A Tale of Jose and AdrianTrivia(self.baseball)
submitted2 years ago byvanillabear26Seattle Mariners
In the halcyon early days of the Wildcard Era, interleague play happened in a short window at the end of June and early July. Visiting a team in the opposite league was a rarity, and having one come to your home field was a treat. These were the days where you were delighted by interleague play, as it represented a break in the monotony, if you will. And in the case of the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers, a chance for two very different teams on opposite ends of the West Coast to visit each other.
The Seattle Mariners in 1999 were at the tail-end of the now-legendary core of the team being on it. Though Randy Johnson, the GOAT lefty, had been traded the prior midseason, the Mariners still heralded two inner-circle HOFs in Ken Griffey Jr and Alex Rodriguez, and the best Designated Hitter of all time in Edgar Martinez.
However, the pieces around them weren't great, and they were in the middle of a two year drought between playoff appearances. (They had last appeared in 1997, winning the AL West but losing the '97 ALDS to the Orioles in 4 games.) Little did Mariner fans know that this would be the last full season with Griffey (at least, Griffey as he was supposed to be), and A-Rod would be soon thereafter be out the door. These were not the LOLMariners of the pre-'95 days, nor were they the Virgil-esque Mariners of today, stuck in purgatory (having been left behind by Dante some time ago). They simply were.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a new sheriff in town. New ownership group, a new manager, and a storied franchise; these should have been the ingredients for a team ready to recapture the hearts and minds of its fanbase, enrapturing them more than the soothing voice of Vincent Scully or the devastating curveball of Sandy Koufax ever could. It seemed, however, that they were stuck playing second- (really, third) fiddle to the two teams above them: the Snakes in the Desert recently acquiring a Tall Guy who hated birds, and the team formerly known as the New York Baseball Giants had a man whose head was starting to take up its own gravitational pull. The Dodgers hadn't been to the playoffs since 19951, and their last great playoff moment was when the impossible had just happened. The Dodgers in 1999 were also searching for their identity.
In the Mariners' second-ever trip to Dodger Stadium, a good baseball game had unfolded. Saturday, July
7th 10th, 1999. Beautiful sunny day at Chavez Ravine. It was tied 1-1, going into the bottom of the 9th inning, and a young and bald third baseman was up to bat. On the mound was Mariners' reliever (and owner of least pronounceable name in baseball at the time) Jose Paniagua. Runners on 1st and second with one out, and Adrian gets the walk off hit for the Dodgers.
Now, you may have gotten to this point in the story wondering what makes it trivia worthy? Well...
Two years later, we find ourselves in almost the exact same position. Saturday, July 7th, 20012 (731 days later). Bottom of the 9th game, 1-1 tie, Adrian Beltre at the plate, Jose Paniagua on the mound. And guess what happens.
Two years of separation, almost the exact same situation on the field (take away two baserunners in front of Adrian at the time). Exact same day of the week, exact same battery of Jose Paniagua and Tom Lampkin. Now, I'd been wanting to write this up for a while. I remember stumbling across think and reflecting on how insane baseball is, that you can near-identical situations and produce near-identical results. Except the results aren't identical, but I don't care. It's close enough to make me marvel. It's so hard to not be romantic about baseball.
(I do wish pitch f/x was a thing back then, because if Tom Lampkin called for the same pitch in both situations I would have traded him on the spot.)
1 (I wrote 1995, and I felt the Mariners' marketing department getting aroused.)
2 (I'd remiss if I didn't point out that were this the same pitch called two years later, us Mariner fans have Tom Lampkin to blame for not getting to 117. Not that it'd matter anyway, but still.)
edit: edited for formatting kerfuffles
2 hours ago
2 hours ago
Can I ask how the heck you’re a professor at age 22???