The Other Best Ever Mariners/Yankees Game in Seattle

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He may have blown a game or twenty, but Bobby Ayala came through in the big brawl
Last night's M's game was another thriller--thirteen-and-a-half innings of no-score ball ended by a walk-off hit by Griffey. Sadly, mlb.com didn't see fit to include in their online highlight videos Ichiro's perfect throw to nail Jayson Nix at the plate, but if you can catch that clip, you should. It's amazing.

Tonight brings the New York Yankees and their small-country's-GDP-sized payroll to Safeco for the first game in a series of four with the Mariners. It's also, incidentally, the first time Griffey and Alex Rodriguez will have played on the same field in Seattle in a decade. Over at Seattlest, Seth Kolloen compiles a list of the top-five Mariners/Yankees games in Seattle. But really, it should be top six. Because while each of his choices deserves to be on the list, so does this one:

August 28th, 1996. Mariners 10, Yankees 2. The M's not only completed a four-game sweep of the Yankees, but got the better end of a 10-minute brawl as well. Most memorably, as the fight was dying down, Darryl Strawberry got it going again by taking a swipe at maligned Seattle reliever Bobby Ayala. But it didn't go so well for Strawberry, who ended up pinned against the backstop by Chris Bosio and Ayala, with Ayala, in one of his few useful moments as a Mariner, absolutely going to town on him. (Here's the New York Times account)

I remember because I was there with my friend Matt, bloodthirstily and profanely shouting encouragement before realizing that a seven-year-old girl was seated in front of us. A bunch of players were ejected, including, later in the game, two-time Mariner but then Yankee Jeff Nelson. As retaliation for the brush-back of Yankee Paul O'Neill (which started the fight), Nelson hit Joey Cora. In the next at bat, Rodriguez knocked Cora in with a home run. It was a night of sweet revenges.

With that memory in your hearts, go forth, bold Mariners. Another sweep of the Yanks awaits.

 
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