Congratulations on a Great Career Chuck!
Today is the end of an era at the Seattle Mariners. It is the last day for Chuck Armstrong as President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he held for 28 years.
On Wednesday night, over 300 people gathered to celebrate Chuck at an event that was as much a Mariners family reunion as it was a retirement party. Lou Piniella and Ken Griffey Jr. flew in from Florida. Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Alvin Davis and Dan Wilson, all members of the Mariners Hall of Fame, were present. The late Dave Niehaus was represented by his wife Marilyn and son David. Dick Balderson and Woody Woodward, both former General Managers, were there, along with former Seattle Mayors Charles Royer and Norm Rice. And former owner George Argyros, who brought Chuck in as president all those years ago, flew up from California. It was a night filled with stories and laughter, and surprisingly few tears.
Chuck wore his passion for the Mariners proudly. He felt every loss and disappointment deeply. He leaves the team stronger than it has been in years.
Best wishes to you, Chuck Armstrong, as you begin this new chapter of your life. You will be missed.
Here are some quotes that various dignitaries around baseball shared on Chuck:
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:
Chuck was one of the key leaders who secured the national pastime’s future in the Pacific Northwest, guiding the Mariners as they became a model franchise in a wonderful ballpark. His knowledge and experience on both the baseball and business sides was an asset to our entire sport in numerous ways, including on my Special Committee for On-Field Matters and our International Committee, and he always kept the best interests of our game in mind. I and Chuck’s many friends throughout the game will miss him both personally and professionally.
Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball:
Chuck was an amazing partner and fellow board member to all of us at Enterprises. But more importantly, he was the truest of true friends. We will never forget that he always bounded into the room and always with an effervescent smile and an even more brilliant attitude.
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball:
“Chuck was one of the first club Presidents with whom I developed a relationship nearly 25 years ago. Over the past quarter-century, he has been a sage advisor, a loyal supporter of the Commissioner’s initiatives and, most importantly, a good friend. I hope that in his retirement, Chuck will finally have a chance to get that golf game in shape.” – Rob Manfred, Chief Operating Officer, Major League Baseball
Phyllis Merhige, Major League Baseball:
Some of the people you meet in the course of a career always remain business acquaintances, some you come to know more personally and a select few you end up treasuring. Chuck has always been generous with his friendship, his loyalty and his support. He shares his thoughts, his family, his co-workers and his knowledge without reserve. We have gone through various personal and professional good times and bad times together and he has never wavered in his indefatigable spirits or his unflinching loyalty. He sincerely cares – about the Mariners, about Seattle, about Major League Baseball, his family, his staff and his friends. And he isn’t afraid to let people know how much he cares, which is rare. I admire him so much, am very grateful to have been mentored by him and to be able to call him a friend for life.
Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago White Sox:
Chuck Armstrong and I came into baseball together at roughly the same time, and we have remained friends throughout our time in the game. He has had a major, although often unseen, impact on the governance of this game. Chuck is a really good guy who is universally liked across the industry, and who I like to compliment as a real problem solver when it comes to the challenging and difficult issues facing the game, its teams and Major League Baseball. His attention to detail is legendary among the teams and on the committees where we often served together. You can always count on Chuck to have read every note and every minute from our meetings, and it certainly will be strange the first time Commissioner Selig looks for Chuck to offer a motion to approve the minutes, and we all come to the realization he is no longer at our side.
Chuck is passionate about his alma mater, Purdue University. One time, I mentioned to Chuck that Bill ‘Moose’ Skowron, that great Yankee slugger and a multisport star for the Boilermakers, never received a watch from Purdue. The next thing I knew, Chuck thoughtfully presented a gold Purdue watch to Moose before a Mariners game in Chicago. Our friend Moose wore it until the day he passed away.
I had an old photo of Moose playing football at Purdue framed as a poster for Chuck’s office in Seattle. One day, Neil Armstrong, the famous astronaut and another Purdue grad, walked into Chuck’s office, saw the poster, and said, ‘Hey, that’s Moose Skowron.’ Chuck loved to tell that story. Boilermakers stick together, apparently.
I certainly wish Chuck all the best as he steps away from the frantic and stressful lifestyle of running a professional baseball team. I hope he is able to enjoy life’s victories even more and that the losses won’t hurt nearly as much.
Phillies President David Montgomery:
Chuck Armstrong has served baseball well and the reason is simple — he loves the game and has a passion for it. On a personal level, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chuck both as an individual and as President of the Mariners. I have had the good fortune of getting to know him almost as well as anybody in the game, having served on various committees together. Through these opportunities, I have witnessed first-hand the outstanding contributions he has made to the game. I wish Chuck and Susan well as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.