SHANNON DRAYER

Joey Cora: Kingdome was ‘difference maker’ for Mariners in 1995 ALDS

Apr 7, 2020, 4:33 PM
Mariners DH Edgar Martinez...
Edgar Martinez rarely showed emotion on the field. (Getty - Stephen Dunn/Allsport)
(Getty - Stephen Dunn/Allsport)

With baseball season delayed for the foreseeable future, 710 ESPN Seattle will be broadcasting classic Mariners games throughout March and April. Tonight is again time to “Refuse to Lose,” as the Mariners look to keep their momentum going at to the Kingdome down 2-1 to the Yankees in Game 4 of the 1995 American League Division Series.

ALDS Game 4: October 7, 1995

The Mariners were alive. After falling behind 2-0 to the Yankees in the opening two games of the series that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Mariners came storming back on their home turf with their ace on the hill, taking Game 3 from the Yankees 7-4. While they were still facing two elimination games, the team was confident it would win the series, according to second baseman Joey Cora.

“Even when we went down 0-2 we were very confident,” Cora said Wednesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy. “We were a very confident bunch. The way we came back to win the division, being down 0-2 to the Yankees, that was nothing for us, especially knowing we would have three at the Kingdome.”

The Kingdome. The unsung hero for the Mariners in the ’95 ALDS. If you were there, you remember the unrelenting torrent of sound from 57,000 fans crashing off the concrete walls and amplified by the overhead dome of the building. The experience was unlike anything players from either side had ever experienced.

“The Kingdome was a difference maker,” said Cora. “The Yankees say the same thing. When they went there they had no idea the Kingdome could be that loud. (Game 3) with Randy (Johnson), it was unbelievable. … The new stadium (T-Mobile Park) is beautiful, (but) being in the Kingdome inside and the sound – without the Kingdome we don’t win that series. We don’t.”

An environment like no other, and for Mike Blowers, who played third base in that same Mariners infield with Cora, there was no place like Dome.

“My son was watching the game with me and he could not believe the crowd,” Blowers said. “‘Dad, what was that like?’ Well you couldn’t hear, it was super hot and it was awesome. It was the most fun I have ever had playing baseball.”

Game 5 is the game that gets all of the attention in the series, but the game that got it to that point had remarkable twists and turns of its own.

And one super hero.

“It was a crazy game,” said Blowers. “I told my son, ‘This game is awesome. Just watch Edgar (Martinez) go.’ He just destroyed them on his own. He was unbelievable.”

In order to get to his Game 5 heroics, Edgar Martinez had to provide the fireworks in Game 4. He did so by driving in seven runs.

“That game, it didn’t look good for us,” Cora said of Game 4. “It seems like every game in that series we were behind. The grand slam by Edgar in Game 4, I kind of said, ‘OK, we are going to play Game 5.’ It was memorable because even Edgar showed some emotion and you know Edgar, he never showed emotion. When he hit that grand slam over Bernie (Williams), he pumped that fist and said, ‘OK guys, we are going to battle one more time.'”

Hear Dave Niehaus, Rick Rizzs and Ron “Red” Fairly on the original KIRO AM call of Game 4 at 7 p.m. Tuesday night on 710 ESPN Seattle.

LINEUPS!

Yankees

Wade Boggs, 3B
Bernie Williams, CF
Paul O’Neill, RF
Rubén Sierra, DH
Don Mattingly, 1B
Dion James, LF
Mike Stanley, C
Tony Fernández, SS
Randy Velarde, 2B

Scott Kamieniecki, P

Mariners

Vince Coleman, LF
Joey Cora, 2B
Ken Griffey Jr., CF
Edgar Martinez, DH
Tino Martinez, 1B
Jay Buhner, RF
Mike Blowers, 3B
Luis Sojo, SS
Dan Wilson, C

Chris Bosio, P

Do you think there was a little punch in that Mariners lineup?

“I didn’t realize how much pressure we kept putting on the Yankees,” said Blowers. “Up and down the lineup, guys doing their thing. The way that the game was managed. It was strange seeing that both managers were just playing for a run and the score turned out what it was.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

More from Shannon: How feasible is MLB plan to play season in Arizona?

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Joey Cora: Kingdome was ‘difference maker’ for Mariners in 1995 ALDS