Brian Mittge Commentary: A Seattle Mariners Lineup for All Time


It's a great day in Washington.

As I write this, our Seattle Mariners have a winning record and T-Mobile Stadium is now fully back open for fans as widespread vaccinations are helping us slowly move out of the pandemic.

In celebration, I'd like to offer a humble little verse that celebrates Seattle's lovably hapless Mariners.

My sons, Ben and Sam, helped me write this over the past few months. It's a tribute not just to our boys of summer, but to one of our favorite poets.

Way back in 1949, the great writer of light verse Ogden Nash wrote a poem he called “Line-Up For Yesterday: An ABC Of Baseball Immortals.”

He played homage to the greats, like pitcher Dizzy Dean:

D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who's the tops?
Said correctly, I is.

and Lou Gehrig, the Iron Man:

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

My boys and I had a ball putting together a similar poem for our hometown team. We get fairly deep into Mariners history to fill out the alphabet. We reference “The Double,” when Edgar Martinez hit a famous shot to win the 1995 American League division championship.

We go even deeper to highlight the bare-handed catch by shortstop Omar Vizquel to help his teammate Chris Bosio finish a no-hitter in 1993.

There are plenty more loving homages of the best, and occasionally the worst, of the Mariners — like Mario Mendoza, who batted so poorly that his name became a catch word for terrible hitting (the “Mendoza Line” refers to a sub-.200 hitter).

And so here's a bit of light verse to celebrate summer, the reopening of our state and our “there's always next year” team that still manages to give us hope and break our hearts every year.


A Mariners Line-Up for All Time

By Brian, Benjamin and Samuel Mittge

A is for Alvin,
In the ‘80s he was
Mr. Mariner and
A favorite of us.

B is for Buhner,
Man of the bone;
King of the outfield
In that old Kingdome.

C is for Charlton,
Three up and three down;
Batters go swinging
When the Sheriff's in town.

D means the Double,
It won the big game;
A champion shot for
Everlasting fame.

E is for Edgar,
No batter was like him;
Hit the DH slot
Like a bolt of lightnin'.

F is for Felix,
The King of the Mound.
The Ks he racked up
Were bound to astound.

G is for Griffey,
The Kid with his style;
His hitting, his catching,
His thousand-watt smile.

H is for Harold,
On the second bag.
When Reynolds got the ball
He'd make the tag.

I is for Ichiro,
Star in Japan,
Swatting singles
All over this land.

J is for Jamie,
Moyer the leftie.
In the postseason
He was the bestie.

K is for Kingdome,
With the bases loaded
The roof made a clatter
And then it imploded.

L is for Lou,
The beloved Piniella;
He screamed at the umps
But was a sweet fella.

M’s for Mendoza,
Hit under two hundred.
Mario’s fame was that
His swing often blundred.

N is for Niehaus,
The voice in the sky;
His grand salami calls were
"My oh my.”

O is for Olerud,
Pillar of first base;
A fielding whiz
And a batting ace.

P is for Perry,
Gaylord's no quitter;
He won 300 games
With his famous spitter.

Q is for quit,
Even when we shoulda,
We'll never dump our team,
A true blue fan just wouldna.

R is for Randy
Johnson, Big Unit;
He grimaced and grunted
And knew how to win it.

S is for Safeco
(It's T-Mobile now, sir).
When the roof rolls open
Everybody says "Wowzer.”

T's for The Next Year,
An optimistic view;
For Mariners fans,
Hope springs anew.

U is for uniform,
The first bore a Trident,
But they just couldn't fathom
Where all of the wins went.

V is for Vizquel,
Omar's a go-go.
His bare-handed nab
Saved Bosio's no-no.

W is for Wilson,
A catcher by trade.
When runners tried stealing
They wished that they'd stayed.

X is what goes
On the Mariners dreams
For post-season wins
And World Series rings.

Y is for the guy who makes
Hitters go loosey goosey.
I say Yusei,
You say Kikuchi.

Z is for Zunino,
The pitchers' favorite;
Would-be base thieves
Just couldn't take it.

Those are the legends
The best that we've seen
The Greatest of Greats
On our Mariners team.


Brian Mittge is the third-biggest baseball fan in his family. Who's your favorite Mariner of all time? Drop us a line at