Winner, passion, competitor, compassionate – those words were used over and over this afternoon to describe Lou Piniella, the 8th member of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame. The longtime manager of the Mariners joins Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson and Ken Griffey Jr. in the elite group to be named to the Mariners Hall of Fame.
At this afternoon’s Hall of Fame induction luncheon at Safeco Field, members of his coaching staff, team members who played their hearts out for him, two of his General Managers, fellow MLB managers, and nationally-known broadcasters, all lauded Piniella for making a winner out of a team that was always on the brink of leaving and turning Seattle into a baseball town.
Fellow Mariners Hall of Famer Dan Wilson spoke eloquently of how Lou honed, sharpened and shaped his players and instilled in them his desire to win.
In addition to coaches Lee Elia, Sam Perlozzo and Matt Sinatro (who told some funny stories about their days with Lou), others who lauded Lou included Bob Costas, Brent Musburger, filmmaker Ken Burns, Tommy Lasorda, Bryan Price, Woody Woodward, Pat Gillick and Harold Reynolds.
Lou gave a heartfelt and often emotional speech in which he called his 10 years in Seattle the “most rewarding of my managing career.” He spoke fondly of playing in the Kingdome with fans so loud and raucous that they made it fun for the Mariners but really tough for opponents. He talked about the close relationship with Mariners owners and front office, his coaches and the players.
The best time of his Seattle period, he said, was the 116 win 2001 season, a Major League record that he thinks might stand for a very long time. His only regret was not bringing a World Series to Seattle.
Afterward, Lou remarked that he watches Mariners games from his home in Tampa, although he admits that he doesn’t make it to the end, what with the three hour time difference. He said he’s rooting for Lloyd McClendon (who he managed against when he was at the Cubs and Lloyd was at the Pirates) to accomplish the goal he never could achieve, taking the Mariners to the World Series.
He has remained a part of the Mariners family since he retired from baseball in 2005, whether it was on TV & Radio broadcasts, on the Mariners Caravan or at FanFest, but now Dan Wilson is officially back in a Mariners uniform as the Minor League Catching Coordinator.
In his new role, Dan will work with Mariners catchers at all levels, beginning during Spring Training and continuing throughout the minor league season. He will travel to each of the Mariners affiliates several times during the season to work with Seattle’s young catchers.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik echoed the thoughts of all Mariners fans:
“We are happy to have Dan, one of our former players, affiliated with us,” Zduriencik said. “His on-field experience and passion for the Mariners organization makes him a great fit in his new role with us. We are looking forward to Dan’s contributions as he spends hands-on time with our players.”
Wilson, 44, spent 14 seasons catching in the Majors, debuting with Cincinnati (1992-93) and spending the bulk of his career with the Mariners (1994-2005). He has caught more games (1,281) than any other player in Mariners history and was the starting catcher on every Mariners team to reach the post-season. Dan owns the Mariners career record for home runs by a catcher (88, including 2 inside-the-park homers), and the Club’s single-season records for catchers RBI (83, 1996) and home runs (18, 1996).
Dan ended his career with a .995 fielding percentage, at the time the highest for any catcher in American League history, and the sixth-highest in Major League history. Wilson was an American League All-Star in 1996, and was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2012.
In addition to his on-field accomplishments Dan, and his family, have played an active philanthropic role in the Seattle community. Dan and his wife, Annie, were the 2012-2013 United Way of King County annual campaign co-chairs, and have long supported First Place School, the adoption agency All God’s Children International and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
The past weekend at Safeco Field was very special because of the return of Ken Griffey Jr. for his induction to the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame. With Ken, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Alvin Davis and Dan Wilson, the other members of the Mariners HOF, there was a lot of history on diamond.
Ken’s resume is filled with statistics, records, awards and accomplishments that are certainly Cooperstown-worthy, ranking among the best of all-time. The many behind-the-scenes stories that were told were also highly entertaining.
There is one “baseball list” that may best capture the essence of Ken Griffey Jr. better than all the numbers and his place in the game’s history – that is the company that he keeps. In 1999, Major League Baseball selected the All-Century Team, which included ten outfielders. Take a few minutes to read and think about this list of players:
MLB All-Century Team – Outfielders
And……………Ken Griffey Jr.
That pretty much says it all.
- Randy Adamack
The Mariners host the Brewers in the second game of a three-game series tonight at Safeco Field. Prior to the game, a special ceremony will be held inducting Ken Griffey Jr. into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Here is an information packet we put together on Junior that chronicles his legendary career:
And here is all the information for tonight’s game:
Game #116: Seattle Mariners (53-62) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (50-66) | 6:20 p.m. | Safeco Field
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-5, 2.75) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 2.78)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network…also available at Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT Sports…also available via MLB.tv (outside Mariners TV territory)
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Brewers | Mariners-Brewers History
Game Notes & Statistics:
Beginning today, exclusive Nike Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame merchandise is on sale at all Mariners Team Stores (Safeco Field, Downtown Seattle (at 4th & Stewart), Bellevue Square, Southcenter Mall & Alderwood Mall along with all ballpark locations.
Here is a list of the awesome gear you can pick up with the likeness of #24:
- Griffey HOF Snapback Cap $30 (navy/teal)
- Adult Cooperstown Griffey HOF T-shirt $29 (royal)
- Adult Griffey HOF Caricature T-shirt $29 (navy)
- Adult Griffey HOF T-shirt $29 (navy)
- Women’s Cooperstown Griffey HOF T-shirt $31 (royal)
Join us here at the Mariners as we celebrate the career of Ken Griffey Jr. all week long! This Saturday, Aug. 10, Junior will be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame during a special pregame ceremony.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Griffey will join Alvin Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004), Edgar Martinez (2007), Randy Johnson (2012) and Dan Wilson (2012) to become the seventh member of the Mariners Hall of Fame. In honor of the occasion, the first 20,000 fans to arrive at Safeco Field will take home a Ken Griffey Jr. “Mariners Hall of Fame” Bobblehead, presented by ROOT Sports. Griffey will also throw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.
But before Griffey is inducted in the Mariners Hall of Fame, a luncheon will be held Friday, Aug. 9 in support of a newly-created endowment in Griffey’s name at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Ken Griffey Jr. Family Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research is an extension of the Ken Griffey Jr. Family Foundation, which supports children’s hospitals in Seattle, Cincinnati and Florida, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The endowment will help to fund clinical research and trials of innovative treatment of pediatric cancers at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In addition, limited edition Ken Griffey Jr. commemorative bats were made available for purchase and 100 percent of the proceeds from their sale support the Seattle Children’s Ken Griffey Jr. Family Pediatric Cancer Endowment. The bat is a replica of the glossy black bat that Griffey used during his 22-year Major League Baseball career, and also features a laser-engraved, hand painted “Swingman” logo, the number 24, and Griffey’s authentic signature on the barrel. Only 1,000 bats were created.
Later on Friday after the Mariners play the Milwaukee Brewers, the second Fireworks Night of the season will take place. The Mariners have partnered with Pyro Spectaculars, the same company who produces the New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle extravaganza, for these shows set to music. But in honor of this weekend, we will pay tribute to Mariners legends with a special “Mariners Hall of Fame” themed show. You won’t want to miss it!
Even if you cannot make it to the Hall of Fame events this weekend, fans can still show their support for Griffey throughout the week using their Twitter or Instagram accounts. Using the #ThanksJr tag, fans can post messages and photos for Junior, and they may end up on MarinersVision during the games.
The Mariners Hall of Fame was created in 1997 to honor players, staff and other individuals that have significantly contributed to the history of the Mariners franchise and the Northwest community. The Hall of Fame is located on the Main Concourse of Safeco Field with the Northwest Baseball Museum.
- Caitlin Doxsie, Mariners PR Intern
For 11 seasons, sports fans in the Northwest enjoyed watching one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball history, Ken Griffey Jr. In 2009-2010, fans had a chance to share with him the final days of his future Hall of Fame career.
And now today we are thrilled to announce Junior will become the seventh member of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame when he is inducted during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, August 10, 2013.
Junior will join Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson in the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Here is a fun pictorial look at Griffey’s legendary career in a Mariners uniform.
This afternoon at Safeco Field in Seattle, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson became the fifth and sixth members of the Mariners Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place prior to today’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Dan and Randy join Alvin Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004) and Edgar Martinez (2007). The Mariners Hall of Fame was created in 1997 to honor the players, staff and other individuals that greatly contributed to the history of the Mariners franchise.
It is fitting that the Mariners batterymates from 1994-1998 were honored together. Both were presented with the bronze plaques that were installed for permanent display in the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest, which is located on the main concourse at Safeco Field opposite sections 132 and 136.
While their statistics help tell the story, it was their relationship that played a significant role in the life of the Mariners franchise. (Bios and playing records of Randy and Dan are attached.) Randy and Dan were batterymates for 104 starts from 1994-1998, and the Mariners were 75-29 in those games, a .721 winning percentage.
Together the Johnson-Wilson duo was an integral part of Mariners teams that also featured stars like Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez and others who brought the 1995 and 1997 American League West championships to Seattle and the Northwest. The photo of Randy and Dan embracing after beating the California Angels 9-1 to win the AL West tiebreaker on October 2, 1995, is one of the iconic scenes in franchise history.
Dan Wilson was one of the best defensive catchers in Major League Baseball history. In his 12 seasons and 1,281 games with the Mariners (1994-2005), Dan registered the best fielding percentage in American League history and was a true leader on all four Mariners playoff teams.
Dan still resides in Seattle, and remains active with the Mariners as a spring training instructor and part-time radio-TV announcer. He and his wife Annie are currently co-chairs of the 2012 United Way of King County campaign.
A sure-fire first ballot National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Randy Johnson spent ten seasons of his 22-year career with the Mariners (1989-1998) and was one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball, as evidenced by his 303 victories and by his 4,875 strikeouts, which rank second all-time to just one man – Nolan Ryan.
The one word that describes Randy on the mound is “dominating”. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history. On his way to becoming the most recent pitcher to winning 303 games (in 2009 as a San Francisco Giant), he registered 4,875 career strikeouts, second all-time only to Nolan Ryan. His first of five Cy Young Awards in 1995 was also the first in Mariners history. His resume includes a no-hitter for the Mariners in 1990 and a perfect game for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004. Randy resides in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife Lisa and their four children.
In honor of the Mariners Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the Mariners Care Saturday Silent Auction features a number of Hall of Fame-related items.
Fans have the chance to bid on over 25 items, many of them autographed, featuring members of the Mariners Hall of Fame as well as the National Baseball Hall of fame.
- Baseball autographed by Hall of Famer and former Mariners coach Paul Molitor
- Baseball autographed by Mariners Hall of Famer and Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus and Hall of Fame bobblehead
- Baseballs autographed by Alvin Davis, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson
Items also include autographed bats, a game-used bat and jersey, official line-up card, Ichiro bobblehead collection and four lower box seats to an upcoming Mariners game.
The auction table is located near Section 128 on the Main Concourse. Bidding opens when the gates open at 11:10am and concludes at the end of the second inning.
The best part of the auction is you’re not giving your money to a collector. All proceeds benefit Mariners Care, the team’s non-profit foundation which has provided over $12.5 million since 2000 for Northwest charities and worthy causes.
Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson, the newest members of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame, were celebrated at a luncheon on the infield of Safeco Field today.
At the head table with Randy and Dan were former Mariners pitcher Bill Krueger, catcher/broadcaster Dave Valle, outfielder/broadcaster Dave Henderson, infielder/broadcaster Mike Blowers, infielder/outfielder Rich Amaral, coach Lee Elia, former teammate and current coach Mike Brumley, manager Eric Wedge, former Teammate and Hall of Famers Edgar Martinez and Alvin Davis, Marilyn Niehaus, wife of Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus, broadcaster Dave Sims and Safeco Field public address announcer Tom Hutyler.
Jay Buhner, who is also a member of the Mariners Hall of Fame, is in Spokane today for his son’s baseball tournament. But he’ll fly in tomorrow morning for the pregame induction ceremony at Safeco Field. It starts at 12:30pm.
Others who could not be in attendance provided video greetings including Bob Costas, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Cameron, Harold Reynolds, Gaylord Perry and John Kruk.
Some notable quotes and moments from the program:
Rick Rizzs on Randy– “He was a fiery pitcher who could singlehandedly take over a game, his mullet blowing in the wind.”
Bob Costas, by video, noted that Randy and Dan were part of a very special time in the history of the Mariners and as good as Randy was, he was even better with his battery mate. With Dan behind the plate, Randy’s Mariners winning percentage was .721.
Former teammate Mike Blowers on Randy’s competitive nature – “He would go out with an edge every time.”
Former Teammate Rich Amaral –“Playing behind Randy was easy. It was strike 3 and we’d throw the ball around the infield.”
Amaral on Dan – “I respected how he played the game. He played hard every day. He’s strap it on and go out there. He never complained when he caught a day game after a night game, or was out there when he was supposed to have a day off.”
Rick Rizzs on Dan—“He was a blend of intelligence and toughness, a leader on the field, an extension of the manager.”
There was a stirring video tribute of great moments in Randy’s and Dan’s careers. Of all the highlights, and there were too many to note—strike outs, runners caught stealing, amazing defensive plays by both Randy and Dan—it was one of Dan’s two inside the park home runs that got a round of applause from the audience.