gone hitless in eight at-bats. That includes going 0 for 4 in five plate appearances in the games in which he represented the Mariners, with a walk. But the three appearances is an impressive stat in itself.
15. 2B Harold Reynolds
Years: 1987, 1988
Comment: Reynolds holds the distinction of being the first player named to more than one All-Star Game while a member of the Mariners – the 1987 season was also the first time Seattle had more than one player, with Reynolds and Langston each making it. Reynolds went 0 for 4 in his two All-Star Games, though he got to play 10 innings in 1987 when he took over in the fourth inning for Willie Randolph and went the rest of the way in the AL’s 2-0 win in 13 innings.
14. P Mark Langston
Comment: The first true homegrown pitching star in team history, Langston was in his best season with the Mariners when he was named to his first All-Star Game in 1987 – he finished 19-13 and second in the majors in strikeouts with 262 behind only Nolan Ryan. Langston shined in the All-Star Game as well, pitching scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh and striking out three – including Jack Clark of St. Louis, at the time about as feared a hitter as there was in the game – in a game the AL won 2-0 in 13 innings.
13. P Jamie Moyer
Comment: Despite finishing in the top six in Cy Young voting three times, Moyer made only one All-Star Game in 2003 with the Mariners, a season in which he finished 21-7. Moyer pitched one inning – the fourth – retiring the not insubstantial trio of Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds in order.
12. P Kazuhiro Sasaki
Years: 2001, 2002
Comment: Sasaki has the only All-Star save in Mariner history, happily retiring the side in order in the 2001 game in Seattle to preserve the AL’s win. Things didn’t go as well for him in the infamous 7-7 tie the following year as Sasaki came in to preserve a 6-5 lead in the seventh and allowed three hits – including a two-run double to Lance Berkman – to give it up, as well as a walk.
11. 2B Jean Segura
Comment: Segura was one of four Mariners named to the All-Star team in 2018 with Seattle 58-39 and three games up for a wild-card spot. Segura was a big part of that, hitting .329 at the break. And he looked like an All-Star in the game, entering as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and hitting a three-run homer off Josh Hader to put the AL up 5-2. Had teammate Edwin Diaz been able to hold on to the lead, he might have had a shot at MVP honors. Instead, the NL tied the game off Diaz in the ninth and Houston’s Alex Bregman got the award after hitting a go-ahead homer in the 10th.