SEATTLE (AP) — And then there was one.
The Washington Nationals are off to the World Series for the first time in franchise history after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, becoming the final National League team to reach the Fall Classic and leaving a single team with the distinction of never playing for a title.
Congratulations, Seattle Mariners. Not only do you have the longest playoff drought in professional sports, but you are now the only team that hasn't been to a World Series.
Since the Mariners came into existence in 1977, there has been a void. Despite lineups that included the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez and Alex Rodriguez, they have just four playoff appearances in their history, all coming between 1995 and 2001.
The Mariners have been to three American League Championship Series and were sent home each time. The city has never experienced a major league ball game beyond Oct. 22.
Seattle's 1995 playoff run may have saved baseball in the Pacific Northwest. But as memorable as that was, it didn't end in the World Series. Same for 2001, when the Mariners tied a major league record with 116 wins in the regular season only to be dispatched for the second straight year by the New York Yankees in five miserable games in the ALCS.
Mariners fan Bob Simeone, a season-ticket holder since 1985, said attention focused on the team for its World Series futility is similar to what happened a couple of years ago when Seattle inherited the longest postseason drought.
"We went through a wave of this when the Buffalo Bills made the postseason. ... So, we had that," said Simeone, the commissioner of the Seattle Mariners RBI Club, a group of die-hard fans. "It's a little bit like the 1995 story. You can only bring it up so many times and it starts to get...