Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Seattle’s special moment after baseball’s post-9/11 return

Sep 15, 2021, 1:33 PM
Mariners Sept 2001...
The Seattle Mariners celebrate their AL West-clinching victory over the Angels on Sept. 19, 2001 at Safeco Field (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 made them who they were.

It was a week like no other, the days following the 9/11 attacks when it felt like everything took a backseat. But as things slowly started to come back, it was clear baseball would have an important role. And it did.

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In New York, you had Mike Piazza’s dramatic homer for the Mets, and during the World Series there was the President’s first pitch. But before all of that, out here in Seattle you had a special moment, as well.

The Mariners managed to get back to Seattle from Anaheim, and it turned out they would restart the season with the Angels in Seattle. On Sept. 19, their second game back, they clinched their third American League West title in four years in typical fashion.

Jamie Moyer dazzled for six innings, giving up just three hits, Edgar Martinez hit his 22nd dinger, and the Mariners had win No. 106 on the season, beating Anaheim 5-0 in front of a roaring sellout crowd. Then something special and unplanned happened.

If you were in the stands you may have looked back at the field and decided to wait just a minute. Then suddenly there was a great big American flag on the field.

According to John Hickey of the Seattle PI, it was brought out by Mariners video coordinator Carl Hamilton, who waved it along with outfielder Stan Javier. The Mariners stood as one on the mound as a moment of silence was observed.

This was scripted. What followed wasn’t.

Mark McLemore and Mike Cameron led the flag around the infield, stopping and waving. It was a magic moment for everyone who was there. Things were uncertain and there was still a lot of fear in the air, but baseball was back, and it seemed we were all better for it.

More 2001 Mariners memories from Groz

On Sept. 10, M’s were still doing what they did best
Hometown hero John Olerud’s big year
Solid and steady David Bell
• Mike Cameron pulls off the impossible
• Kazuhiro Sasaki, Mariners’ man of mystery
• The infamous Cleveland comeback
• When Ichiro became Ichiro
• The curious case of Al Martin
• Freddy García replaces the ace he was traded for
• Kaz Sasaki and Seattle’s incredible bullpen
• Seattle hosts an All-Star Game for the ages
• The bounceback year of M’s Hall of Famer Dan Wilson
• Mark McLemore, the all-important 10th man
• Edgar Martinez cements his legacy with his last great season
• Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’
• 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

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Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Seattle’s special moment after baseball’s post-9/11 return