Mariners clinch 1st postseason berth since 2001 with Raleigh's walk-off HR
The longest postseason drought in North American professional sports is no more.
The Seattle Mariners clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2001 thanks to a pinch-hit walk-off home run by catcher Cal Raleigh with two outs in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics on Friday.
Raleigh is the first player in MLB history to hit a pinch-hit walk-off homer to clinch a postseason spot for his team, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
"I remember the moment when I knew it was fair and looking at the team and everybody's jumping. It was just crazy," Raleigh said postgame, according to Tim Booth of The Associated Press.
Seattle officially eliminated the Baltimore Orioles with the victory. Players celebrated on the field with a giant group dance:
The Mariners currently sit in the second wild-card spot with six contests remaining on their schedule. The team is 1 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, which would mean home-field advantage in the opening round of the postseason.
The Sacramento Kings now have the longest playoff drought in North American pro sports. The NBA team hasn't made the playoffs since 2006.