Pitcher Mike Jackson returns to Safeco Field

Mike Jackson, former Mariners relief pitcher, is making a return trip to Seattle this weekend to throw out the ceremonial 1st pitch on Saturday before the Mariners vs. Dodgers game.

Jackson, who had two turns with the Mariners (1988-1991 and 1996), was invited back to Seattle as part of the Mariners 35th Anniversary celebration, a season-long tribute to the franchise’s history.

Michael Jackson appeared in 335 games over five seasons with the Mariners.

Jackson’s 17-year MLB career ended after his stint with the White Sox in 2004. Since then, he’s been coaching his eldest son Ryan. He’ll be a senior next year, and Jackson says he’s a prospect. Ryan Jackson is a center fielder, who his dad describes as “fast, good arm, can swing the bat.”

Jackson is also a coach at the Big League Baseball Academy in Tomball, Texas (north of Houston). They coach kids there from age nine through high school. The kids Jackson coached and mentored when he first started at the Academy are just now getting to draft age and he’s hoping there are some prospects among them.

Jackson gives the kids some real-world advice about making it as a professional baseball player. “It’s difficult. But if you have determination, patience and talent, you can make it.” And for those who don’t have what it takes to be a Major Leaguer, Jackson says they work to help them find scholarships to further their educations.

Jackson played 17 seasons in the Major Leagues with eight different teams.

During his MLB career, Jackson pitched for seven teams other than the Mariners including the Phillies, Giants, Reds, Indians, Astros, Twins and White Sox. He never spent more than three years with any team other than Seattle, where he played five seasons.

Jackson says he’s looking forward to coming back to Seattle, a city he always enjoyed. Although he played his entire Mariners career in the Kingdome, he has been to Safeco Field with the Indians, Twins and White Sox, and is looking forward to returning to the mound on Saturday.

- RH

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