clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A History of the Seattle Mariners through Getty Entertainment photos

New, 6 comments

we do very important work here

Sir Mix-A-Lot Live In Concert

One of the many perks of Lookout Landing is that our Vox Media overlords provide access to Getty Images’ deep and fruitful archive. Most of the photos you see on this website come from typing “Seattle Mariners” into the Getty > Baseball search tool, which typically updates during games and leads to the wonderful photos that accompany recaps and charts.

However, Getty also has an Entertainment library, which is full of truly mesmerizing shots from movie premieres, award shows, red carpets, and more. Here, have a photo that took two seconds to find by simply typing “Cam’ron” into the search bar.

Warner Bros.’ “City By The Sea” NY Premiere Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic

While there are truckloads of photos showing the Mariners playing baseball, there are just a select few that Getty has determined to be both Mariners and entertainment-adjacent. Upon scrolling through these flicks, we find that the entire arc of the franchise can be told through these photos. As per usual with the M’s, we can mostly gloss over the 70s and 80s, save for the arrival of one royal figure.

1989 - Seattle is...cool? We have a young, hip star?

Sir Mix-A-Lot Performs Photo by Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Seattle’s own Sir Mix-a-Lot became quite the sensation in the late 80s, where he’s pictured here wearing a Mariners jersey and several pounds of jewelry. It wasn’t until roughly 1992-93 that Mix became a bona fide star, though.

Can anyone else think of a prominent Seattle figure who debuted in 1989 and became a household name years later?

1997 - Everything in Seattle is great! Kelsey Grammer is here!

Frasier aPhoto by Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Getty has an interesting way of labeling these photos, as some of them provide detailed information on dates, location, etc. This one just mentions that these people are the cast of Frasier, the popular television show set in Seattle, and also includes the terse description of “The 1000th Show”. Through some reverse engineering, we can find that episode on the Frasier IMDB page and learn that it aired in 1997. This tracks because ‘97 was also one of two years that John Marzano, the player being gently caressed by Kelsey Grammer, was on the team.

Everything about this photo seems to capture the carefree joy of Seattle in the 90s, when dark jeans were illegal, life was still affordable, and the city was known more for its quirkiness and connections to art and pop culture than for tech bros who probably don’t know how to spell gentrification.

90s baseball is wonderfully on display too, from the sleeveless jerseys to AstroTurf to David Hyde Pierce wearing a silver-brimmed hat. There’s also a live animal on the field minutes before first pitch. Your move, Rob Manfred.

Even though the Kingdome is fairly empty, I’m assuming everyone there is happy, as most people were when watching the 1997 Mariners. How could you not be happy inside that concrete bubble? Ken Griffey Jr. hung out there all the time! This group of happy 1997 Mariner people now canonically includes the cast of Frasier, who clearly came straight from a shopping spree at The Gap.

2006 - We don’t know what’s happening either

The World Premiere Of “The Guardian” - After party Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images
The World Premiere Of “The Guardian” - Arrivals Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images

Here we have Kazuhiro Sasaki and his family at the opening of The Guardian (2006). As a quick refresher, The Guardian was a movie starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher as rescue swimmers. Other than both being water-based professions, I have no clue how the Mariners got involved with this Coast Guard movie. Ashton Kutcher looks especially confused, perhaps because Kaz hadn’t played in the big leagues since 2003 and he decided to attend this premiere in Washington, D.C.

There does seem to be something cosmic about a player who was not currently on the Mariners (a team that was past its glory days), going to a movie premiere of two actors that were also past their glory days (all disrespect to the 2008 Kutcher movie What Happens in Vegas).

Maybe the connection here is that both the Mariners and The Guardian were not well received in 2006. Film critic Wesley Morris even called the Costner-Kutcher vehicle “dutiful but dull”. Sounds like a great way to also describe the ‘06 M’s, who scraped together 78 wins while allowing Jarrod Washburn, Gil Meche, Joel Piñeiro, and Jake Woods to throw 44 percent of the team’s innings.

2000something - Bono???

Bono ?????? at the Toronto Bue Jays vs the Seattle Mariners Thursday night at the Rogers Centre in T
we do not actually know if this is bono
Photo by David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Remember in the mid-2000s when U2 tried to make a comeback and everyone was like, “Why?”

That was my exact reaction upon seeing Bono and his sunglasses-hat combo at this Mariners-Blue Jays game in Toronto. A visceral “Why?” was also the reaction I would often get when I told my mid-2000s classmates how much I cared about the Mariners.

2007 - We’re not sure if they’re good but maybe don’t tell them

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The man pictured above is not an obscure Mariner reliever you forgot about, nor is he a spokesman for Hollister on a promotional shoot.

He is, of course, Blake Lewis of Inglemoor High School fame. Lewis finished second in season six of American Idol, earning him a debut album near the top of the charts and a chance to throw out a first pitch in Seattle. When you get the Friday night first pitch treatment against the Yankees, as Lewis’ frosty tips did on May 11, 2007, you probably think you’re destined for super stardom. Plus, when you’re a double threat like Lewis, who can sing like Jamiroquai AND beat box, there’s no reason to think negatively.

***WARNING: EXTREMELY 2007 OUTFIT AHEAD***

Of course, despite a strong Idol run and the Mariners starting 70-52, both Lewis and his hometown baseball team fizzled out in late-2007. Now, they exist solely as memories and reminders of better things, like other baseball teams, or actual Jamiroquai videos.

2008 - Charlton Jimerson, what are you doing here?

House Of Hennessy Party Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage

Charlton Jimerson played in a total of 13 games between his 2007 and 2008 stints with the Mariners. In 2007, he actually went 2-for-2 and hit a home run. I do not particularly care about that. What I do care about is how Charlton Jimerson, he of the wholly forgettable MLB career, ended up at this party.

You see, this party was allegedly the House of Hennessy party at a private mansion in Oakland during the fall of 2008. Hennessy of course, being the cognac responsible for infinite ill-advised decisions like a Taco Bell customer pouring it in a drive thru employee’s mouth.

House Of Hennessy Party
this is the exact energy i would bring to the house of hennessy
Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage

Given Hennessy’s cultural cache, it’s puzzling why a man with nine career plate appearances was invited inside, just like it’s puzzling why the 2008 Mariners gave Carlos Silva a four-year, $48 million contract, or didn’t bring Charlton Jimerson back in 2009. Based simply off the clout he gained at the House of Hennessy, he should have received a lucrative contract.

[Writer’s Note: Charlton Jimerson could not be reached for comment, despite my best efforts. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him, please contact me.]

UPDATE (12:05 p.m.):

VERY LITTY UPDATE (5:55 p.m.)

2010 - Please, just make this end, we’ve suffered enough. Anyone but Bret Michae—

Seattle Mariners v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

2010 is known as one of the worst years in Mariner history. This was the year, of course, where the team was fresh off a surprising 85-win campaign. Franklin Gutierrez had broken out that year, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas had both shown flashes of solidity, and Félix Hernández and Ichiro were still at the tops of their game. Management decided to go for it in 2010 by adding Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins, and instead of making the playoffs, the Mariners projectile vomited for six months straight.

On top of everything else, on September 25, 2010, the Mariners got their teeth kicked in by the Rays in front of Bret Michaels. Every rose season has its thorn 9-1 losses at Tropicana Field.

2015 - Look, a path to the playoffs!

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

In 2015 the Mariners welcomed Nelson Cruz and Will Ferrell to Spring Training for the first time. While Ferrell would not actually play in games that counted, the Mariners played a whole bunch of them. 162 to be exact. Rather than banking in on those preseason expectations and playing as successfully as they looked on paper, they finished 10 games under .500.

Ferrell went on to star in Get Hard and Daddy’s Home that year, which feels like the Hollywood equivalent of going 10 games under .500.

2015 - How am I doing? Glad you asked. I look amazing.

Canoche: A Night With Robinson Cano And Friends To Benefit RC22 Foundation Photo by Mat Hayward/FilmMagic

CC Sabathia: Promise me that for as long as I’m in the league, the Mariners will never actually give us any trouble?

Felix: I promise.

Jay-Z: [does a Jay-Z laugh, makes eight million dollars somehow]

2017 - I’m choosing to only remember the fun times

Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

There is maybe no better image of the Canó era than this: cute and full of mostly fuzzy feelings, but ultimately non-threatening.

Also bad pitching. Please find the strike zone, Luna.