MARYSVILLE – Former designated hitter Edgar Martinez making the Hall of Fame was the big news for Mariners fans last week.
But for fans in Marysville, Jay Buhner signing free autographs at Northwest Motorsport was a close second.
When Buhner played from 1988 to 2001, the average game lasted about three hours. That’s also the amount of time he spent Saturday giving away memorabilia and giving fans his John Henry at the car dealership he has been a spokesman for for nine years and is a minority owner. Some said they waited as long as 1 1/2 hours to visit with him.
Buhner played with Martinez most of his career. Both are in the Mariners Hall of Fame, with Buhner actually hitting one more homer than Martinez, 310 to 309. Martinez did have a much-better average, .312 to .254, and Buhner made just one all-star game in 1996, but “Bone” also won a Gold Glove that season. Martinez was never known for his defense.
Bone, who got the nickname after losing a ball in the lights and having it bounce off his skull, has two other records Martinez can’t equal. He was the first Mariner to hit for the cycle, starting it off with a grand slam, in 1993. He also leads the team with an all-time record in strikeouts.