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The Long Voyages of the Mariners

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Sports & Recreation

SEATTLE 2011Mariners can certainly rack up air miles.* Play baseball for a team in the Midwest and you can hop to most other major league cities in short order.  Cincinnati and St Louis are not quite in the center of the country but they are in the thick of the baseball universe.  They have nearby teams in every direction.  But Seattle?  If you’re on the Mariners be prepared for long flights every road trip.  We’re all alone up here in the Northwest.  The nearest major league team — Oakland — is about 700 miles away.  All other ballparks are even farther.  It’s not surprising the Seattle Mariners are usually the most travelled team in baseball, logging 335,000 miles in seven years, about 50% more miles than the average team, and twice as many miles as those lucky teams out of the Midwest.

Baseball Savant calculated the numbers and we show a few of them below in three short lists.  We’ve also included three maps from Baseball Savant, including Seattle’s most travelled recent season (2011, top right), showing multiple cross-continent flights.

Seeing these numbers makes all the more impressive the record-setting 116 wins of the travel-weary 2001 Seattle Mariners.  And it makes the perpetually lousy Chicago teams seem even worse.  C’mon.  What’s their excuse?

 

LIST 1: SEATTLE MARINERS’ TRAVEL MILES, 2009-2015

  • 53,415 miles – Mariners in 2011 (see travel map above)
  • 51,845 miles – Mariners in 2013
  • 51,540 miles – Mariners in 2014
  • 46,383 miles – Mariners in 2009
  • 44,405 miles – Mariners in 2010*
  • 44,059 miles – Mariners in 2012*
  • 43,281 miles – Mariners in 2015 (see travel map below)

* The Mariners were the most-travelled team in major league baseball in five of these seven years. Only in 2010 and 2012 (when the Oakland Athletics wandered 48,446 and 45,773 miles respectively) did another team surpass Seattle.

 

LIST 2: THE FIVE TEAMS WITH THE MOST  TRAVEL MILES, 2015

  • 43,281 miles – Seattle Mariners* (see travel map here)
  • SEATTLE 201540,867 miles – Oakland Athletics*
  • 38,228 miles – San Francisco Giants
  • 37,207 miles – Texas Rangers*
  • 36,568 miles – Los Angeles Angels*

*Four of the five teams from the American League West appear in the Top 5 this year. The only AL West team missing is the Houston Astros, in 9th place with 34,497 miles in 2015,

 

LIST 3: THE FIVE TEAMS WITH THE FEWEST TRAVEL MILES, 2015

  • CINCINNATI 201523,180 miles – Chicago White Sox
  • 22,508 miles – Detroit Tigers
  • 20,953 miles – Chicago Cubs*
  • 20,875 miles – St Louis Cardinals*
  • 20,612 miles – Cincinnati Reds*

* During the 2015 season the Mariners will trek more than two miles for every one mile that the home-spoiled Cubs, Cardinals, and Reds (whose comfy map is shown here) must do.  In other words, it takes the those teams two seasons to cover the same distances Seattle makes in one.  When the Mariners had their 53,415 mile road trip total in 2011, these same three teams (along with the Brewers) again halved the M’s total — each logging just over 24,000 miles.

 

*Seattle’s original major league baseball team was more appropriately called the Pilots.

SOURCE:  Kudos to Baseball Savant!  They calculated the mileage totals and generated the maps.  The intervening commentary is our own.

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