2001 Mariners: Where are they now?

2001 Mariners: Where are they now?

2001 Mariners: Where are they now?
Nearly every member of the 2001 Seattle Mariners club that won a record-tying 116 games played an important part in the team's incredible success. From running a fishing-trip business to lending a helping hand in the Middle East, here's what some of the players have done since that memorable 2001 season.

Bret Boone
Stats: 158 games, .331 AVG (206-for-623), 141 RBI, 37 HR, 118 runs

The 2001 season was an unbelievable offensive year for Boone, who reached career highs in batting average, home runs, triples, runs and hits while leading the league in RBIs. He started at second base in the All-Star Game and finished third in the American League MVP voting.

For his incredible success in 2001, he credited Edgar Martinez for helping him set high goals and change his thought process in the on-deck circle and at the plate.

Boone played four more seasons with the Mariners, and one more with the Twins in his last full season in 2005. He signed a Minor League contract with the Mets in '06 during Spring Training, but called it quits soon after.

"When I walked out of camp in 2006, it was like the weight of the world was off my shoulders," Boone said. "I felt like I had been in a pressure cooker for 15 years and it was over with.

"I was so happy, and six months later I was looking around thinking, 'Wait a minute, now what do I do?"

So Boone came out of retirement in 2008 and signed a Minor League contract with the Mets, but he quickly realized that his body simply could no longer handle the everyday grind of the Major Leagues.

He is now keeping busy with his four kids -- ages 15 and 12 and 7-year-old twins -- in Southern California. Boone is a third-base coach for his son's travel team, while former star closer Trevor Hoffman is the first-base coach, and says he's itching to get back into the big leagues as a manager.

Jay Buhner
Stats: 19 games, two HR, .222 AVG (10-for-45)

Though Buhner was sidelined for much of the 2001 season with injuries, he provided a veteran presence in the clubhouse and was a mentor for many of the young players on the team.

He finished his 15-year career -- 14 of those seasons with the Mariners -- in 2001 with the 116-win season. The former All-Star ended up with 310 career home runs and was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in '04.

Buhner resides in Sammamish, Wash., and helps coach his 16-year-old son's select baseball team.

"I love it," Buhner said of coaching. "I mean, that's in the blood. I enjoy helping these kids out and getting them ready for the next level. I wish I had someone [around] who had [played] 14 years in big leagues so I could pick their brain and kind of find out the do's and don'ts."

He still drops by the Mariners' broadcasting booth from time to time and does endorsement work on the side.

Norm Charlton
Stats: 4-2 record, 3.02 ERA, 44 games, 47 2/3 IP, 48 Ks

After helping the Mariners reach the playoffs in 1995 as a closer, "The Sheriff" returned to Seattle for his final season in 2001. He was a lefty specialist in the strong Seattle bullpen.

From 2003-07, Charlton was a Minor League rover for the Mariners, and in '08 he became Seattle's bullpen coach. The lefty says he enjoyed turning his players into better pitchers and better bullpen guys, but losing so much -- the Mariners lost 101 games that season -- really hurt.

"We were losing more games than we were winning, and for me, that's not fun at all," Charlton said. "If you're a competitor and you got the drive and [have] done the things I've done, it eats at your soul every night you go home with a loss."

After 2008, he turned his attention from baseball to fishing, and he now runs his own charter-boat fishing trips in Rockport, Texas, just an hour from his hometown of San Antonio. Norm Charlton's Big League Adventures opened in '09, and the 48-year-old begins his day around 4:30 a.m. at the bait shop, and ends when it gets too hot or his clients have caught enough fish.

"I spent a lot of summers down here, a lot of time fishing on the Gulf Coast," Charlton said. "My dad and grandfather taught me to fish when I was younger, and my best friend is a fishing guy here. It's kind of natural for me to retire here."

Charles Gipson
Stats: 94 games, .219 AVG (14-for-64), 16 runs

The athletic Gipson was an oft-used pinch-runner and defensive specialist for the 2001 Mariners, playing in 94 games -- 65 of them in the outfield.

"For a lot of people, it's tough to go sit the whole game and try to throw somebody out or try to make a catch on cold legs," he said. "But that's what my job was, and I embraced it."

Gipson would go on to play another season with Seattle before helping the Yankees win the 2003 AL pennant, and he was a part of the '05 Astros' National League pennant-winning squad.

After baseball, Gipson's life took an interesting turn, as he spent 2006 in Iraq and Afghanistan with a private contracting company that worked with the government while working side-by-side with the U.S. military.

"My whole life, I've been blessed with baseball and meeting great people, and I just felt the urge to give back and to do something different," Gipson said. "I wanted to do something different that wasn't selfish, and I wanted to totally go out on the limb. I wanted to be in that area to support our troops and our government as much as we could."

Gipson now lives in Houston, and works with a local school district as a behavior specialist.

John Halama
Stats: 31 games, 110 1/3 IP, 10-7, 4.73 ERA, 50 Ks

Halama was the No. 5 starter on the 2001 team. His last year in the big leagues was in '06 with Baltimore, and then the Brooklyn native pitched in independent ball and Triple-A through 2010.

This year, Halama decided to take his arm to Taiwan, where he spent three months in a small, four-team Chinese professional league.

"It's different. It's really different," he said of his time in Taiwan. "You play five games a week, so you get seven to nine days of rest between starts. It's a different baseball style, and you travel in a bus the whole time."

Halama is now back in the U.S., and he is playing independent ball again in the Atlantic League for the Lancaster Barnstormers. He isn't sure when he'll hang up the cleats, but for now he's "just having too much fun."

Stan Javier
Stats: 89 games, .292 AVG (82-for-281), 44 R, 33 RBI, 11 SB

Javier ended his 17-year MLB career -- which included a World Series ring in 1989 with Oakland -- in an important veteran role on the 2001 Mariners, coming off the bench and providing offense and defense when needed.

"Stan Javier was tremendous, as far as a veteran guy that just epitomizes being a professional and bringing that attitude," Boone said.

Javier retired after the 2001 season and spent a little time away from the game with his kids back in his hometown of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He then bought a winter-ball team -- Los Gigantes -- and helped a club that had finished last in its league for eight straight years to qualify for the playoffs during both of the years under his ownership.

In 2006, Javier became involved with the MLB Players Association, and was the general manager for the Dominican Republic teams in the World Baseball Classic in '06 and '09.

He has since been spending time raising his three kids, including helping his 21-year-old daughter represent the Dominican Republic in equestrian competitions.

"I got more nervous doing that than playing in the World Series," Javier said with a laugh.

Tom Lampkin
Stats: 79 games, .225 AVG (46-for-204), 5 HR, 22 RBI

Lampkin played in 79 games for the 2001 team, serving as a backup to starting catcher Dan Wilson. After the 116-win campaign, he went on to enjoy his final -- and best -- season in 2002 with San Diego, where he had career highs in at-bats (281), home runs (10), and RBIs (37).

Now at his home in Vancouver, Wash., Lampkin serves as head coach for the newly opened Union High School. He also coaches his 14-year-old son -- who will attend Union High next fall -- on a summer-league baseball team.

As for MLB, Lampkin, 47, may get back into the league at some point. But for now, it's all about being Dad.

"Haven't got back into it professionally," Lampkin said. "There might be a time where I might want to. But right now, there are still things at home where Dad needs to be home. As long as that's the case, then that's where I'll be."

Al Martin
Stats: 100 games, .240 AVG (68-for-283), 42 RBI

Martin was another member of the 2001 team who played an important role off the bench, as a left fielder and also as a veteran in the clubhouse.

Martin reunited with manager Lou Piniella for one year in 2003 at Tampa Bay, and played one season in the Korea Baseball Organization in '04 before calling it quits.

Martin said he still keeps in touch with a few guys from the 2001 team, and that "as far as the 25 guys on that team, I could call any one of them and they would be there for me in a heartbeat. That's pretty special."

The 43-year-old resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., and helps with Nike SPARQ youth clinics and Boys & Girls Club events.

Mark McLemore
Stats: 125 games, .286 AVG (117-for-409), 39 SBs

McLemore was Seattle's "supersub" in 2001, playing almost every day despite not starting regularly at a specific position, and he was an important player for the Mariners on both offense and defense.

"Mark McLemore played a huge role, a pivotal role, wherever he was asked," Boone said.

Perhaps his most memorable moment that season came on Sept. 19, 2001, after Seattle's first home game since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After the Mariners clinched a playoff berth with a 5-0 win over the Angels, McLemore and teammate Mike Cameron led a somber celebration, and walked around Safeco Field hoisting the American flag in a moment that is cemented in McLemore's mind forever.

"That was probably the most special moment in my career -- and not just in my career, but my life," remembered McLemore. "Behind the birth of my children and my marriage, that was definitely up there in the special moments.

"Just being able to hold that flag, I wasn't holding it as a ballplayer, but as an American. We felt we were celebrating not only with each other or our fans, but we felt like we were celebrating with the world, because we had all gone through so much over that past week. It was very humbling for me to be a part of that."

McLemore played two more years in Seattle before finishing his career in Oakland in 2004. He got his start in broadcasting as an analyst for ESPN in '05, and has spent the past five years as a pregame and postgame analyst for the Texas Rangers.

He resides in Southlake, Texas, and keeps up with his 17-year-old and 16-year-old sons, who both play on high school and summer-league teams.

Jeff Nelson
Stats: 69 games, 4-3, 2.76 ERA, 65 1/3 IP, 88 Ks

Along with lefty Arthur Rhodes, "Nellie" was a part of a one-two middle relief punch that helped Seattle boast one of baseball's best bullpens in 2001.

"All we had to do was make it a six-inning game for a starter, and we would wind up winning those games because our bullpen was so strong," Nelson said.

Nelson returned to the Mariners in 2005, and retired after the '06 season with the White Sox. He continued appearing on a one-hour radio show for KJR in Seattle until two years ago, and has been working with XM radio and MLB.com since then.

Nelson and his family have lived in Seattle since 1992, but are moving back to Nelson's hometown of Baltimore this weekend.

Kazuhiro Sasaki
Stats: 45 saves, 66 2/3 IP, 3.24 ERA, 62 K

If the 2001 Mariners took a lead into the ninth inning, a win was almost always ensured -- thanks to the efforts of Sasaki. With his nasty split-finger fastball, nicknamed "The Thang," Sasaki finished second in the AL with 45 saves and made the first of two All-Star appearances.

He left Seattle to go back to his native Japan after the 2003 season, and he spent a year-and-a-half with the Yokohama BayStars in Japan -- the professional team that he had debuted for in 1990.

Now, Sasaki lives in Tokyo and is a commentator for TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System). He spent this past spring helping out with a Korean professional team during its Spring Training as a temporary pitching coach. He has four children, and his oldest son stars for the Tohoku High School baseball team, Sasaki's alma mater.

Aaron Sele
Stats: 34 games, 15-5, 3.60 ERA, 114 K

Sele matched fellow starter Jamie Moyer's finesse style from the left side with his own finesse from the right, finishing with the team's second-lowest ERA at 3.60.

The now 41-year-old spent three seasons with the Angels from 2002-04, winning the World Series in '02. He returned to the Mariners for one year in '05, and ended his career in '07 with the Mets.

That didn't mean Sele's involvement in the big leagues was over. Since 2009, he has worked with the Dodgers as an assistant to the general manager, helping out with Minor League contracts, lending a hand during the Trade Deadline and also traveling around to help coaches in their evaluations.

It's been a great gig for Sele, who now has time to stay involved with the big leagues and spend time with his four daughters.

"It's nice to be around more," he said. "I set my own schedule and still get to travel and be around baseball -- something I still love -- but I don't miss any time with the family."

Dan Wilson
Stats: 123 games, .265 AVE (100-for-377), 10 HR, 42 RBI, .999 FLD

Boone called Wilson the "rock" of the 2001 team. Wilson was another veteran presence in the clubhouse, and was solid behind the plate, anchoring the league's best pitching staff with a .999 fielding percentage (one error in 744 chances).

He finished off his 11-year stint with the Mariners in 2005, and ended his 14-year career with a .995 fielding percentage -- the sixth highest for a catcher in Major League history.

Wilson resides in Seattle, and is helping to raise his four kids -- two girls (17, 15) and two boys (13, 10). He frequently drops by the Mariners' broadcasting booth and says he enjoys the games from the press box.

"It's fun to do, and it's a very different perspective of the game," Wilson said of broadcasting. "It's a neat way to stay involved."

Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.