Each baseball season is made up of many, individual moments that make up the whole. But they're also more than just moments in time. They're emotional memories where our hopes were rekindled and our love for the game renewed. In these memories, we find joy, frustration, elation, and heartbreak. We might look back on 2014 and see a turning point for the franchise or it could be just another hopeful blip in a series of disappointments. It doesn't really matter what the big picture is right now, let's just enjoy some good memories and some awesome baseball highlights.
You've already seen some of the best community submissions and honorable mentions and moments #6-#10. I've combined the community's 330 votes with my own rankings to come up with a weighted aggregate score. Here are the best Mariner moments from 2014, as decided by you (and me, a little bit).
5. September 27 - vs. Los Angeles Angels
Community Vote: 33.8%
My Rank: 3rd
The last week of the season was incredible. Even that terrible series in Toronto couldn't hold the Mariners back. Heading into the final weekend of the season, the Mariners needed to sweep the Angels and needed some help from the Rangers. After the first game, the Mariners were just barely still in it. The A's had beat the Rangers and another A's win or a Mariners loss would spell the end of the Mariners' playoff hopes.
On Saturday, the A's had lost to the Rangers by 8pm Pacific Time and the Mariners' playoff destiny was in their hands. Minutes later, Logan Morrison delivered a game-tying double in the seventh inning of this game. The M's and the Angels traded zeros for a few innings until the eleventh. Austin Jackson, disappointing trade deadline acquisition, at the plate with two men on and one out. The resulting walk-off fielder's choice is the perfect example of "Mariners."
I remember watching this game at home and just laughing hysterically because I couldn't believe what had just transpired. We were living in some bizarro world where the baseball gods actually smiled upon the Mariners. It was such a swing of emotion, I remarked to my wife, "is this how you always feel?!" I'm a terrible robot husband.
4. September 18 - at Los Angeles Angels
Community Vote: 34.1%
My Rank: 2nd
The Mariners would have never been in position to make the final weekend meaningful if they hadn't taken care of business on the road in Los Angeles. The Angels had won two of the first three games in the series and had just wrapped up a playoff spot with their win the day before.
The next day, the Angels threw out a lineup full of backups and bench players. With Felix on the mound, the Mariners had this game in the bag. Felix did his part -- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 11 K. It was up to the Mariners offense to come through. Finally, in the ninth, with two men on, Logan Morrison, who had been red-hot all September long, launched a deep fly ball into the night. It was all the Mariners needed.
Logan Morrison accumulated a whopping 1.768 WPA in September. This homer was worth .485 WPA which is the highest mark in his career. An amazing moment from someone who had a number of clutch hits down the stretch for the Mariners.
3. July 30 - at Cleveland Indians
Community Vote: 43.6%
My Rank: 9th
Beginning on May 18, Felix Hernandez began a streak of starts where he pitched at least seven innings holding his opponent to two or fewer runs scored. The record for a streak of this nature was set in 1971 by Tom Seaver. On July 30, Felix was facing Corey Kluber in Cleveland. Felix would end up breaking the record but the Mariners would lose this game as Kluber would outduel Felix, foreshadowing the Cy Young award results later in the year.
Felix's streak would end three games later, on August 16, when he faced the Detroit Tigers. During the streak, Felix's ERA was a paltry 1.41 and he struck out 134 batters in just 121 innings pitched. This streak of excellence earned The King the third most memorable moment from 2014.
2. September 28 - vs. Los Angeles Angels
Community Vote: 36.8%
My Rank: 1st
My pick for the most memorable moment from 2014 was Game 162. Minutes after the Mariners beat the Angels on Saturday night, I jumped onto StubHub to find tickets to the afternoon game on Sunday. I remember sitting in the stands and feeling a palpable sense of tension in the stadium -- a nervous excitement for what could be. The A's and Rangers game started at noon and the A's had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. I went to the game with one of my friends who is a huge A's fan and he might have been more nervous than I was. We jokingly talked about making the drive down from Bellingham the following day for Game 163 and I think that scared him more than it excited me.
In the bottom of the fourth, when the A's scored two more to take a 4-0 lead, I remember feeling a wave of disappointment and relief spread throughout the stadium. The Mariners were out of it and now we could focus on the game in front of us and celebrate the M's for their incredible season.
I still get chills when I watch Felix walk off the field in the fifth. There's no one else like him and he's our King and we are his subjects. Long live the King.
1. April 23 - vs. Houston Astros
Community Vote: 68.9%
My Rank: 6th
By overwhelming majority, Kyle Seager's walk-off, three-run home run was voted best Mariner moment from 2014. I was surprised by how much support this moment earned. It was fairly early in the season and, with all the late season heroics, I definitely thought this would be much lower in the rankings.
At this point in the season, Seager had yet to hit a home run and he had struggled to put anything together at the plate -- his was slashing just .156/.280/.219 entering this game. In the seventh, Seager would blast the eleventh pitch of his at-bat into the right field stands. He wasn't finished. In the ninth, with two on, Seager saw the first pitch from Josh Fields and launched it into the stands for his second home run of the game and the win. That hit was worth .707 WPA and was the most clutch hit of the Mariners 2014 season. Over the next three games, Seager would hit three more home runs and the rest is history.