Why are they called the Seattle Mariners?

When the American League decided to expand by two teams in 1977, the Seattle market was offered a team almost immediately to settle an old score. Eight years earlier, the Seattle Pilots had been an expansion team, but mismanagement by ownership led to their demise after one season (they went on to Milwaukee to become the Brewers). The AL offered Seattle a team to shuffle aside a lawsuit brought on them by the city of Seattle for the loss of the Pilots.

The new ownership group in Seattle ran a contest in the newspaper, soliciting nicknames. “Mariners” won by a hefty margin over the runner-up “Kings” or “Kingfish” (both for King County, Washington).

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is the author of three books about baseball, including Ty Cobb: A Biography. He formerly worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He lives in Michigan where he writes, runs, and enjoys a good orange soda now and again.

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