Monday, April 15, 2019

The OTHER Poseidon Adventure

Let me take you for a walk, down to the corner of Nostalgia Lane and Superstition Street.

The Seattle Mariners were a brand new major league ballclub in 1977, a team assembled from castoffs and unwanted players from the other teams...immortals such as Puchy Delgado, Carlos Lopez (who, as an Oriole in 1976, was hit on the head by a fly ball he was attempting to catch in right field) and Doc Medich, a pitcher who was also a medical doctor.

The Mariners chose him because they knew Lopez would need neurological examinations from time to time.

Anyway...about their hat...
Seattle being out there by the Pacific Ocean, the team's cap logo combined an M for Mariners and the trident, the weapon used by the Greek God of the Sea, Poseidon. 

According to mythology, Poseidon had many adventures while spear fishing with his mighty trident, and the connotation of the sea weapon and the M was supposed to imbue the nascent ballclub with power.

But of course, that didn't happen, and the Mariners continued to be a last-place team for several years.  They were sold to a real Greek, George Argyros, a shipping magnate and philanthropist, in 1981, but Argyros knew that the upside down trident carried with it the association of the devil and his pitchfork, so he had the cap logo changed.

And then the Mariners got to be a pretty good team, winning the American League Division Championship in 1995 and setting a league record for most wins by a team in one season (116) in 2001.  They remain, though, one of seven major league teams that never has won a World Series, and in fact, they are one of two teams never to PLAY in the Series (the Washington Nationals are the other).

In recent years, baseball teams all tend to have several different changes of uniform for each game, with batting practice jerseys and caps different from their game jerseys and hats.  The Mariners brought back that trident logo two years ago - and the team suddenly was beset by injury after injury.

And the superstitious blamed the hats.

They changed the batting practice hats for this year, and so far in this early part of the season, the Mariners are leading their division.

What the devil!

I got the idea for this from Todd Radom's excellent blog "Twelve ballcaps, twelve stories."  Check it out!

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