The dichotomy between shortstop and first base is quite vast. One requires dancer’s footwork, extensive range to either side, understanding of the running game, quick-firing hands, and both the mental and physical capacity to captain an entire infield. The other requires catching the ball — although some of them are dastardly dive bombing at your shins — and holding jovial conversations when a runner reaches first base.
Even though the minutiae of these positions are quite different, the foundational skill is being able to field grounders and receive throws. Because of this, several players have handled both duties across their careers, some even did it during the same season. Plus, if you can handle both shortstop and first base, why not see what the rest of the neighborhood has to offer?
This well-traveled spirit also keeps players on the roster, as being able to fit multiple holes is a desirable skill for dudes who don’t have very many others. Thus, the utility man was born. Always a fan favorite, rarely a bank’s favorite, these guys have a way of being endearing in the same way that the Taco Bell menu is. We’re pretty sure it’s just the same thing packaged differently, but you certainly won’t hear me complaining about it.
Sift through the Taco Bell menu of Mariner history and try to scrounge up enough change to come up with all 23 people who manned each of the four non-catcher infield positions during their tenures in Seattle.