Camera Day & Other Old Mariners Stuff

I’ve been looking through some old photo albums lately and found a bunch of old Mariners photos I figured I would share.  Most of the following photos are from “Camera Day” (the best promotional night ever) at the Kingdome.  The first set are from 1986, the second is from 1987, and the third is from 1990 or 1991 (my hunch is its 1991).

The picture quality of these photos is pretty shabby because I literally just took digital photos of actual printed photographs (my scanner is out of order right now).

During the 1986 season, I was ten years old and I was a huge Mariners fan.  And in this pre-Griffey era, there was no Mariner (an no ballplayer period) more important to me than the Mariners sure-handed short stop, Spike Owen.  This is the only picture I ever got with Spike.

1 - Spike Owen 1986.JPGLater this season, I was dealt a major blow when the Mariners dealt my all-time favorite player to the Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox then moved on to the World Series and, for the first time ever, I watched the World Series and was pulling hard for Spike to win a championship.  Spike had a great post-season in ’86.  He hit .429 in the ALCS and .300 even in the World Series.

After 1986, Spike went on to have a solid career.  He wasn’t an all-star and he won’t be in the Hall of Fame, or even any team’s Hall of Fame, but he had a career of which he should be proud.  He had over 1,200 hits and was recognized as a quality short stop (although he never won a gold glove).

Interestingly, in the final at bat of his career, Spike hit a fly ball that Ken Griffey, Jr. caught for the first out of the ninth inning of the Mariners 1-game playoff against the Angels in 1995.  Two outs later, Spike’s career was finished and the Mariners had won their first A.L. West Championship and made the playoffs for the first time in team history.

How about some more 1986 Mariners.  Here I am with Al Cowens:

2 - Al Cowens 1986.JPGOf course, we had Phil Bradley and “Stormin” Gorman Thomas.

3 - Phil Bradley 1986.JPG  
4 - Gorman Thomas 1986.JPG

Phil Bradley was a quality Mariner.  Over five seasons, he hit .301 and was an all-star in 1985.  In ’86, Bradley hit .310.

Who remembers Steve Yeager and Ken Phelps?

5 - Steve Yeager 1986.JPG  
6 - Ken Phelps 1986.JPG

I never realized this until right this second, but Yeager is apparently the reason that Spike Owen changed his number from 7 to 1 in 1986.  I became a big Spike Owen fan initially because we both played short stop and we both wore number 7.  I can tell you that M’s jersey I’m wearing in these pictures has a big number 7 on the back, and it was for Spike Owen, not Steve Yeager.

Of course, Ken Phelps is famous in Mariners history for two things he did involving other teams.  First, Phelps was famously traded to the Bronx for future Mariners Hall of Famer, Jay Buhner.  Second, as an Oakland Athletic, Phelps hit a homerun with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to break up Brian Holman’s bid for a perfect game.

Next up, Edwin Nunez and Dave “Hendu” Henderson:

7 - Edwin Nunez 1986.JPG  
8 - Dave Henderson 1986.JPG

Hendu was traded to the Red Sox along with Spike Owen.  While he only had one hit and batted .111 in the ALCS against the Angels, Dave’s only hit was huge.  With the Red Sox down to their potential final out of the series in the ninth inning of game five, Hendu delivered a two-run homerun off of Donnie Moore.  The game when into extra innings, in the 11th inning, Hendu delivered the game winning RBI with a sac fly (also off of Donnie Moore).  The Red Sox won the game, and then won games 6-7 to advance to the World Series.  In the series, Hendu hit .400 (10 for 25) with 2 homeruns.

Hendu can be heard from time-to-time broadcasting Mariners games and seems to be a great guy.

Next up, Billy Swift and Karl Best:

9 - Billy Swift and Karl Best 1986.JPGOur catcher in 1986 was the one and only, Bob Kearney.

10 - Bob Kearney 1986.JPGIn 1987, I wasn’t about to miss Camera Day.  Again, we were along the third base line.  This season, I decided to sport my green and gold Sno-King Youth Club baseball uniform.  Here I am with “Mr. Mariner,” Alvin Davis:

11 - Alvin Davis 1987.JPGWith Spike Owen gone, someone had to play short stop in 1987.  And the job was split between Rey Quinones and this guy, Domingo Ramos:

12 - Domingo Ramos 1987.JPGI don’t even remember the next guy, Bill Wilkinson:

13 - Bill Wilkinson 1987.JPGWe got some more Bob Kearney:

14 - Bob Kearney 1987.JPGThe 1987 Mariners catcher of the future, Dave Valle:

15 - Dave Valle 1987.JPGWe weren’t the best team in 1987, but we did have a (future) Hall of Famer at the helm:  Dick Williams:

16 - Dick Williams 1987.JPGKen Phelps was still hanging around in 1987:

17 - Ken Phelps 1987.JPGI got my picture with a couple Mikes:  Mike Kingery (RF) and Mike Moore (P):

18 - Mike Kingery 1987.JPG  
19 - Mike Moore 1987.JPG

Next up, in the only picture of me holding a bat on a big league field, I posed with Mariners coach, Phil Roof:


20 - Phil Roof 1987.JPGComing off of the bench, we had Rich Renteria:

21 - Rich Renteria 1987.JPGWho could forget Scott Bankhead?

22 - Scott Bankhead 1987.JPGOnce again, Phil Bradley put together a nice season hitting .297:

23 - Phil Bradley 1987.JPGOur primary catcher in 1987 was this man:  Scott Bradley:

24 - Scott Bradley 1987.JPGAnother guy I don’t remember was Steve Sheilds:

25 - Steve Shields 1987.JPGHere I am with Mariners coach Ozzie Virgil:

26 - Ozzie Virgil 1987.JPGAnd finally, it was Hendu’s replacement:  John “Johnny Moe” Moses:

26b - Johnny Moses 1987.JPGThat’s it for picture day in the 1980s.  But we still have some more pictures to share.

Here I am in the Mariners dugout during a Spring Training game in 1991 — I was the batboy for the game:

26c - TJC in M's dugout spring training.JPGHere I am retrieving a bat (possibly Ken Griffey, Jr.‘s) as Jay Buhner strides to the plate:

26d - TJC the batboy Buhner the batter.JPGBy the way, Griffey went 3-3 with 3 singles, Randy Johnson got the win, and Cubs 2B Ryne Sandberg a solo homerun.

This experience was one of the coolest I’ve ever had in baseball.  Griffey was incredibly cool to me.  He was easily the most chatty with me in the dugout.  Harold Reynolds warmed up before the game using my first basemens glove.  Randy Johnson pitched at had to use Edgar Martinez’s bat.  At one point, The Big Unit bunted a pop up to the Cubs pitcher and never left the batters box.  The Cubs pitcher totally booted the ball and it rolled into foul territory over by the Cubs dugout.  But Randy was still in the batters box and was thrown out at first.  Finally, I went from really disliking M’s first baseman Pete O’Brien (I’m not sure why I had not liked him previously) to really liking him (because he was incredibly cool to me in the dugout).

After this game, I got my first and only picture with Ken Griffey, Jr.

tjcgriff.jpgOur last Camera Day was in 1990 or 1991.  We just took pictures of players as they stopped by to shake hands.  I’m not in any of the pictures.  I’m not sure if it was because it was too packed or if I felt like I was too old (I was 14 or 15) or if the players were just shaking hands and not posing for pictures.  Who knows?

Anyway, here are some of the pictures, starting with Alvin Davis and Ken Griffey, Sr.:

27 - Alvin Davis 1990-91ish.JPG  
28 - Ken Griffey Sr 1990-91ish.JPG

There was Harold Reynolds and Greg Briley:

29 - Harold Reynolds 1990-91ish.JPG  
30 - Greg Briley 1990-91ish.JPG

In a couple years, I was never able to get a good picture of (or with) Harold Reynolds, which is really unfortunate because I regard him as one of the top players in Mariners history.  A great player and a great guy.

Ken Griffey, Jr. stopped by, but we got a really terrible picture that isn’t even worth posting.  

But we got decent shots of two future Mariners Hall of Famers:  Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez (with Jay Buhner):

31 - Jay Buhner 1990-91ish.JPG  
32 - Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner 1990-91ish.JPG

Finally, we got this shot of Dave Valle:

33 - Dave Valle 1990-91ish.JPGNext stop is Pittsburgh in 2004.  Colleen and I headed to Pittsburgh for the weekend to see the Mariners in their first and only appearance at PNC Park.  Colleen and I had been together almost five years at this point and were engaged, but because I had been in law school for three of those years and hours away from any Major League team with no son to travel around with she didn’t really fully know me as a baseball fan yet.  Primarily, she knew me as a guy who watched a ton of Mariners games on TV and occassionally took her to a game in Philadelphia or Baltimore.  This was her first real baseball roadtrip.

Here are some shots from Pittsburgh of the first and third winningest pitchers in Mariners history:  Jamie Moyer (first at 145 wins) and Freddy Garcia (third at 76 wins):

34 - Jamie Moyer 2004.JPG  
35 - Freddy Garcia 2004.JPG

Here is another (poor quality but) interesting picture from our Pittsburgh trip:  Ichiro wearing (i) a brown glove and (ii) long pant legs:

36 - Ichiro brown glove and long pants.JPGFinally, this last picture of the entry is from Safeco Field.  I’m not sure what year it is from — probably 2003-04 — but it also shows Ichiro sporting long pants:

37 - Ichiro long pants.JPGAnd there you go, some of my old, pre-Tim, mostly pre-digital Mariners pictures.

11 Comments

Gosh, Mariners used to play in jerseys looking entirely different from the current ones! And half a decade later, we’ll surely see something of you in those Kingdome days in Tim…

To my knowledge, Ichiro began to expose his stockings when he played for Team Japan in World Baseball Classic 2006, the first international game he played as a member of the national team and the occasion that lifted his spirit higher than ever before.
http://www.npb.or.jp/wbc/photo/2006fnl_05.html
(If his high school team could be among four semi-finalist of the High School National Championship Tournament in any one Summer during his high school days, he could join Team Japan for US-Japan High School Baseball Friendship Games. If he could play college ball, he could join Team Japan for annual US-Japan College Baseball Championship. If he were with a company-affiliated amateur baseball club before 2000 as Hideo Nomo did, he could join Team Japan for Summer Olympic Games. Actually he had missed all these opportunities)

Interestingly, he was the sole player of Team Japan exposing his stockings (Japan vs. US,1st game of 2nd Round).
http://www.npb.or.jp/wbc/photo/2006l211_01.html

He must be silently and secretly preparing for the next season at some unknown place… I do hope best of luck for him and Mariners in Season 2011!!!

NAO-
The M’s certainly have switched up their uniforms over the years. The biggest change was going from royal blue and yellow to navy blue and teal. I like the old uniforms on turn back the clock days, but overall I am much happier with our current uniforms than I ever was with the prior designs.

Interesting that Ichi missed all of those prior chances at representing Japan. I’m sure everyone is happy he finally made the team in 2006. He’s certainly had some memorable moments in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. I wonder what made him switch to high sox between 2005-06. Hmm…a mystery.

Todd,
> I wonder what made him switch to high sox between 2005-06. Hmm…a mystery.
WBC 2006 was one of the greatest turning points in Ichiro’s career as a baseball player. He had not joined Team Japan before 2006 officially due to either limitation of player qualification (i.e., amateur players only as was the case with Summer Olympic Games in 1996) or team organizing policy (i.e., NPB players only as was the case with Summer Olympic Games in 2004), but there was an additional reason, his own policy. He considered Olympic Games were basically for amateur players and therefore not for professional players. WBC 2006 was different from any occasion he had missed before in that it was a tournament for national teams organized solely by top-rank professional players, like the FIFA World Cup for soccer, for example. This is why WBC 2006 was the first occasion he WILLINGLY played as a member of the national team in an international tournament. He joined the team with the strongest determination to win the first WBC Championship under Manager Sadaharu Oh (the holder of the world career home run record), and expressed his determination by doing something he had never done before, i.e., exposing his stockings. He virtually took part of the leader of Team Japan throughout from the 1st round pool to the final match (as the sole position player with experience of baseball in US), an attitude beyond expectation of most Japanese baseball fans knowing him from early stage of his professional carrier.

I love these pictures. Great job!

I did not remember Steve Yeagar playing with the Mariners. Classic!
http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/

Some of those old pictures really show how bad the turf was at the Kingdome. I can’t imagine playing baseball on a concrete surface with a thin layer of plastic between a player and the concrete! I am so glad that nearly all teams play on grass now.

Great pictures from the past!

Ken

Good stuff, man! I wish I had all my old pics from growing up with the Texas Rangers.

NAO-
Well, I’m sure the National Team was happy to finally get Ichiro onto its roster. The team certainly has turned out great results with Ichiro as a member.

RUSSELW-
Thanks. Yeah, we had a lot of past-their-prime veterans back in the day…and a lot of fresh off the farm rookies. And collectively they weren’t very good back in these days!

KEN-
Thanks. Yeah, I noticed the carpet quality. I don’t remember the carpet looking so terrible back in the day, but the pictures don’t lie. Its funny to think that in 1999 they went from this carpet in the first half to the plush grass of Safeco Field after the all-star break.

INSIDETHECLUBHOUSE-
Thanks!

Todd,
I’m sure Team Japan for the coming WBC 2012 will have Ichiro again. He’ll make it also in WBC 2015, hopefully still as a player.

The Mariners really need to change their colors back to blue and gold. The current colors of navy, silver and teal had a good run but it’s time to embrace the more “fun” combo of blue and gold.

NAO-
Woah – long overdue response. Well, yep, he made it for 2012 in heroic fashion. Looks like he’ll be sitting out 2015.

CHRIS RICHARDS-
I am a fan of the current uniforms. I vote for keeping them. Although, I think that the old uniforms look really sharp on turn-back-the-clock day. In fact, I think they look better now-a-days than they did at the time they actually wore the old uniforms! I wish they would go back to the hats that Moyer and Garcia are wearing in the photos above.

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