Located in the far left upper corner of the United States, Seattle has made an impressive mark in sports. While the professional teams in Seattle are few, the city is still home to star athletes. Here’s a look at the best pieces of Seattle sports history.
Steve Largent is a retired American football player who spent 14 years with the Seattle Seahawks. Largent was initially drafted by the Houston Oilers but was quickly traded to the Seahawks. He was the first Seahawk selected for a Pro Bowl in 1978 as well as six other times throughout his career. Largent held many records before his retirement and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. His jersey number (80) was also the first Seahawk number to be retired. Largent is also known for being a former Republican politician and serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma.
Known as possibly the best hitter of the modern era, Ichiro Suzuki is a top athlete from Seattle. Ichiro started his career in Japan, playing for the Orix Blue Wave of the Nippon Professional Baseball. In 2001, he began playing for the Seattle Mariners where he stayed for twelve seasons. More recently, Ichiro has played for the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. He has achieved ten consecutive 200-hit seasons, which is the longest streak by any player in history. Additionally, Ichiro is a ten-time MLB All-Star and won the 2007 All-Star Game MVP Award for a three-hit performance that involved the event’s first-ever inside-the-park home run.
Gary Payton is another Seattle super start. Payton is a former professional basketball player who is best known for his time with the Seattle SuperSonics, where he holds franchise records in points, assists, and steals. Payton is widely considered one of the best point guards in basketball history and is the only point guard that has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. Payton is also known for the nickname “The Glove” due to his excellent defensive ability. While many may not know the name, Payton holds the same record as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as being selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times.
Another baseball Seattle star is Edgar Martinez, who has spent his entire playing and coaching career with the Seattle Mariners. Martinez entered the major league in 1987 as a third baseman. He won an American League batting title in 1992, but unfortunately, he tore his hamstring during an exhibition game at BC Place Stadium, which he never fully recovered from. Due to this injury, Martinez became a full-time hitter and is the only designated hitter ever to have won a batting title, which he won in 1995. Martinez decided to continue working with the Mariners where he currently serves as the hitting coach.
Be sure to check back soon for Part 2: Famous Seattle Athletes!