The rally cap is yesterday’s news. It’s rally shoe time.
When the Toronto Blue Jays led the Seattle Mariners 8-1 in the sixth inning of Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Series, Seattle had a 1% chance of winning, according to ESPN’s Win Probability. Those odds increased gradually as the Mariners lost their lead. Heading into the eighth inning, down 9-5, Seattle’s odds of a win rose to 3.1%. But the Mariners would need playoff magic to win Saturday’s contest.
Enter the rally shoe.
During a Mariners watch party at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, an unidentified Mariners fan put a shoe over his head, a twist on the traditional rally cap, and found himself on Jumbotron Stadium while as the match entered the eighth inning.
Craziest thing I’ve ever seen. A Mariners fan puts his shoe on his head during the Mariners watch party before the 8th inning. All the other fans do the same. The team then rallies to score 4 points to tie the game. #RallyShoe #EmbraceTheChaos
— Kevin Martinez (@Kevin_Martinez) October 8, 2022
Shortly after, the stadium’s official Twitter account was telling Mariners fans to put their shoes on.
SHOES. ON YOUR HEADS. RIGHT. NOW.
— T-Mobile Park (@TMobilePark) October 8, 2022
And in the blink of an eye, the Mariners tied the game 9-9 on a three-run brace from JP Crawford in the eighth inning where Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette and outfielder George Springer clashed in center field.
It didn’t take long for T-Mobile Park to become a stadium full of people wearing shoes on their heads. With the score tied at the top of the ninth, Mariners outfielder Adam Frazier hit an RBI go-ahead to give the Mariners a 10-9 lead that would send Seattle to an ALDS matchup with the Houston Astros.
Atmosphere in Seattle 😎 pic.twitter.com/gp9XQGK2JI
— Sports Center (@SportsCenter) October 8, 2022
The Mariners became the third team to return from a seven-point deficit in a postseason game, joining the 2008 Boston Red Sox, who came back to beat the Rays 7-0 in Game 5 of the ALCS. and the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics, which defeated the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series after leading 8-0.
In 2022, teams were a combined 4-434 in the regular season when trailing by seven points or more. In playoff history, road teams previously went 0-126 in games over seven points, making the Mariners the first-ever team to accomplish the feat.
And with that, the legend of the rally shoe was born.