Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Mariners’ ‘Rally Shoe’ explained: How one Seattle fan created a new comeback superstition


When a baseball team is trailing, fans will do just about anything that they can think of in order to start a rally. Rally caps are the most noteworthy items, but there have been many other weird quirks over the years.

In the current MLB postseason, a shoe took center stage. Yes, a shoe. Let me explain.

During Game 2 of Saturday’s American League Wild Card Series between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays, the Mariners needed a spark. One Mariners fan named Ben, who was attending the team’s watch party at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, decided that it was his duty to try and shift the fortunes of his favorite ball club.

Ben placed his Birkenstock sandal on his head to try and get a rally started. Anything is worth a try when your team’s backs are against the wall, right?

While it started off as just Ben placing his shoe on the top of his head, other Mariners fans decided to join in. Minutes later, the Mariners scored four runs in the eighth inning to tie up the game. They then eventually went ahead for good thanks to an Adam Frazier double in the ninth inning.

In total, the Mariners rallied from a seven-run deficit and came away with a 10-9 win over the Blue Jays to advance to the American League Division Series, where they’ll face the Houston Astros.

“It was supposed to be a joke to start, but base hits starting dropping and they were great,” the fan told Paul Rivera of KOMO News in Seattle following the game.

Now Ben is known as the “Rally Shoe Guy” after being credited with helping will the Mariners to victory. As for the infamous rally shoe itself? It’s going to the Mariners Hall of Fame and Ben even signed it.

It’s all perfect timing, too, because the Mariners will play their first playoff game in Seattle since 2001 on Tuesday night.

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