July 26, 2021

The 1976 Mariners and the Building of a Team (Lookout Landing)


On Tuesday, August 24th, 1976 the Seattle Mariners were announced to the world.

Tucked beneath a story about Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter’s plan to pardon draft evaders and above a story about the rescue of a baby from a burning building, the front page of the Night Sports Final edition of The Seattle Times announced that the new Seattle baseball club had been named. Roger Szmodis of Bellevue beat 15,000 entrants to win the franchise naming contest. For his efforts, he was awarded two season tickets for the 1977 season and an expense-paid (note: the news item does not specify whether it was an all-expenses-paid) trip on one of the Mariners’ west coast road trips.

The following evening the trident M logo was revealed, along with a column with quotes from area fans complaining about the new name. It seems everyone expected a name beginning with S to join the Seahawks, Sonics, and Sounders. Johnny Nenezich, a former Pacific Coast League umpire, was happy to register his displeasure, telling the Seattle Times, “Looks like they’ll sink right away.” One supposes the prescience of that statement depends on what is meant by “right away.”

In fact,…

Read “The 1976 Mariners and the Building of a Team” at Lookout Landing