2001 Seattle Mariners
Managed by Lou Piniella
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2001 Seattle Mariners won an astounding 116 games, with a winning percentage of .716. As a comparison, the famous 1927 New York Yankees, often considered the best team of all time, won 110 games (in a shorter season) with a winning percentage of .714. The 116 wins are an American League record, beating the previous 114, set only three years earlier by the 1998 Yankees. They are the only team in the 21st century to post a winning percentage above .700. The 1906 Chicago Cubs won 116 games and only lost 36, for a .763 winning percentage, and made it to the World Series before losing to their crosstown rival.
Rookie Ichiro Suzuki led the league in batting and was named both MVP and Rookie of the Year, while Bret Boone led the league in RBI and was third in the MVP voting. Freddy Garcia was the league ERA leader.
Numerous pitchers had high winning percentages: Jamie Moyer was 20-6, Garcia was 18-6, Aaron Sele was 15-5, Paul Abbott was 17-4, Joel Pineiro was 6-2, and reliever Arthur Rhodes was 8-0. Reliever Ryan Franklin was 5-1.
In the post-season, the Mariners beat the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, but then fell to the New York Yankees, who then lost the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mariners' failure to reach the Series was reminiscent of the great 1954 Cleveland Indians, who had won 111 games in the regular season but then dropped four in the row in the 1954 World Series to the New York Giants.
Through 2021, the Mariners have not won another division title. Piniella remains the only Mariners manager to take them to a division championship. They are also the only team ever to be honored by the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Bret Boone, Mike Cameron, Freddy Garcia, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Nelson, John Olerud, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Ichiro Suzuki
- AL MVP: Ichiro Suzuki
- AL Rookie of the Year Award: Ichiro Suzuki
- AL Gold Glove: Mike Cameron (OF) and Ichiro Suzuki (OF)
- AL Silver Slugger Award: Bret Boone (2B), Edgar Martinez (DH) and Ichiro Suzuki (OF)
- Topps ALL-Star Rookie Team: Ichiro Suzuki (OF)
- AL Manager of the Year Award: Lou Piniella
- Most wins, season: 116 (and 46 losses; the 1906 Chicago Cubs won 116 and lost 36 for the best record in MLB history)
- Largest blown lead, game: 12 runs, Seattle at Cleveland, August 5, 2001 (the Mariners led 14-2 in the 7th inning; Seattle lost 14-15 in 11 innings; Cleveland scored 13 unanswered runs)
- tied with Chicago [AL] vs. Detroit, June 18, 1911 and Cleveland vs. Philadelphia, June 15, 1925. The NL record for largest blown lead is 11 runs, held jointly by three teams.
- Ichiro Suzuki set several records during the season.
- Gary Belleville: "October 4, 2001: Mariners crush Rangers, 16-1, tie AL record with 114th win," SABR Baseball Games Project.
- Douglas Jordan: "The .700 Club: Blessedly Good Baseball", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 45, Number 2 (Fall 2016), pp. 26-33.
- Dan Levitt: "Working the free market: how the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in 2001", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 123-126.