September 28th: Jeff Clement hits a walk-off homer to drop Mike Wood and the Rangers.
A lot of the top moments so far have been about their significance in the present. This one was all about the significance for the future.
Yes, it was just one at bat. Yes, it was a meaningless game. And yes, Mike Wood is a bad pitcher. But when Jeff Clement sent that 86mph sinker flying over the center field fence, there wasn't a single Mariners fan watching who didn't get those chills down the spine that you get whenever you feel like you're just seeing the tip of the iceberg. While Clement may not be an A-level prospect, we've been awaiting his arrival for a long time, and he's the best left-handed bat this system's had in eons. So there's a lot of hope resting on his shoulders. And when he went ahead and won this game, all that hope - if only for a minute - turned into something a little more real. Like maybe this one could turn out as exactly what we want, and nothing less. For once, we were allowed to feel like our wishes and dreams were justifiable.
There are few things I want more than to be able to watch Jeff Clement blast homer after homer for the better part of the next decade (as a Mariner. Dammit Bill, don't even try). I want all of our prospects to pan out and succeed in Seattle, but Clement more than most, since I've been following him for a while, and since he could be the left-handed power bat for which we've been searching forever. And I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. So for those of us who can't wait for the day when Clement gets his starting gig, this walk-off bomb against Texas will always be a memorable moment. For one night, Clement put his name in everyone's head. Here's to a long career that makes sure it stays there.
As for the homer itself - as if it weren't already awesome enough, not only was it accompanied by the kind of maniacal laugh from Mike Blowers that we thought got cremated along with the rest of Vincent Price, but Clement was also trailed on the basepaths by one Yuniesky Betancourt, who thought that Clement had just hit a game-winning double. It seems our everyday shortstop is just a little bit retarded.