Earlier last month, Topps unveiled their first-ever player curated set, ‘Topps x Bryce Harper’ . Topps worked with Bryce Harper to create “220: Second to None” , a box set containing not only players chosen by Bryce, but also cards designed by him as well. The base checklist includes Bryce Harper’s personally chosen fantasy starting lineup as well as five additional pitchers.
That set inspired us to curate our own set, appropriately named ‘COMC x Seattle Mariners’. In our set, we’re also creating our fantasy starting lineup and pitching staff, but we’re doing so using some cards that you’ve probably seen before. While Bryce’s team consisted of his favorite current baseball players representing all 30 MLB Teams, we’re focusing on just one team. So without further ado, here is our proposed set of favorite current and historical Seattle Mariners:
The Infield & Designated Hitter
1st Base – How could we possibly create an All-Mariners team and not include Mr. Mariner himself? First base has been a rotating door for the Mariners for the better part of the last twenty years. Alvin Davis provides consistency and power while hitting for average.
2nd Base – This was the toughest infield position to pick by far, as arguments could be made for former Mariners like Bret Boone, Harold Reynolds, and even Joey Cora. We went with current second baseman Robinson Cano, who’s three all-star appearances in a Mariners uniform, three hundred plus career homers, and continued production provide too strong of an argument to not include him on the team.
3rd Base – He only spent five of his 21 big league seasons playing for the Mariners, but future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre was an obvious choice at third base. Plus, we need someone to help keep Felix Hernandez (spoiler alert) in check, right?
Shortstop – Ask five baseball fans in 2018 what they think of Alex Rodriguez‘s baseball career and you might get five different answers. There were controversies and unhappy fan bases, but before the hundred million dollar contracts, it’s hard to find anything not to like about Alex Rodriguez. His time in Seattle produced nothing but good memories and huge stat lines.
Catcher – A case could definitely be made for Dave Valle, who spent ten years behind the dish for the M’s, but his successor Dan Wilson gets the nod on our All-Mariners team. Wilson embodied so much of the heart and soul that made the Mariners of the 1990’s so memorable.
Designated Hitter – The future Hall of Famer (mark our words) is an obvious choice to fill the designated hitter role on our team. A career .309 hitter with a WAR of 68.4 games, Edgar Martinez not only provides a ridiculously tough out in our batting order, but his grounded personality, leadership, and hitting knowledge is invaluable to this dream team.
Center Field – Was there ever any doubt? If there was any other card than a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. RC to represent our center fielder, this blog would have lost all credibility. Ken Griffey Jr. is the cornerstone of our All-Mariners team.
Left Field – of the three outfield positions, Ichiro played left the least over his career.But we’re 100% confident that if Ichiro could play left in 2018 for the Mariners, he can certainly play it on our All-Mariners Team. With so many power hitters on the team, Ichiro provides speed at the top of the line up.
Right Field – It was difficult to leave Nelson Cruz off of our team, but Jay Buhner spent nearly 14 seasons in right field for the M’s. With over 300 career home runs, a cannon of an arm, and a huge fan favorite in Seattle, ‘Bone’ slightly edges our Cruz as our final pick.
Three of our five starting pitchers were obvious no-brainer inclusions. We give the nod to Felix Hernandez as our Opening Day starter over Randy Johnson, while Jamie Moyer provides change of pace stability in the center of the rotation. James Paxton‘s career with the Mariners has been short up to this point, but we’ll speculate on his future returns. The fifth spot in our rotation could have went to a number of pitchers (Chris Bosio, Gaylord Perry, and Aaron Sele come to mind), but Freddy Garcia had three stellar seasons out of the five and a half he spent in Seattle, finishing second only to Carlos Beltran in the 1999 Rookie of the Year voting. The Mariners closing role has been a hodgepodge of good, bad, and ugly over the years, but with Edwin Diaz posting what might be the best year of any closer ever in 2018, that enough is reason for his inclusion on this squad.
So what do you think? Do you agree with our picks, or did we snub one of your favorite or deserving Mariner of the past or present? Let us know in the comments below!