Alright, let me start off by saying that I (a Chicago Cubs fan) consider myself a Seattle Mariners supporter. Am I a fan? No. But I did name my dog Griffey when I was about ten years old.
The Mariners and their fans deserve success. The fact that they never made it to a World Series with stacked rosters that at times featured players like Ken Griffey, Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Ichiro Suzuki is really a travesty.
I mean, you’re telling me that we couldn’t spare one World Series for the Mariners in that three-peat by the insufferable New York Yankees? After all, the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners have their share of similarities.
The all-time MLB record for single-season wins is shared by the Cubs and Mariners. The 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners both won 116 games, more than any other team in MLB history. Both teams failed to win a World Series that year.
Both franchises also have had their share of futility as the Mariners currently have the longest active playoff drought in Major League Baseball.
The Cubs, well. We don’t need to remind the world of their playoff and championship droughts. We can all ramble off those stats in our sleep, thanks to decades of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball throwing up a crummy graphic with the tally of years since the Cubs won a World Series.
As the Mariners continue to follow in the Cubs’ footsteps after failing to appear in the postseason since 2001, they decided to take another page out of the Cubs’ book.
Starting this season, the roof of Seattle’s T-Mobile Park is now lit up with a blue “W” after every Mariners win.
Sound familiar? Of course, it does. Shortly after the addition of the current hand-operated scoreboard in center field, the Cubs began flying a white flag with a blue “W” atop the scoreboard after each Cubs home win.
At the time, it was to alert passersby on the Red Line of what happened in the Cubs game that day, as it was well before the age of technology or easy access to MLB scores.
The Seattle Mariners have a new tradition familiar to Chicago Cubs fans.
To give the Mariners credit, there’s no “L” lighting after a loss, unlike the “L” flag at Wrigley Field. It should also be stated that when the Cubs began the W flag tradition, the colors were inverted with a white W on a blue flag.
The color scheme was reversed when the Cubs began retiring players’ jersey numbers in the color of a white flag with blue pinstripes and numbers.
But nonetheless, it’s a blatant duplication of the Cubs tradition as the T-Mobile “W” serves to alert Mariners fans passing by of the team’s success on that day as they pass the ballpark on I-5 to the east, much like the Red Line to the east of Wrigley Field.
T-Mobile Park even has a train line in right field, much like Wrigley (although the Seattle line is obstructed by the roof over the right field stands). Is it strictly a Cubs tradition? Not exactly. But it’s pretty darn close.
At the end of the day, the Cubs aren’t the only franchise allowed to fly a W after a game, and blue is sort of the Mariners’ color as well (at times). Plus, why not let the Mariners fly the W this year as they fight for a playoff spot for the first time since 2001? It’s not like the flag is a mainstay at Wrigley this year.