The Seattle Mariners ended the longest postseason drought in major North American sports history thanks to Cal Raleigh.
Raleigh was an unlikely hero on Friday night, sending Seattle back the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Yes, you heard that right — the M’s playoff drought was old enough to buy a beer.
But, just like that, it’s gone.
The celebration after the fact was similar to World Series jubilation than anything else, but the monkey is officially off the Mariners back, and they can begin the next chapter of Seattle baseball.
With the likes of Luis Castillo and Julio Rodriguez signed long-term, Seattle’s journey back to baseball relevance is complete. Now comes the next question: Can they contend for a pennant, or perhaps even a World Series in 2021?
Just how far can the Seattle Mariners go?
Seattle’s postseason potential is tough to gauge, as they’ll have to go through the gauntlet of the American League. Yet, crazier things have happened in October.
As for Raleigh, he made his own kind of history on Friday. Per Elias Sports, “Raleigh is the 1st player in MLB history to hit a pinch-hit, walk-off home run to clinch a playoff spot for his team.”
“I remember the moment when I knew it was fair and looking at the team and everybody’s jumping. It was just crazy,” Raleigh said, per ESPN and the AP. “We’re having fun. We’re playing baseball. That’s the way I look at it. And I think that’s the mentality you got to have.”
For now, yes, it is all fun. The Mariners are the new kids on the block, and they’re one of the youngest teams in all of baseball. Their best player, Rodriguez, is just 21 years old himself.
Enjoy it, Seattle. It’s been a long time coming.