Saturday, March 6, 2010

Q&A with Chris Donnelly, Author of Baseball's Greatest Series

 Originally published at Pinstripe Alley.

Chris Donnelly is the author of Baseball's Greatest Series.  He agreed to answer a few about his new book on the Yanks-Mariner's '95 series.
PA: Your book is subtitled "The 1995 Matchup that Changed History."  For a division series between two team that didn't make the World Series, that seems like hyperbole.  Why is this series so important?           
Chris: The Seattle Mariners were leaving Seattle that year.  There is no question or doubt about it.  The owners had made clear that they wanted a new stadium or they were leaving, most likely for Tampa.  A public vote to approve a new stadium had failed in September, but the Mariners historic run allowed them to maintain momentum in the public eye.  The series was the culmination of that.  Had the Mariners not beaten the Yankees, it would have been difficult for them to keep that momentum going, because the legislature was set to meet that week to work on a new stadium funding formula.  Because the Mariners won and were playing in the ALCS, the pressure stayed on the legislature to get the deal done.  One member who was heavily involved in the negotiations essentially said they couldn't have gotten the stadium deal if the Mariners were no longer playing.  So, in short, if the Mariners hadn't won that series, we are looking at the Tampa Bay Mariners right now.