Mariners fans embrace rally shoes as Seattle make wild comeback to move to ALDS | sailors

It started out as a joke, but the “rally shoe” may have been just the push the Mariners needed to clinch their American League Division Series spot, at least if you ask fans. who gathered at T-Mobile Park on Saturday.

Going into the eighth inning with the Mariners behind Toronto 9-5, 31-year-old West Seattle resident Ben Cox decided to try something crazy in an effort to spark a Mariners rally, so Cox took a yellow Birkenstock to his left. foot and put it on his head.

The cameras at the T-Mobile Park Watch Party found it and made a big splash.

Some in the crowd laughed when Cox was shown on the board with the shoe perched on his long hair, but a few fans joined in. After Cal Raleigh lined up a single out to left field to score Eugenio Suarez and make it 9-6, a few more joined in.

As JP Crawford’s double bloop landed in center field to clear the goals and tie the game at 9-9, chants echoed from the stadium rafters.

“Rally shoe! Rally shoe! Rally shoe!

When Adam Frazier doubled in the top of the ninth inning to put the Mariners ahead for good at 10-9, it looked like most of the stadium got the message. The rally shoe worked.

With many shoes balanced on many heads in anticipation, the crowd roared in jubilation as receiver Cal Raleigh crossed the plate with the eventual winning run.

“When the base hits started to drop and we tied it, people were fully on board for the rally shoe,” Cox said. “I think the shoe could exist. Maybe it’s a real thing.

While Cox made the rally shoe a success, its origins came earlier in the season when Cox saw another fan at a Mariners game put a shoe on his head. A few fans over the years have attached a shoe to the dome to try and start a rally, but never quite to the effect of Saturday.

“I was like, ‘this is kind of fun,'” Cox said. “So I was like ‘hey, maybe we can get something going. Let’s change that. I totally respect the guy who brought the shoe over the hat, I’m just glad it worked out for the boys, because there is nothing better than winning a match and qualifying for the ALDS.

Tyler Thompson was the Mariners’ control room producer who created the Rally Shoe graphic on the video card. With baseball being a superstitious sport and the Mariners trailing behind, he saw the shoe as something that could be a memorable rallying point for the thousands of fans in attendance.

“I’m looking for something that could provide that magical spark for this team,” Thompson said. “This whole season has been magical. I see a guy with a sandal on his head…. and I’m like, “This sounds like something,” and it looks like something we could get the whole crowd to buy into.

“I’ve never seen rally shoes, and I feel like Mariners fans got into something new that really worked.”

Cox was introduced to the crowd after the game and gave his autographed Mariners shoe in exchange for “some fun Mariners stuff”. According to a tweet from Mariners Vice President of Marketing Kevin Martinez, the shoe is going to the Mariners Hall of Fame.

“It’s actually my wife’s (Birkenstocks) yellow, but the good thing is we wear the same shoe size,” Cox said. “I appreciate him for providing me with the shoe.”

While Cox’s shoe will live on in Mariners lore, he takes no credit for the win.

He may have brought a spark of joy to the Seattle crowd, but it was the Mariners who turned him into a roaring fire.

“I won’t take any credit from these guys,” Cox said. “All I’m here is a fan, and I love the way they play. There’s not one player I love more than the whole team. Thank you for coming out and play baseball the right way.

People seemed to be okay, the rally shoe was working.

Converse, Nike or Birkenstock, all shoes were welcome.

“It was wonderful to be here with these thousands of people,” Mariners fan Mark Wittow said. “I don’t know why I put a shoe on my head, but I joined the party.”

Wittow summed up the sentiments of many elated fans in the Pacific Northwest, describing Saturday’s game as “utter joy.”

“(I am) delirious. It’s so wonderful,” Wittow said. “The comeback was so wonderful, to see them get back up. I thought they were in hell, and then we were in purgatory. Then we flew away with the eagles.

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