A group of kids from Seattle area Boys & Girls Clubs and community centers got to play at Safeco Field Tuesday with Mariners players and team trainers.
It was the annual P.L.A.Y. event, which stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth. Miguel Olivo, Brendan Ryan, Trayvon Robinson, Mike Carp and Cater Capps joined Mariners head trainer Rick Griffin and three members of his staff and put the 100 or so kids through the same paces a professional baseball player goes through before each game.
The kids did sprints, high knee lifts, scissor kicks and agility exercises on the outfield at Safeco Field. They also got some information about good nutrition and with the help of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, the kids got a lesson about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan told the kids from the South Park Community Center, and Rainier Vista and Federal Way/Auburn Boys & Girls Clubs that there are consequences to every action and they should do their best to make the right choices. “Steroids may seem like an easy fix, but in the long run it’s going to affect your life and your family. Follow your heart and try to do the right thing,” said Ryan.
Trainer Rob Nodine told the kids that although they may never be Major Leaguers they can still be successful at whatever they do. “These guys have worked hard and made the right choices. In your life and your future careers, you can make the same right choices and work hard and succeed,” said Nodine.
P.L.A.Y. is a public awareness campaign developed by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in 2004 to combat child obesity. Through a series of fitness programs at all 30 MLB ballparks, P.L.A.Y. encourages kids to be active, eat right and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and all 30 Major League Baseball teams, PBATS incorporates anti-steroid education within their P.L.A.Y. campaign to generate awareness about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
Friday is the annual Mariners Wives Favorite Things basket auction. They load up baskets (really, any kind of container) with various items of their husbands’ choosing and then auction them off to benefit Mariners Care, the team’s non-profit foundation.
Among the categories of items are candy, movies, music, restaurants and hobbies. The baskets are usually loaded up with autographed and sometimes game-used items. New this year, a couple of small kitchen appliances.
Here are some highlights:
The other small appliance is a Keurig single-cup coffeemaker in Eric Wedge’s basket. He uses his every day and has gone through three of them, that’s how much he likes it. He’s also a fan of the HBO original series with the complete first season of The Sopranos and the second season of Entourage.
Shawn Kelley filled his basket with autographed Mizuno spikes (they look too clean to be game-used), size 13. His DVDs are Step Brothers, Braveheart, and the first season of Boardwalk Empire. He also included an electronic Scrabble Catch Phrase game.
Kyle Seager is a fan of the original Caddyshack (and really, who isn’t?), as well as Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s restaurant. You’ll also get an autographed copy of the July 2012 Mariners Magazine featuring cover boy Kyle Seager.
Relief pitcher Josh Kinney is clearly a big hunter. His basket has a camo cap and pack, mule deer call, a selection of human scent eliminator sprays, a shotgun shell-shaped thermos. Oh, and a bottle of Tefft Cellars merlot.
Michael Saunders is a crossword puzzle guy, so he included a book of 200 puzzles. His basket also includes a Barnes & Noble and AMC Theatres gift cards. And true to his Canadian roots, a Vancouver Canucks scarf. Go Canucks!
The Favorite Things baskets will be on display near Section 128 on the Main Concourse at Safeco Field on Friday, August 17. Silent bids will be accepted through the end of the sixth inning.
Pitcher Lucas Luetge joined players from the Seattle Storm and former players for the Seahawks and Sounders yesterday to spruce up the Joan Allen Memorial Garden at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth High School.
The players, students and community volunteers helped build raised planting beds from recovered cedar, planted fall crop seedlings, weeded existing planting areas and fixed up the garden tool shed.
New Seattle Schools Superintendent Jose Banda was also on hand. Banda arrived recently from the Bay Area, and he admitted to being an Oakland A’s fan, but said he went to his first Mariners game at Safeco Field recently and loved the ballpark.
The work party was organized to help build momentum for the Green Apple Day of Service on September 29, a world-wide initiative to engage students, teachers, parents, business leaders, elected officials and others in activities at their local schools.
Partners who helped make today’s event possible included the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington Green Schools, Skanska, Cedar Grove composting, Vulcan, McKinstry, Howard S. Wright, and Green Sports Coalition.
Jesus Montero, Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariner Moose spent some time today with patients at Tacoma’s Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Their visit was part of the on-going Mariners Get Well Tour, presented by Holland America Line. There were smiles all around as patients posed for photos, got autographs and received gift bags, courtesy of Holland America Lines.
Some 1,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair users participated in Saturday’s inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5k at Safeco Field. The event raised over $18,000 for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence statewide prevention and education programs.
The first person across the finish line was Paul Mannino at 17:44. The top women’s finisher was Erica McElrea at 19:10. The top three fundraisers were Donald Mackey, Mike Clark and April Randhawa. Every dollar raised will directly support WSCADV’s violence prevention efforts across the state, including work with teens and youth engagement.
The 5k course wound its way around and through Safeco Field with the finish line on the warning track just beyond third base. Kate Wedge, wife of Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who were co-chairs of the event, was at the end of the course to greet finishers.
At a ceremony to close the successful event, Kate Wedge thanked participants for making “a statement to the nation against domestic violence and for prevention.”
Participants came from 17 states and Canada and ranged in age from 8-80. Among the runners were Shelley Vargas, wife of Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas, Kristin Smoak, wife of Justin Smoak, and Sharyn Meichtry, Brendan Ryan’s fiancé.
In addition to the Seattle Mariners and the team’s non-profit foundation Mariners Care, the event was supported by FAROut.org (a project of The NW Network), Seattle Goodwill, Lummi Nation, Brooks and the CW11 (KSTW).
The Refuse To Abuse® campaign is a 15-year partnership between the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to promote healthy, respectful relationships. Print, radio, and television public service announcements in both English and Spanish are produced featuring prominent Mariners, reaching hundreds of thousands of people across the Northwest. This year’s campaign features Eric and Kate Wedge, Felix Hernandez, and Franklin Gutierrez, and is supported by Wells Fargo, with in-kind support from the marketing firm Craters of the Moon.
The annual Baseball Tomorrow Fund equipment drive is Saturday, July 14, when the Mariners take on the Texas Rangers. Volunteers will be outside the gates of Safeco Field collecting donations of equipment and cash. The proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. They’ll also receive a $5000 Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant. Outfielder Casper Wells will participate in the pregame presentation.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It was established in 1999 through a $10 million commitment by MLB and the Players Association.
Last year, over 15,000 pieces of equipment and over $300,000 in monetary contributions were donated to youth baseball and softball organizations in Major League markets in conjunction with the Equipment Day initiative. To date, nearly 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,250,000 in cash donations has benefited organizations in need.
Monday was an off day for the Mariners, but a large group of players and front office staff hit the links at The Golf Club at Newcastle in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since 1986 the tournament has raised approximately $4.66 million for cystic fibrosis research.
Players that hit the links today included tournament co-chairs Dustin Ackley, Shawn Kelley and Justin Smoak, as well as Blake Beavan, Brendan Ryan, Charlie Furbush, Tom Wilhelmsen, Jason Vargas and Stephen Pryor. Members of the coaching staff (Mike Brumley, Jason Phillips, Scott Budner), Training Staff (Rick Griffin & Rob Nodine), Strength Staff (James Clifford), Baseball Operations (Jack Zduriencik, Jeff Kingston) and a group of former players, including Dave Valle, Dave Henderson, Bill Krueger and Bucky Jacobsen.
With great weather, a beautiful golf course and a great group of players, the day promises to be plenty of fun, with lots of money raised for a special cause. The 18-hole tournament will be followed by a silent auction of sports memorabilia and other items and a dinner and live auction at the Clubhouse (starts at 4:30pm).
Dan and Annie Wilson today were officially introduced as co-chairs of United Way of King County’s 2012-13 campaign.
As faces of the giving campaign, Dan and Annie will be front and center in United Way’s mission to help people in need and take action to help solve our community’s toughest challenges.
Money raised during the campaign, and throughout the year, allows United Way of King County to invest in programs that keep people housed, fed, and able to meet their basic needs; bring an end to chronic homelessness; and arm kids with the kind of early learning that gives every child, regardless of income level, an equal chance at school success.
“That’s why I still live here,” Dan says. “We are blessed to have found such a generous community, and it’s our privilege and duty to get involved in it,” he adds.
“So much is possible when we pull together and work on a community scale,” Annie says. “Dan and I are so excited to get started.”
The Wilsons have been actively involved in the Seattle community since they arrived in 1994 with their work at Seattle’s First Place School—a private nonprofit K–6 school for children facing homelessness or other trauma. They are also active supporters of the adoption agency All God’s Children International and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
When you think that your life is filled with challenges, think about what someone like Nancy Haunty has been through over the last 10-years.
Haunty, of Shoreline, is the Seattle Mariners Honorary Bat Girl, part of Major League Baseball’s annual Mother’s Day national day of recognition to raise awareness and support for MLB’s Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer® initiative.
Haunty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. After successful surgery and treatment, Haunty’s cancer went into remission until 2007, when she had a mastectomy on her affected breast, six months of chemotherapy, then a second mastectomy on her unaffected breast, and then reconstructive surgery.
Haunty was cancer-free for two more years until 2009 when she got her “most significant and serious diagnosis,”—Stage Four cancer that had spread to her liver, lungs and spine. Although not in full remission, Haunty says she has responded well to the treatment.
Earlier this year, she learned that she had a brain tumor. A couple of weeks ago, Haunty had Gamma Knife Radiosurgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. The goal, says Haunty, is for the radiation to dissolve the tumor over time. She’ll have a scan in a few weeks to see how well the procedure has worked.
In spite of the many surgeries, treatments and recurrences of cancer, Haunty has maintained a positive attitude with the love and support of her husband Jake, family and friends. Haunty continues to work fulltime at the University of Washington and she volunteers with organizations that help breast cancer survivors. She chronicles her on-going fight against cancer in the honest and often touching blog http://bynancysside.blogspot.com/.
Because the Mariners are in New York to play the Yankees on Mother’s Day, May 13, Haunty will be honored at Safeco Field on Monday, May 21, the Mariners first game back after a long road trip. Haunty will participate in a pregame ceremony, decked out in her personalized pink Mariners jersey. Accompanying Haunty will be her husband Jake, friend Kelly West, who nominated her, and her in-laws, who are flying in from Ohio for the special event.
Haunty says the timing of her honor was perfect, coming shortly after latest diagnosis. “We were feeling pretty beat up with the latest progression to the brain. I felt so happy and excited. It’s a total honor and I’m so excited,” said Haunty.
Several thousand students in the Seattle and Highline School Districts got a break from reading and math on Tuesday so they could get some life lessons from Seattle Mariners players.
It was the 15th Annual Mariners Education Day where the entire team, coaches and manager Eric Wedge fan out to area schools to urge the kids to become members of the Mariner Moose D.R.E.A.M. Team.
At TOPS at Seward in Seattle’s Roanoke neighborhood, students cheered loudly when their group was introduced: Brandon League, Brendan Ryan, Michael Saunders, Munenori Kawasaki, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ichiro Suzuki and hitting coach Chris Chambliss.
First up was League, the Mariners All-Star closer, who talked about the letter D, for drug-free. He told the kids that neither he nor his teammates would be where they are today if they had taken drugs.
Brendan Ryan talked about how important it is to have respect for yourself, “for your parents, your teachers,” and continuing League’s anti-drug theme, he urged the kids to “respect your bodies.”
The MC for the assembly, Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs, next introduced batting coach Chris Chambliss as a “teacher” who’s helping the team learn about hitting. Chambliss told the kids education is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. “Reading, math, social studies, everything you are learning about in school. When you learn, no one can take that away from you.”
Munenori Kawasaki a native of Japan, who’s been in the U. S. only a few months, greeted the students in English, then told them, “I grew up in Japan. My English isn’t good enough.” Kawasaki took out a Japanese to English phrase book, which got the kids laughing. Then, with the help of an interpreter, he told the students how important it is to have a good attitude. “Do the right thing with faith and conviction. When I was younger, I dreamed of playing with Ichiro. If you have a great attitude, you can achieve your dreams.”
For the letter “M,” for motivation, pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and Ichiro shared the duties. Rizzs urged the kids to be motivated to read two more books a week over the summer. Iwakuma and Ichiro held up two fingers each to show the kids what they were both challenging the students to do.
Ellie Malone, a 6th grader at TOPS at Seward, thought it was a fun event. “It was cool to have the Mariners come to our school. They had a good message about working hard and making your dreams come true.”
Nathaniel Korahais, a 3rd grader, said he liked seeing the Mariners players up close. “Brendan Ryan is my favorite player. I like the position shortstop and how good he is.”
As much fun as the kids had, the players enjoyed the afternoon as well. “This is an opportunity for us to get out in the community and share our message. The kids and the fans get to see us every night, but we don’t get a chance to see them all the time. It is fun to share our message and see all of those smiling faces and screams for us.”