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The best and worst of Seattle's pro teams over the past 25 years:

Overall winning percentage: .511 (13th)

Best year: 1995

All three Seattle finished with winning records in 2001, but only the Mariners made the playoffs. So we'll go with 1995 -- the Mariners miraculously rallied from 13 games behind to beat the Angels for their first division title (which also help secure a new ballpark for the club). The Sonics went 57-25 and reached the playoffs (although were upset by the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs). And the Seahawks were a respectable 8-8.

Worst year: 1981

The Seahawks were 6-10. The Sonics, two years removed from an NBA title, went 34-48, as they traded Dennis Johnson and saw Gus Williams hold out the entire year. The Mariners went 44-65, suffering through perhaps the worst manager in major-league history in Maury Wills.

Best moment: Considering Seattle's three teams have gone championship-less during the ESPN era (the Sonics' title in 1979 pre-dates ESPN), we go with the Mariners' first playoff victory, a riveting five-game win over the Yankees in the 1995 Division Series. New York won the first two games at Yankee Stadium, including 7-5, 15-inning win in Game 2. Seattle won Games 3 and 4 at home. The Yankees led 4-2 in Game 5, but Seattle tied it in the bottom of the 8th and the game went extra innings. The Yankees scored in the 11th, but Edgar Martinez doubled home two runs in the bottom of the inning to win it.

Worst moment: Dikembe Mutombo.

The Sonics went 63-19 in 1994, the best record in the NBA. With Michael Jordan retired, the Sonics were favored to win it all. The beat the No. 8 seed Nuggets twice at home. And then lost twice. And then returned home -- and lost 98-94 in overtime. The Sonics became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 8 seed.

Best team: 2001 Mariners (116-46)

It was a dream season -- at least until the ALCS, when the Yankees upset the Mariners. Seattle tied the major-league record (held by the 1906 Chicago Cubs) with 116 wins. The Mariners led the AL in runs scored, fewest runs allowed, stolen bases, fewest errors and a lot of things in-between. Bret Boone drove in 141 runs, Ichiro hit .350 and was named MVP and rookie of the year, Jamie Moyer won 20 games and Freddy Garcia led the league in ERA. The All-Star Game was even held at Safeco and the Mariners had eight representatives.

Worst team: 1992 Seahawks (2-14)

Sure, the Mariners of the early '80s were awful, but the Seahawks don't get enough credit for being one of the NFL's suffering franchises. After some success in the mid-'80s, the Seahawks have made the playoffs just twice since 1988. The '92 Seahawks, coached by Tom Flores, scored just 140 points -- less than 10 per game. Their quarterbacks -- the immortal trio of Stan Gelbaugh, Kelly Stouffer and Dan McGwire -- averaged a meager 4.88 yards per attempt. They rushed for four TDs. Need I go on?

P.S.: Not that we've forgotten the 1980 Seahawks, who went 4-12 and finished with -7 yards in a game against the Rams.

Best individual season: Ken Griffey Jr., 1997

Lots of great ones to choose from, from Edgar Martinez in 1995 (.356, .479 OBP, 113 RBI) or Alex Rodriguez in 1996 (.358, 36 HR, 123 RBI) or 2000 (.316, 41 HR, 132 RBI) or Randy Johnson in 1997 (20-4, 2.28 ERA, 291 K's) or Ichiro in 2001 (AL MVP) or Gary Payton in 2000 (24.2 ppg, 8.9 apg, 6.5 rpg) or Steve Largent in 1984 (74 catches, 1,164 yards, 12 TDs).

But the very slight nod goes to Griffey's MVP season in '97, when he led the AL in HRs (56), RBI (147), slugging pct. (.646), runs (125), total bases (393) and won a Gold Glove.






Overall city standings: 1979-2004

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