Archive for the ‘ Mariners Care ’ Category

Shoreline Woman Is Mariners Honorary Bat Girl

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.

Nancy Haunty is the Mariners 2012 Honorary Bat Girl.

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

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.

- RH

Mariners D.R.E.A.M. Team Day

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.

Munenori Kawasaki gave a speech about motivation in English and Japanese.

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.”

Kyle Seager has a few new fans after his visit to a local school today.

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.”

Manager Eric Wedge talked about motivation during the D.R.E.A.M. assembly today.

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.”

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- RH

Saunders Autograph Session at Lynnwood Fred Meyer

Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders will be at the Lynnwood Fred Meyer store on Monday, May 7 from noon to 1pm to meet with fans and sign autographs.

The Fred Meyer is located at 4615 196th SW in Lynnwood.

Michael Saunders will sign autographs Monday at the Lynnwood Fred Meyer. (Getty Images)

- RH

Mike McCready Performs Friday’s National Anthem

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready will perform the National Anthem before Friday’s Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins Game. It’s part of the annual Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Night at Safeco Field.

McCready announced in 2002 that he had been living with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis for over 20-years. Since then, he has been working to raise money for research and treatment and to help bring the diseases out of the shadows.

McCready performing the anthem at Safeco Field for the first time in 2009.

Special group tickets for the game are available online only at The deadline to buy tickets is Thursday, May 3 at 5pm. Prices are $20 for View Reserved and $40 for Field seats. Six-dollars from the purchase of every View level ticket and $7 from the purchase of every Field level ticket sold through the online offer goes to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

The Foundation and the Northwest Chapter actively support the more than 60,000 Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients living in the Northwest. In addition to raising funds, CCFA will be on-site Friday to help raise general awareness of both diseases, which due to severe symptoms, are often kept quiet.

CCFA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, it is estimated that more than 1.4 million Americans are living with these incurable digestive diseases. Symptoms are painful and include rectal bleeding, intense abdominal cramping, fatigue, malnutrition and stunted growth in children and uncontrollable diarrhea. For more information on CCFA and/or inflammatory bowel disease, please visit

- RH

Pitch, Hit & Run Champion from DuPont Honored Sunday

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Sunday’s Mariners vs. White Sox game will be last year’s national winner of the 2011 Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run 7-8 year old division, Emeka Egbuka of DuPont, Washington.

Emeka was one of the top four in his age group in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia. He won his age group at Team Championships at Safeco Field last June. Emeka’s scores were compared to all competitors in his age range across the country and he was selected as one of four to go on to the national Pitch, Hit & Run Championship at the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix. Emeka emerged as the top player in his 7-8 year old division.

2011 Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Champ (7-8 year old division) Emeka Egbuka of DuPont

Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. The grassroots program is designed to provide youth across North America with an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball skills. Boys and girls compete in four age groups: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including the Local, Sectional, Team Championship and National Finals, held in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game each July.

2012 Pitch, Hit & Run participants will go through their local and sectional competitions in May and June. The top performers will be chosen to participate in the Safeco Field Team Championships on June 17, after the Mariners vs. San Francisco Giants game.

- RH

Mariners Care Saturday Silent Auction to Benefit USO

This Saturday’s Mariners Care Silent Auction benefits United Service Organizations, also known as USO. It’s part of the Mariners annual Salute to Armed Forces Day festivities.

Fans at the Mariners vs. White Sox game can bid on a variety of Mariners and MLB memorabilia at Section 128 of the Main Concourse of Safeco Field.

There are 20 items up for bid including baseballs autographed by Dustin Ackley, Brendan Ryan, Justin Smoak and Mariners legend Jay Buhner, an autographed jersey from George Sherrill, and an official line-up card signed by Mariners manager Eric Wedge.

The Mariners Care Silent Auctions are held each Saturday home. Bidding starts when the gates open and closes at the end of the 6th inning. Winning bidders can have the satisfaction of knowing their money will help support worthy causes around the Pacific Northwest and won’t be going into the pocket of some collector.

The next Mariners Care Saturday Silent auction is May 5th before the Mariners vs. Twins game.

Since the Mariners started staging Saturday Silent Auctions in 2000, more than $1 million has been raised for primarily youth-oriented charities and community service programs throughout the Northwest.

- RH

Dan Wilson Reads to Students at Mirror Lake Elementary

Soon to be Mariners Hall of Fame catcher Dan Wilson visited Mirror Lake Elementary School in Federal Way on Tuesday to help  honor volunteer reading tutors and recognize students.  The Mariners hosted the annual Salute to Volunteers Night at Safeco Field Tuesday night, at which volunteers from around the state were honored in a pregame ceremony. Wilson’s visit to Mirror Lake is part of the Salute to Volunteers celebration.

Dan Wilson reads to students at Mirror Lake Elementary in Federal Way.

Each spring since 2005, the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards are presented as part of National Volunteer Week, which began on Sunday. Founded in 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially in scope each year and has drawn the support and endorsement of all subsequent U.S. presidents and many governors, mayors and other respected elected officials.

Since 2009, the Seattle Mariners have joined with the Washington Commission for National and Community Service and Governor Chris Gregoire to honor the men and women of the state of Washington who have distinguished themselves for volunteer service to the community.

- RH

Mariners Care Silent Auction

If you are a baseball memorabilia collector, you’ll want to check out the Mariners Care Silent auction on Saturday, April 14. Each Saturday home game, the Mariners non-profit foundation holds a silent auction of a variety of Mariners and Major League Baseball memorabilia, most of it autographed. All proceeds go to support Mariners Care and the Mariners youth-oriented charitable causes.

On Saturday, collectors will be able to bid on 21 differed items including a Felix Hernandez autographed baseball and Cy Young Award bobblehead. There are also autographed baseballs from Alex Liddi, Jesus Montero and former Mariners outfielder Mike Cameron. Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders have contributed autographed bats. Manager Eric Wedge signed a Mariners Stars & Stripes cap.

A Felix Hernandez autographed baseball and Cy Young Award bobblehead will be up for auction tonight.

There is also a collection of nine Ichiro bobbleheads given away to fans over the years including the 2002 MVP bobblehead, the 2003 Gold Glove bobblehead, and every Ichiro bobblehead from 2005-2011. Ichiro items are always popular on the silent auction table so there could be some spirited bidding.

There are also four box seats to an upcoming game and the chance to watch batting practice from the field and have your picture taken with a Mariners player.

The Mariners Care Silent Auctions are held each Saturday home game near Section 128 on the Main Concourse. Bidding starts when the gates open and closes at the end of the 6th inning. Winning bidders can have the satisfaction of knowing their money will help support worthy causes around the Pacific Northwest and won’t be going into the pocket of some collector.

Since the Mariners started staging Saturday Silent Auctions in 2000, more than $1 million has been raised for primarily youth-oriented charities and community service programs throughout the Northwest.

- RH

Dave Valle’s Esperanza Lends a Helping Hand in the Dominican Republic

Former Mariners catcher and occasional broadcaster Dave Valle has been doing some great work in the Dominican Republic. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports posted a long profile of Valle and the charity he and his wife Victoria founded 17-years ago called Esperanza International.

Valle spent time in Latin America during the formative years of his playing career. He and Victoria were especially affected by the poverty in the Dominican and its effect on children.

Together, they created Esperanza, a non-profit that provides small loans to the hard working poor in the Dominican Republic. Over the years, Esperanza has broadened its scope and now partners with other organizations to renovate schools and clinics and build baseball fields.

Esperanza translates into ‘hope’ in English, and the Valle’s charity is certainly providing that by helping people raise themselves out of a generations-long cycle of poverty.

Here’s a link to Brown’s lengthy story, reported from San Pedro de Macoris, and a link to Esperanza International, in case you’d like to help continue the good work.

Former Mariners catcher Dave Valle founded Esperanza with his wife Victoria in 1995. (Stephen Dunn/Allsport)

- RH


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