SEATTLE MARINERS

Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’

May 26, 2021, 2:57 PM
Mariners Aaron Sele...
Aaron Sele shined for the M's on Memorial Day 2001. (Getty - Otto Greule/ALLSPORT)
(Getty - Otto Greule/ALLSPORT)

2001: A Baseball Odyssey – a weekly look back at the record-setting 2001 Mariners and the players who got them there.

Just after Memorial Day 2001 passed and with the Mariners were still soaring, they were reminded of a star who “fell from the sky,” according to general manager Pat Gillick.

Dipoto: Is Raleigh near M’s call-up? Plus Kelenic, Gilbert thoughts

In January 2000, Gillick had lost out to the Baltimore Orioles in the quest for free-agent pitcher Aaron Sele because the Orioles were willing to go four years on a new contract. But after Sele took his physical, the Orioles’ medical staff concluded the Sele would break down after about 400 or so more innings, so Baltimore reneged and instead offered Sele a two-year deal.

An angered Sele turned it down, and the WSU product who grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula immediately accepted a two-year deal from the Mariners.

Sele won 17 games in 2000, and guess who he was pitching against on May 31, 2001? Sele was brilliant that day against the Orioles, pitching 7 1/3 innings of four-hit ball as he improved to 8-0 and the Mariners won for the eighth straight time. That winning streak would reach 15 games, their longest of the season.

Sele did eventually suffer a rotator cuff injury as the Orioles doctors predicted, but it was after 550 innings. He was on the Angels at that point in his career after giving the Mariners two years and 32 wins, including two most-satisfying victories over the team that said no.

As the Mariners hit the holiday where it’s traditionally believed that the division-leading teams are likely to win them, they were an unbelievable 40-12 with a 14-game lead that felt unassailable. They were poised to make it a summer to remember.

Follow The Groz on Twitter.

More 2001 Mariners memories from Groz

Bret Boone gave Seattle a huge, surprising boost
Paul Abbott, the forgotten hero of the historic ’01 M’s
Introduction: Celebrating the 2001 Mariners, 20 years later

Seattle Mariners

Mariners MLB logo...
The Associated Press

MLB drops arbitration cuts after union holds on free agents

Major League Baseball withdrew its plan for more limited salary arbitration on Tuesday, a day after the MLB players' union withdrew its demand for greater free agent eligibility.
19 hours ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger Servais...
Brent Stecker

The important message Mitch Haniger sent about the 2022 Mariners

After hearing Mitch Haniger's thoughts on the Mariners' offseason, Jake and Stacy break down what they say they couldn't agree more with.
3 days ago
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...
Brandon Gustafson

Can Kyle Lewis and Evan White contribute to the Mariners in 2022?

Baseball America's Kyle Glaser joined Jake & Stacy and discussed what the Mariners can likely get from Kyle Lewis and Evan White next season.
4 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

‘No reason to panic’ after Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic’s rocky debut

Jarred Kelenic struggled in his first taste of MLB action, but Baseball America's Kyle Glaser says not to worry about the young Mariners OF.
5 days ago
Mariners...
Shannon Drayer

Mitch Haniger sees Mariners getting closer to his World Series goal

Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger joined 710 ESPN Seattle's Wyman and Bob and sounds hungrier than ever after the 90-win 2021 season and two big M's moves this offseason.
6 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: 3 Mariners in top 20 in new Baseball America prospect rankings

Once again, the Mariners have five players in the first Baseball America top 100 rankings of the year. And they're mostly high on the list, too.
7 days ago
Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’