The Seattle Mariners open their 2012 season Wednesday — 3:10 a.m. Seattle time — against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. This is the 36th Opening Day game for the Mariners (inaugural season 1977) and the first ever in a neutral venue. Some fun facts upon which to chew as the Mariners get ready to play the first of 162.
- The Mariners are 20-15 in season openers, including a current five-game, Opening Day winning streak.
- The Mariners, who open on the road for the fourth consecutive season, have won six of their past seven season openers, including a 6-2 decision over the Oakland A’s in 2011, Felix Hernandez notching the 6-2 win. Prior to 2005, the Mariners have lost six of seven openers dating to 1998.
- The Mariners are 5-5 in season openers on the road (the upcoming series with Oakland is an “official” road game).
- 2012 marks the ninth time in club history that the Mariners will open the season against the A’s. Seattle is 5-3 all-time in season openers vs. Oakland.
- The Mariners open the season with a night game for the fourth consecutive year, but for just the fifth time in 11 years.
- Mariners are 17-9 in night openers.
- Seattle opens the season Wednesday, marking the sixth time in franchise history the Mariners will open on that day. The M’s are 4-1 in Wednesday openers.
- The Mariners open at home April 13, again hosting the Athletics. Seattle is 22-13 all-time in the first home game of the season after starting a season on the road (or in a neutral venue).
- Ken Griffey Jr. (1989-00, ’09-10) had 14 base hits on Opening Day, the most ever by a Mariner and one more than Edgar Martinez’s (1987-04) 13. Ichiro (2001-11) enters 2012 with 13 Opening Day hits. Of Mariners of recent vintage, former catcher Dan Wilson (1994-05) had eight Opening Day hits.
- Griffey belted eight home runs in Opening Day games during his career with Seattle. No other Mariner is close that total. Richie Sexson (2005-08) had three first-day blasts during his Seattle career, including a pair in 2005.
- Jimmy Presley is the only player in franchise history to hit a walk-off Grand Slam on Opening Day. He slammed it off Ken Forsch in Seattle’s 8-4 victory April 8, 1986.
- Griffey had 15 RBIs in Opening Day games, five more than Martinez (10) and seven more than Sexson (8).
- Presley had six RBIs on Opening Day, 1986, and only two other players have had as many as five: Jim Mahler in 1982 vs. Toronto, and Sexson in 2005 vs. Minnesota.
- Felix Hernandez has recorded three Opening Day victories (2007, 2009, 2011), one more than Randy Johnson (1989-98) had between 1992-98.
- In four career Opening Day starts, Hernandez is 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA and 27 strikeouts.
- Remarkably, no other starting pitcher has had more than one Opening Day victory, including Jamie Moyer, the franchise leader in wins with 145.
- Of all the closers the Mariners have employed, not one has saved more than one Opening Day game.
- Martinez holds the franchise record for most Opening Day starts — 15. Griffey made 13 Opening Day starts. Ichiro has made 11 and Wilson 10.
- Griffey holds the franchise record for most consecutive Opening Day starts by a position player — 11. Ichiro would be making his 12th consecutive start Wednesday if he hadn’t missed 2009 with an injury.
FIRST OPENER / April 6, 1977
- The Mariners played the first regular-season game in franchise history in front of a sellout crowd of 57,762 at the three-year-old Kingdome. U.S. Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson, who had played an instrumental role in helping Seattle obtain the franchise, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. California starter Frank Tanana proceeded to spoil the show by pitching a complete-game 7-0 shutout, allowing Seattle nine hits. Joe Rudi went 3-for-5 and belted the first home run in Kingdome history, a third-inning shot off Seattle starter and loser Diego Segui. Second baseman Jose Baez, third baseman Bill Stein and shortstop Craig Reynolds each had two hits for the Mariners.
BEST OPENER / April 4, 2005
- Richie Sexson hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Mariner, a three-run blast on the first pitch he saw, and later became the first Seattle player to hit two home runs in an opener in a 5-1 win over Minnesota. Adrian Beltre went 1-for-3 in his Seattle debut and Moyer allowed one run in 5.1 innings. “To do something like that is a little far-fetched,” said Sexson, who had five RBIs.
WORST OPENER / April 6, 1992
- The Mariners played the most dubious opener in franchise history, allowing the Rangers nine runs with two outs in the eighth inning en route to a 12-10 defeat at the Kingdome. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen nine runs with two outs in the eighth inning,” complained manager Bill Plummer.” The goat was reliever Mike Schooler, who gave up four runs, including a pinch-hit three-run homer to Gene Petralli. Pete O’Brien, Tino Martinez and Dave Valle hit home runs for the Mariners.
LAST OPENER / April 1, 2011
- Felix Hernandez threw a complete-game five hitter for his third Opening Day victory, a 6-2 Seattle decision over the Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Hernandez struck out five and walked one among his 108 pitches. Ichiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Chone Figgins 2-for-5 with a solo home run as the Mariners won their fifth straight Opening Day game.
Seattle Mariners Opening Games
|2011||W||Sea 6, Oak 2||Felix Hernandez GC 5-hitter, Ichiro 2 hits, RBI|
|2010||W||Sea 5, Oak 3||Casey Kotchman 4 RBIs; Brandon League win in relief|
|2009||W||Sea 6, Min 1||Felix Hernandez win, 6Ks; Jose Lopez 3 RBIs|
|2008||W||Sea 5, Tex 2||Sean Green win in relief; Jose Lopez 2 RBIs|
|2007||W||Sea 4, Oak 0||Felix Hernandez 3-hitter; Richie Sexson 3-run HR|
|2006||L||LAA 5, Sea 4||Bartolo Colon win; Kenji Johjima HR for Seattle|
|2005||W||Sea 5, Min 1||Jamie Moyer win; Richie Sexson 2 HRs, 5 RBIs|
|2004||L||Ana 10, Sea 5||Bartolo Colon win; Jamie 6 ERs on 8 hits, 5.2 IP|
|2003||L||Oak 5, Sea 0||Tim Hudson 5-hitter; Freddy Garcia 5 earned runs|
|2002||L||CWS 6, Sea 5||Mark Buehrle wins; Ichiro 3 hits, Mike Cameron HR|
|2001||W||Sea 5, Oak 4||Ichiro 2 hits in debut; Arthur Rhodes win in relief|
|2000||L||Bos 2, Sea 0||Pedro Martinez 2-hitter; ex-M Derek Lowe save|
|1999||L||CWS 8, Sea 2||Jeff Fassero allows 6 ER; Ray Durham 3 hits for CWS|
|1998||L||Cle 10, Sea 9||K. Griffey, J. Buhner HRs; Mike Timlin blown save|
|1997||W||Sea 4, NYY 2||Jeff Fassero win, K. Griffey Jr. 2 home runs|
|1996||W||Sea 3, CWS 2||Randy Johnson 14 K’s; Darren Bragg HR|
|1995||W||Sea 3, Det 0||Randy Johnson 8 K’s; K. Griffey Jr. home run|
|1994||L||Cle 4, Sea 3||Randy Johnson ND; Eric Anthony home run|
|1993||W||Sea 8, Tor 1||Randy Johnson 14 K’s; Griffey, Tino Martinez HRs|
|1992||L||Tex 12, Sea 10||Mariners allow 9 runs in 8th; Mike Schooler BS|
|1991||L||Cal 3, Sea 2||Dave Parker HR off Erik Hanson seals Cal win|
|1990||W||Sea 7,Cal 4||Griffey 3-run homer, Brian Holman 3 hits over 5.0 IP|
|1989||L||Oak 3, Sea 2||Dave Stewart (2 runs) outduels Mark Langston|
|1988||L||Oak 4, Sea 1||Ex-Mariner Dave Henderson HR off loser Langston|
|1987||L||Cal 7, Sea 1||Angels pummel Langston, Mark Huismann|
|1986||W||Sea 8, Cal 4||Jimmy Presley walk-off grand slam for Mariners|
|1985||W||Sea 6, Oak 3||Mike Moore shackles A’s; Al Cowens 3 hits, 2 RBIs|
|1984||W||Sea 3, Tor 2||Phil Bradley walk-off single in 10th inning|
|1983||W||Sea 5, NYY 4||Steve Henderson 3 hits for M’s; Gaylord Perry ND|
|1982||W||Sea 11, Min 7||Jim Maler HR, 5 RBIs in support of Floyd Bannister|
|1981||L||Cal 6, Sea 2||Brian Downing grand slam off Glenn Abbott|
|1980||W||Sea 8, Tor 6||2 RBIs each by Dan Meyer, Joe Simpson, Ted Cox|
|1979||W||Sea 5, Cal 4||Mariners sock 3 home runs off Frank Tanana|
|1978||W||Sea 3, Min 2||Glenn Abbott win, Craig Reynolds home run|
|1977||L||Cal 7, Sea 0||2-run HR by Joe Rudi off Diego Segui sinks M’s|