Truck Day 2016 – The Road To Peoria

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A sure sign that spring, and Spring Training, are right around the corner, the equipment truck loaded up and hit the road today filled with everything from baseball equipment to jerseys to training equipment and office supplies.

The truck departed Safeco Field on its way to Peoria, Arizona for the 40th edition of Seattle Mariners Spring Training. The truck will make a couple of stops on its 1,506 mile journey to the Peoria Sports Complex.

When the truck arrives, it will be greeted by members of the Mariners Clubhouse crew who will spend a few days unpacking. Pitchers and catchers report to Peoria on Friday, February 19, and the position players arrive on February 24. The first full squad workout is Thursday, February 25.

Here are some photos of the moving party, with a special appearance by The Mariner Moose.

Mariners sign right-handed pitcher Joel Peralta

Joel Peralta in the 2015 Division Series.

Joel Peralta in the 2015 Division Series.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Joel Peralta to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Mariners Spring Training begins next week, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Peoria for physicals on Feb. 19 and participating in their first workout on Feb. 20. Position players report for physicals on Feb. 24 with the first full squad workout scheduled for Feb. 25.

Peralta, 39, went 3-1 with 3 saves and a 4.34 ERA (14 ER, 29.0 IP) in 33 relief appearances during an injury-shortened 2015 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over 29.0 innings he struck out 24, walked 8 and limited opponents to a .248 (28×113) average, including a .229 (11×48) clip vs. left-handed batters. Peralta was on the disabled list April 26-June 22 with a right shoulder strain and Aug. 11-Sept. 1 with a right neck sprain.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound right-hander is a veteran of 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with Los Angeles-AL (2005), Kansas City (2006-08), Colorado (2009), Washington (2010), Tampa Bay (2011-14) and Los Angeles-NL (2015). He has combined to go 19-34 with 15 saves and a 3.94 ERA (272 ER, 620.2 IP), while striking out 579 and walking 177 in 589 relief appearances. For his career, Peralta has limited opposing hitters to a .231 (536×2318) batting average against, including a .226 (234×1035) mark by left-handed hitters (.235 vs. RHH). He holds a .917 career fielding percentage and has made 391 consecutive errorless appearances, committing his only error in the Majors on June 3, 2009.

Peralta’s full stats can be seen here

 

Mariners Mondays – Great Finishes

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There’s nothing quite like a walk-off win. Or getting the “W” with the last at-bat of the game. On the February 8 episode of Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS we’ll relive some of those late-innings heroics from the 2015 season.

There were 21 games last season that the Mariners won on the last at-bat or as a walk-off. One of them was a 10-inning game at Tampa Bay on May 26. The Rays led the Mariners 1-0 until the 8th inning when Kyle Seager connected for a grand slam. But when the Rays answered with three runs in the bottom of the 9th, Kyle had to do it again, with a solo homer in the 10th to seal the victory.

For sheer enjoyment, there may not be anything more fun than a walk-off.

April 19, the walk-off came in regulation play when the Mariners defeated the Texas Rangers 11-10. The Mariners needed to overcome two five-run deficits to do it, but Nelson Cruz came through big with 5 RBI, including the game winner in the bottom of the 9th.

On May 8, the Mariners needed extra innings to best the Oakland A’s 4-3 when Logan Morrison delivered a solo home run on the first pitch of the 11th inning.

It was another extra innings affair on July 26 when the Mariners beat the Blue Jays 6-5 in 10. The hero was Franklin Gutierrez, who drove an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left-center field. Cruz’s bat also played a role when he tied the score 5-5 in the 7th with his 25th homer. Defense was also a highlight of the game as the Mariners turned a triple-play in the 4th inning.

Mariners Mondays airs every Monday night on ROOT SPORTS through March leading up to the season opener on Monday April 4 at Texas.

Billy Joel Kingdome Memory

Tickets for Billy Joel’s May 20th concert at Safeco Field went on sale today at 10 am at LiveNation.com.

Although this will be The Piano Man’s first time playing Safeco Field, he does have a connection to the Mariners dating back to the Kingdome Days.

Billy was scheduled to play a concert at the Tacoma Dome on April 15, 1990. With the Mariners scheduled to play a day game that day against the Oakland A’s, the timing was perfect for a very special ceremonial first pitch.

Wearing a white button-down shirt and tie, kind of his uniform for the 90’s, Joel sized up the situation, put down two-fingers for the curveball, and sent a pitch “just a bit outside” to then-Mariners catcher Dave Valle.

That evening, a group of Mariners employees attended the concert, which was part of Joel’s Storm Front tour, courtesy of the artist.

Joel’s concert at Safeco Field will be the third major concert the ballpark has hosted since 2013. Joel is on a 23-date tour, including nine dates at Madison Square Garden, as well as stops at Petco Park in San Diego, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, PNC Park, and Citizens Bank Park.

Rest in Peace, Evelyn Jones

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The Mariners got some sad news recently. Evelyn Jones, the dedicated fan who threw out the ceremonial first pitch on July 11, 2015, her 108th birthday, passed away last month.

Evelyn lived her final years at the Fairwinds-Brittany Park retirement community in Woodinville. She remained active in her later life with crossword puzzles, reading, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, and tuning into Mariners games every night on ROOT SPORTS.

Evelyn would retreat to her room to watch by herself so the other residents didn’t interrupt her while she concentrated on the game.

She loved Felix Hernandez, and got to meet him last July. Evelyn beamed when she saw Felix come out on the field to catch the pitch. Before she tossed him the ball, she asked for a hug (which she later admitted was the highlight of her special night), then the 30,000+ fans at Safeco Field serenaded her with Happy Birthday.

Evelyn’s family gathered together last month at the home of her daughter, Kae. They shared memories of her remarkable life, dined on Evelyn’s favorite foods and listened to her favorite music. There will be a memorial in the spring in Almira, the eastern Washington town where Evelyn and her husband raised two daughters on their wheat and cattle ranch. She’ll be laid to rest next to Stanley, her beloved husband of 55-years.

Rest in peace, Evelyn. From now on, you’ll be watching your Mariners from the best seat in the house. And tell Dave “Hi” for us.

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Seattle Fire Donates Equipment to Nelson Cruz’s Hometown Fire Department

Nelson Cruz meets with Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins at the end of the 2015 season.

Nelson Cruz meets with Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins at the end of the 2015 season.

Last September, Nelson Cruz had an idea about helping the fire department back home in the Dominican Republic.

Back in 2012, while he was with the Texas Rangers, Nelson bought a fire truck and donated it to the Las Matas de Santa Cruz Fire Department, which provides service to tens of thousands of people in the surrounding area.

The fire truck was important, but the community is very poor, and the firefighters didn’t have the equipment they needed to safely and properly do their jobs.

Nelson wondered if there was any surplus equipment that the Seattle Fire Department no longer needed. So, he took a meeting with Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. Turns out, this is just the kind of thing Scoggins used to encourage when he was Chief of the Glendale, California Fire Department.

Over the next few months, as equipment aged out of its useful life for SFD purposes, it was set aside. Before long, Chief Scoggins says a U-Haul-sized truck of “bunking gear” had been collected – boots, pants, jackets, gloves – all equipment that is necessary to safely fight fires.

Recently, Nelson Tweeted out a photo of himself and members of the Las Matas de Santa Cruz Fire Department wearing the boots, coats and helmets.

Last September, Cruz told 710 ESPN’s Shannon Drayer why this project is so close to his heart and so important to his community.

“It made me realize how bad we needed a fire truck when one of my good friends lost his house because we didn’t have any vehicle to provide water to extinguish the fire. Since that day I was committed to find a fire truck and buy it and make sure we have what we need,” said Nelson.

Chief Scoggins has offered to host firefighters from Cruz’s hometown in Seattle so they can train and learn from Seattle firefighters.

“We did this with our sister cities in Mexico while I was in California. It’s a great cross-cultural experience for us and for them. Maybe we’re building to that here,” said Chief Scoggins.

Wayne Norton elected to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame


Norton_Wayne_2010The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame today announced that Wayne Norton has been elected to join the Hall as a member of the 2016 Class. The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 18 in St. Marys, Ontario, Canada.

Norton will be joined in the 2016 class by former Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen, former Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez, longtime Blue Jays executive Howard Starkman, former Blue Jays TV analyst Tony Kubek and baseball pioneer William Shuttleworth (posthumous).

“We’re proud to honor such a diverse class. Each of the new inductees has made a significant contribution to baseball in Canada in their own unique way,” said Scott Crawford, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Director of Operations.

Norton, a native of Port Moody, British Columbia, has been a Mariners scout covering Canada since 2000. Players he has scouted and signed include current Mariners prospect Tyler O’Neill, and former members of the Mariners organization Michael Saunders, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies. Norton was named the Mariners International Scout of the Year in 2007, and Canadian Scout of the Year by the Canadian Baseball Network in 1998 and 2013.

“The phone call informing me of my induction made me very happy,” Norton said. “It will certainly be an honor to be included in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. It is gratifying to have my contributions to baseball in Canada recognized and valued by my peers and acknowledged by the selection committee.”

“This is a well-deserved honor for Wayne,” Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara said. “He has spent a lifetime developing, nurturing and recognizing baseball talent in Canada.”

“It is fitting that Wayne’s tremendous work with the Mariners amateur and international scouting departments and all his other accolades throughout his baseball career are being recognized by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” added Mariners Director of International Scouting Tim Kissner. “This award couldn’t go to a more deserving individual, as Wayne has truly had an impact on all aspects of baseball in Canada. It is an honor to be able to work with him.”

Norton played over 1,200 games in the minor leagues before becoming a trailblazing baseball executive and scout in Canada. In the mid-1970s, Norton founded and established Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team and he became a long-time coach and manager for the organization, while doubling as a part-time scout for the Montreal Expos. He also managed Canada’s Pan Am Games team in 1975, prior to helping to launch Baseball B.C. two years later. In the late 1970s, he was enlisted to create and write Baseball Canada’s first coaching manuals and many of the guidelines from those are still employed today.

In 1986, Norton established the National Baseball Institute (NBI) in Vancouver. Among the NBI graduates to play in the big leagues are 2015 Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) and Corey Koskie (Anola, Man.), as well as Denis Boucher (Montreal, Que.), Steve Sinclair (Victoria, B.C.), Paul Spoljaric (Kelowna, B.C.), Rob Butler (East York, Ont.), Jason Dickson (Miramichi, N.B.), Aaron Guiel (Vancouver, B.C.) and Derek Aucoin (Lachine, Que.).

After leaving the NBI in 1994, Norton evolved into one of Canada’s most respected baseball scouts. He scouted for the Baltimore Orioles from 1996 to 1999 prior to joining the Seattle Mariners in 2000.

Mariners Mondays – Back-to-Back Shutouts

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On this week’s Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS two young Mariners pitchers deliver back-to-back shutouts.

Mike Montgomery gave the San Diego Padres “The Full Monty” on June 30 as he tossed a complete game, 5-0 win. He carried a no-hitter into the 7th and settled for a one-hitter after giving up a one-out ground rule double. It was Montgomery’s second consecutive shutout in only his sixth Big League start. With that feat, he joined such elite company as Randy Johnson, who did it three times with the Mariners, and Mark Langston, who did it twice.

The next night, July 1, Taijuan Walker matched Montgomery’s brilliance with his own one-hit wonder through six innings as the Mariners romped over the Padres 7-0. Walker matched Padres starter James Shields, who held the Mariners hitless through three and scoreless until the top of the 6th. Walker pitched through the 6th, and left with a 1-0 lead. That was all he would need for his seventh win, as Robinson Canó and Nelson Cruz led a nine hit attack on Shields and three members of the Padres bullpen.

Mariners Mondays airs every Monday night on ROOT SPORTS through March leading up to the season opener on Monday April 4 at Texas.

FanFest 101 – Helpful tips for a great weekend at Safeco Field

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Whether it’s your 18th annual trip to FanFest or your first, there’s always something new to see and experience. From popular activities like running the bases or touring the clubhouse, to newer attractions like soaring through the outfield on the Safeco Field Zip Line or learning about the National Baseball Hall of Fame (where Ken Griffey Jr. is headed this summer), FanFest 2016 promises to be one of the most exciting, entertaining and fun-filled weekends yet. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, don’t delay. They are just $10 for adults and free for kids 14 & under.

Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your time at Safeco Field.

FanFest Guide

Navigate Safeco Field like a true Mariner with the complete guide. Click here or view on the MLB.com Ballpark app, the true resource for all things FanFest related.

Autograph Sessions 

FF-AutographsPast, present and future Mariners stars will be signing for fans throughout the weekend. Check out the autograph schedules to plan your day accordingly. Here’s a quick summary of how the autograph sessions will work:

  • Enter through the Home Plate Gate, where you will have your choice of which autograph session you would like to attend (subject to availability). A voucher will be issued for each player autograph session. You MUST have a voucher to enter the autograph levels of the ballpark.
  • Each player autograph session is limited to the first 300 fans. One autograph per person per autograph session.
  • If you wish to obtain a voucher for a second autograph session, you must exit the ballpark and re-enter through the Home Plate Gate (subject to availability).

 

Select-A-Seat

012514_587 BVHWhile you’re exploring the ballpark this weekend, find the perfect seats for a Full Season or 20-Game Plan. All available season ticket locations will be marked with a color-coded bag. Red bags are for Full Season plans and blue bags with white tags are for 20-Game Plans. To set up an appointment with a Mariners representative, call (206) 346-4001or stop by Edgar’s Home Run Porch near Section 151. Learn about all of the great benefits of being a Mariners Season Ticket Holder.

 

Ballpark Experiences

FF-ExperiencesMake it a weekend to remember with exclusive opportunities like taking a selfie with Taijuan Walker, skipping to the front of the clubhouse tour line or meeting Mariners legend Dan Wilson. Download MLB.com’s Ballpark App and visit the Experience section to learn more.

 

Digital Waiver Forms

FF-ZipLineSome FanFest attractions, like the Safeco Field Zip Line, will require fans to complete a waiver in advance. Save yourself the hassle of doing paperwork in line by completing this year’s waiver using MLB.com’s Ballpark App or online here.

 

 

Food & Beverages

FF-EdgarsAfter hours of fun and games, fans can really work up an appetite. Food and drinks will be available throughout the Main Concourse. Grab a Mariner Dog or pizza slice for $6, or snack on some popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jack and other ballpark fare. For the adult crowd, swing by Edgar’s Cantina for Bloody Mary’s, Edgar Margaritas and draft beers, all for $6.

 

Parking

FF-ParkingThe Safeco Field Garage (located on the south side of the stadium, along Edgar Martinez Drive) will open at 7 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Parking is available for $10 (subject to availability).

NOTE: Parking spaces in the Safeco Field Garage will be extremely limited due to an exclusive Season Ticket Holder-only event on Saturday morning, in addition to the Seattle Boat Show taking place all weekend at the CenturyLink Field Event Center next door. Please plan accordingly.

 

Mariners Kids Club

1024x512_KidsClub2Visit Section 125 to sign your little sluggers up for the all new Mariners Kids Club powered by Junior Mariners. Stop by the Kids Club kiosk and join for free and you’ll take home a drawstring backpack plus your official Kids Club badge and lanyard.

 

We hope you enjoy your time at Safeco Field this weekend. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a Mariners staff member at the ballpark, or reach out to us on social media.

Mariners To Wear New Spring Training Uniforms


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The Mariners equipment truck rolls to Arizona on Feb. 10, just two short weeks away. And when it leaves, it will be carrying new Spring Training Uniforms for the team.

The Mariners will wear a northwest green jersey with the Spring Training logo on the sleeve. The team will have a new cap as well, featuring a navy crown with northwest green visor and the compass rose on the front.

Major League Baseball, along with Authentic Collection partners Majestic and New Era, unveiled a new on-field look for Spring Training that includes lighter-weight uniforms, new cap designs, specially-marked balls and other on-field elements. The jerseys are a part of Majestic’s new Flex Base uniform system, a design developed through insights from Major League players, innovative fabric technologies and extensive wear testing over the last two years. The new Flex Base uniforms feature a new, lighter weight twill technology and mesh panels on the sides of the jerseys which reduce the overall weight of jerseys by 10-20% and enhance freedom of movement. These will debut in Spring Training and be worn throughout the Championship Season and Postseason. Players will continue to wear New Era’s lightweight, performance-based Diamond Era 59FIFTY caps throughout Spring Training.

The primary logos of each Spring Training league, which includes a highway-like road sign with state initials, are located on both caps and jerseys. On the caps, patches of these logos are on the left side, while the right side features an embossed American or National League logo. All jerseys will include the state logo patch on one of the sleeves.

Rawlings baseballs will be stamped with this year’s Grapefruit League and Cactus League logos. The bases used in every Spring Training matchup will feature jewels of the league logos and the on-deck circles will also showcase the AZ and FL marks. Additionally, Spring Training fields are scheduled to be stenciled with the Grapefruit and Cactus marks, similar to the Opening Day, All-Star and Postseason field décor.

All the new spring jerseys can be seen here: Jerseys

And all the new caps are here: Caps

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