30
Dec
09

Edgar Martinez, the Hall of Fame and the Kingdome

I came across this article on ESPN about Edgar Martinez belonging in the Hall of Fame. It contains this quote line about his performance for the Mariners in the 1995 playoffs, and his amazing Game 4:

“…he had one of the greatest single-game playoff performances ever: 3-for-4 with a walk, a three-run homer and an eighth-inning grand slam off John Wetteland as the Mariners rallied from a 5-0 deficit.”

That was the first baseball game I ever saw. I was in Seattle that day on my first ever visit. I wanted to see a football game, and was directed to a husband-of-a-friend-of-a-friend to take me to one. When we spoke on the phone he said, “You don’t want football now, you want baseball. The Mariners are in the playoffs.”

We met up in downtown Seattle, wandered to the Kingdome and bought some nosebleed seats off a scalper. Since I hadn’t seen a baseball game before, I asked endless questions to figure out the game strategy. My host, whose name I do not remember, was fantastic at educating me.

Edgar hit a home run, bringing Seattle back from a defecit to the Yankees. They let off fireworks inside the dome, and since we were up high they were exploding in front of us. Everyone screamed.

Later on the game was tied and Edgar hit another ball high into the air. I couldn’t see the flight of the ball so I watched the outfielder to see where he was running. I saw the padding just behind the fence dent in as the ball went over. He had scored a grand slam. The noise of fans was so loud that it distorted in my ears. My ears couldn’t register anything. I can still see the padding, feel my ears switch off with the distortion and remember the sight of the fireworks detonating in front of me. Seattle went on to win the game.


Boxscore
from Retrosheet.
Wikipedia‘s discussion on the game.

It took us about thirty minutes to walk with the crowd down the stairs to get out. The whole time the crowd chanted “Ed-gar, Ed-gar.” That was a surreal first baseball game. Apparently they aren’t all like that.

–EDIT–
Another article that talks about Game 4 from Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.com.

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