5 Kyle Seager moments we’ll remember from legendary Mariners 3B
Kyle Seager called it a career on Wednesday, hanging up his cleats after 11 seasons in the big leagues, all with the Seattle Mariners.
Seager’s career was full of big moments and notable accomplishments, including an All-Star appearance, a Gold Glove, and a reputation as one of the best players in Mariners history. But which moments of his will stand the test of time?
Let’s take a look at five of the more important memories from Seager’s time with the Mariners.
Walking off the Astros in 2014.
The 2014 Mariners were good, and they had high hopes for the year after signing perennial MVP candidate Robinson Canó in free agency prior to the season.
The M’s were coming off four straight losing seasons and needed a spark, however, having scuffled to a 7-13 start to the season. It was actually worse than that, as they had lost eight straight and were at risk of being swept by the American League West rival Houston Astros at home in a Wednesday afternoon game on April 23, 2014 at then-Safeco Field.
Kyle Seager had other ideas.
Seager, who himself was off to a slow start at the plate, broke out with two home runs and five RBIs. The second home wasn’t just any old longball, either. Seager came up with the M’s down two runs with two runners on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, and he blasted an offering from former Mariners first-round pick Josh Fields into the seats in right field to walk the Astros off and give Seattle a huge 5-3 win.
Seager’s big day ignited a big Mariners run as they won 10 of their next 12 to get over .500, and Seattle went on to nearly make the playoffs, falling just a game short of a wild card spot on the final day of the season. As for Seager, he made the AL All-Star team and won the league’s Gold Glove at third base that year.
Saving James Paxton’s no-hitter in Toronto.
James Paxton’s no-hitter in his home country of Canada is one of the more memorable games in Mariners history. And it doesn’t happen without Kyle Seager.
With Paxton rolling into the seventh inning against the Blue Jays, Mariners fans had already been alerted to the possibility of history happening in the May 8, 2018 game in Toronto. But after retiring the first two batters of the inning, Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar ripped a shot down the third base line.
“Dang. Well, still a nice game by Pax,” you could imagine Mariners fans thinking as the ball rocketed off of Pillar’s bat.
That’s not what Seager was thinking, though.
He showed off the defensive prowess that earned him the Gold Glove four seasons prior, diving to make the stop, then making a perfect one-bounce throw to first baseman Ryon Healy, who made the pick to get Pillar out and keep Paxton’s no-no alive. Six outs later, history.
— MLB (@MLB) May 9, 2018
His three-homer game in a Mariners win at Detroit.
You know how it seemed like Kyle Seager loved hitting against left-handed pitchers even though he was a left-handed hitter? Well, it really seemed like that on Aug. 13, 2019 in Detroit.
In the fourth inning, Seager took lefty Tigers starter Matthew Boyd deep for a solo shot.
In the sixth inning, Seager got to Boyd again, this time for a three-run, no-doubt blast.
In the ninth inning, Detroit tried something different, going to right-handed reliever José Cisnero. Well, Seager could hit righties, too, and with a little help from the Tigers’ outfielders he ended up with a three-homer day.
It was the 13th time in team history a Mariners player went yard three times in a game, and the first time since José López in 2010.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 14, 2019
His last hit for the Mariners.
Seager’s performance in his final season with the Mariners will be remembered for two things above all. First, he was at his best in both power and run production, hitting a career-high 35 home runs and 101 RBIs. Second, he was clutch to an almost absurd level.
According to Jeff J. Snider of Baseball Essential, Seager’s OPS+ (the MLB average OPS+ is always 100) was just 65 with the bases empty, but 132 with runners on and 165 with runners in scoring position. That’s a guy with ice water running through his veins.
Seager’s clutchness was evident on Oct. 2, the penultimate game of the regular season for Seattle. After Mitch Haniger had singled to put Seattle in the lead, Seager came up with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Mariners absolutely had to win to go into the final game of the year with a chance of postseason play still alive, and Seager delivered the insurance. He dropped a single into center field to score the runner from third in what would be his last hit in an MLB game.
While the M’s came up short the next day, the fact that Seager’s final hit resulted in a key RBI was fitting.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) October 3, 2021
The sendoff from the Mariners faithful.
The next afternoon, the Mariners found out late in their season finale against the Angels that they had been eliminated from postseason contention. While it was a bitter pill to swallow, it allowed M’s manager Scott Servais to call time and remove Seager from the game, which resulted in a truly emotional outpouring from Seager, his fellow Mariners and the massive T-Mobile Park crowd. Seager showed his love for the fans and his teammates, and they all showed it right back.
Now knowing that retirement was a possibility for Seager this offseason, this farewell means even more looking back.
Honorable mention: Two Seager Brothers, Two Homers
In honor of #NationalSiblingsDay, we are throwing it back to last year when Corey and Kyle Seager faced off and both homered in the same game 💥
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 10, 2021
Bonus: Taking no guff from Jered Weaver.
Let’s end this with a little bit of fun.
Seager may not have been the most emotive player during his time in Seattle, but don’t think for one second he lacked intensity. Former Angels pitcher Jered Weaver found that out in 2015 when Seager’s seriousness actually turned into probably the funniest plate appearance of his 11 big league seasons.
Weaver took some umbrage with Seager taking his time to get set in the batter’s box in the fifth inning of a mid-September game. Seager took some umbrage with Weaver taking umbrage. Words and gestures were exchanged, ones that I can’t repeat here.
Next thing you know, Weaver has plunked Seager on the arm and is ejected from the game, while a decidedly unpleased Seager finds his way to first base.
Watch the video below and you’ll probably recognize a few frames if you’ve spent any time on Twitter following Mariners fans.