Numerous ex-Mariners have spent part (or all) of their post-Seattle careers in the employ of the New York Yankees (currently in town for a weekend series at Safeco Field). Among the most prominent are 300-game winner Randy Johnson (now retired) and Alex Rodriguez, who enters weekend play with 622 career home runs.
Rodriguez has had the most long-term success against the Mariners, having hit 32 home runs with 85 RBIs in 113 games against them. But for a one-game splash against Seattle, no ex-Mariner tops Tino Martinez’s April 2, 1997 performance. The top six single-game hauntings by ex-Mariners-turned-Yankees against the Mariners (vote in our poll below):
Steve “Bye-Bye” Balboni, Sept. 5, 1989: Balboni played part of the 1988 season with the Mariners, who swapped him to the Yankees on March 27, 1989 for minor leaguer Dana Ridenour. Six months later, at Yankee Stadium, “Bye-Bye” keyed a 12-2 victory over Seattle by going 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Jeff Nelson, Aug. 8, 2003: After Nelson publicly rebuked the Mariners at midseason for failing to make a deadline trade, Seattle quickly ushered Nelson out of the door. He landed in New York, and received his first chance to face his former teammates in the eighth inning on Aug. 8. Nelson faced three batters, striking out Ichiro, Willie Bloomquist and Bret Boone (all swinging) in a 9-7 Yankees victory.
Alex Rodriguez, Sept. 5, 2007: Since bolting to the Texas Rangers in free agency following the 2000 season, Rodriguez has belted 32 home runs against the Mariners. His best multi-homer effort against Seattle came in a 10-2 New York romp at Yankee Stadium, when he victimized both Jarrod Washburn and Brandon Morrow.
Tino Martinez, Aug. 19, 1996: Martinez batted .300 with 84 hits and 66 RBIs in 75 games against the Mariners, five of those RBIs coming in New York’s 10-4 victory over Seattle at Yankee Stadium. Martinez went 3-for-4, scored two runs and drilled his 19th home run of the season, victimizing Rafael Carmona.
Randy Johnson, Aug. 31, 2005: The Big Unit, who departed the Mariners in 1998 in a mid-season trade, pitched seven scoreless innings at Safeco Field, allowing just three hits, and spoiling the home debut of Seattle rookie Felix Hernandez, who pitched pretty well himself: 8.0 innings, two earned runs, and four hits. Hernandez even matched Johnson’s strikeout total of seven.
Tino Martinez, April 2, 1997: Traded by the Mariners to the Yankees following the 1995 season, Martinez had a career contest in the second game of the 1997 season, a 16-2 New York rout of Seattle in the Kingdome. Martinez, went 4-for-6, belted three home runs, just missed hitting a fourth and drove in a career-high seven runs.