By Trey Lyle
So the Seattle Mariners have never won the World Series and have never won the American League pennant. They also haven’t made the postseason since 2001, which is the longest active postseason drought in the four major North American professional sports.
However, that 2001 team was one of the best teams ever to not win the World Series in the history of baseball and lands its place as the best season in Seattle Mariners history.
The 2001 Mariners went 116-46, which tied the Major League record with 1906 Chicago Cubs for most wins by a team in a season. The team was dominant during the regular season, winning 59 of their games by four runs or more, which is a Major League record. The Mariners also led the league in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
As for the postseason, the Mariners went on to beat the Indians in five games in the ALDS and then lose to the New York Yankees in five games in the ALCS.
A big part of the 2001 season was the debut of Ichiro Suzuki from Japan, who went on to win both the AL Rookie of the Year and the AL MVP award in that season. Ichiro led the league in batting average hitting .350, and was also first in stolen bases with 56. He also had 242 hits that season.
Bret Boone set the record for most RBIs in a season for a second baseman with 141. As a team, they were first in hits (1,637), stolen bases (174), batting average (.288), and on-base percentage (.360). They were the embodiment of playing small ball to win games.
The pitching staff was elite as well, led by Freddy Garcia, who led the league in ERA with 3.05. As a team, they led the league in ERA (3.54) and were fifth in strikeouts (1,051).
One of the best teams ever to not win the World Series, let alone make it there, the 2001 Seattle Mariners had a regular season for the ages that might never be matched again. Winning 116 games is unmatched, especially when it was in a modern time of baseball. This historic season in Major League history and maybe the best regular season of all-time puts the 2001 Mariners in a place of their own and is best season in franchise history.