Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders treated a group of Seattle Children’s Hospital patients and their families to a “suite” experience at Safeco Field on Monday.
Saunders and his wife Shanel, through their charitable foundation Team Saundo, have purchased a suite for seven Mariners games, and are inviting patients and families from Children’s, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House to enjoy a day at the ballpark on them.
Monday’s group, all clad in Team Saundo T-shirts, got to go down on field pregame, where they met Joe Saunders. He took them into the Mariners dugout and gave the kids sugar-free bubblegum and sunflower seeds from the players’ stash. Everybody posed for photos on the field and at the dugout rail, then Team Saundo made its way to Suite 19 for the game.
Saunders and Shanel started Team Saundo in 2007 to make a positive impact on the lives of children by supporting initiatives focused on children’s health and well-being, education and involvement in sports.
In each of Saunders’ Major League stops (Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, and now Seattle Mariners), Team Saundo has contributed to the community. (710 ESPN’s Shannon Drayer wrote a nice story about Joe’s activities in a recent blog post.)
The next Team Saundo suite game will be June 23 when the Mariners meet the Oakland A’s.