Bret Boone

Bret Robert Boone (born April 6, 1969) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. During his career Boone was a three-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He is a member of the Boone family, one of the most recognizable families in baseball.

Bret Boone
Bret Boone3
Boone with the Seattle Mariners
Second baseman
Born: April 6, 1969 (age 50)
El Cajon, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 19, 1992, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
July 31, 2005, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
Batting average.266
Home runs252
Runs batted in1,021
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Personal life

Boone was born in El Cajon, California to Susan G. Roel and former major league player and manager Bob Boone. He is also the grandson of former major leaguer Ray Boone and brother of former major leaguer and current New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, as well as a descendant of pioneer Daniel Boone.[1] As a child, Boone hung out in the Phillies clubhouse with Pete Rose Jr., his brother Aaron, Ryan Luzinski, and Mark McGraw.[2] He is a graduate of El Dorado High School in Placentia, California. Boone attended the University of Southern California and played for the team, but left after his junior year of college when he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fifth round.[3] In 2016 Boone released an autobiography, Home Game: Big-League Stories from My Life in Baseball's First Family.[4][5]

Professional career

Bret Boone Cannons
Boone as a member of the AAA Calgary Cannons in 1992.

In 1992, Boone became the first-ever third-generation big-leaguer in baseball history. As a member of an All-Star family, he is the son of Bob, a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, California Angels and Kansas City Royals (19721990) and later a manager with the Royals and Cincinnati Reds; his brother Aaron is a third baseman who has played with the Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, and Houston Astros and is now the manager of the New York Yankees. His grandfather Ray was an infielder for the Indians, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves and Boston Red Sox (19481960).

On the last day of the 1998 season, the Reds helped him make baseball trivia history by starting the only infield ever composed of two sets of brothers: first baseman Stephen Larkin, second baseman Bret Boone, shortstop Barry Larkin, and third baseman Aaron Boone.

Seattle Mariners

Boone started his playing career with the Seattle Mariners where he set the club record for home runs in a season by second baseman in 1993 (12 in 76 games)[6] but was traded that same year to the Cincinnati Reds along with Erik Hanson.

Bret-boone seattle-v-cincinnati 06-19-2002
Boone turning a double play while playing second base for the Seattle Mariners in Cincinnati on June 19, 2002

In 2001 Boone returned to the Seattle Mariners, the organization with which he came up from 1990 to 1993.[7] Now an All-Star—having averaged 21 home runs a year from 1998 through 2000, twice reaching a career high in doubles (at 38, in 1998 and 1999) -- Boone's superior play continued as he led the league in runs batted in (141), while producing a batting average of (.331). He also broke the Mariners' team record of home runs for a second baseman with his 37 home runs while hitting 37 doubles.

Boone started in the All-Star Game at Safeco Field, received a Silver Slugger Award and finished third in the AL MVP voting. His Mariners paced the league with a record 116 wins, earning the AL West championship and advancing to the ALCS, tying the all-time team record for wins in a season with the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

The following year Boone won a Gold Glove Award for his defense and continued to show the power he had demonstrated the previous years, hitting 24 home runs with 34 doubles. On May 2, 2002, Boone and teammate Mike Cameron became the first teammates to each hit two home runs in a single inning, doing so in the first inning against the White Sox.

With local media and behind the scenes he was famous for his humorous behavior. Boone took up not one but three lockers, as Erick Walker notes, "one for him, another with a nameplate above that read 'Boone's friend' and a third with a nameplate that read 'Boone's friend's friend' that was scattered with about 100 bats."[8]

Minnesota Twins

He was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners on July 3, 2005, and later traded on July 11 to Minnesota for cash and a player (minor league pitcher Andy Baldwin) to be named later. Minnesota released Boone on August 1 after only 14 games, where the second baseman struggled with a .221 batting average, with 7 home runs and 37 RBI in 88 games for the Mariners and Twins.

New York Mets

On January 4, 2006, Boone signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets. He received an invitation to spring training, but on March 1, only a few days into spring training, he announced his initial retirement from baseball, citing a lack of passion for the game.[9]

Washington Nationals

On February 18, 2008, Boone came out of retirement and signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.[10] At first he was assigned to the minor league camp, but after five days, he was invited to the team's major league spring training camp.[11]

On March 21, 2008, Boone was reassigned to minor league camp after hitting .189 and began the season with the Columbus Clippers, the Nationals Triple-A affiliate.[12] He had hoped to get signed by a major league club, and left the Clippers in late April to work out on his own. However, on May 28, he once again announced his retirement.[13]

On March 9, 2010, he was named manager of the Victoria Seals of the Golden Baseball League. On May 27, 2010, after managing just four games, the Seals announced Boone was leaving the team permanently to deal with "family matters".

Legacy

Bret Boone had his best years as a Seattle Mariner, where he is still a fan favorite. He finished his career with a .266 batting average, 252 home runs and 1,021 RBI in 1,780 games in 14 Major League seasons. He was a three-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and participated in 2 Home Run Derbies.

Steroid controversy

Jose Canseco, in his book Juiced, accused Boone of steroid use, saying that in a 2001 spring training game he was stunned at Boone's physique, and the two chatted about what Boone was taking. However, Boone has denied taking steroids, or having any such conversation with Canseco, pointing out that he never played against Canseco during the 2001 spring training.[14] Despite Boone's claim that he never played against Canseco in the spring of 2001, his Seattle Mariners did in fact play the Anaheim Angels six times during spring training of that year.[15] However, Canseco never reached second base in any of those games, where the conversation is alleged to have occurred.[16] Canseco was then cut by the Angels on March 28.[17]

Related links

See also

References

  1. ^ Brown, David (July 13, 2012). "Answer Man: Aaron Boone talks television jobs, his famous family and cheap wine". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Will Grimsley (March 8, 1979). "Phillies 'Kiddie Korps' Enjoys Spring Romps". Spokane Daily Chronicle.
  3. ^ "Bret Boone Announces Retirement". USCTrojans.com. March 1, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Bret, Boone; Cook, Kevin (May 10, 2016). Home Game: Big-League Stories from My Life in Baseball's First Family. Crown Archetype. ISBN 978-1-101-90490-9.
  5. ^ Rand, Michael (April 21, 2016). "New Bret Boone book: alcohol problem derailed stint with Twins". StarTribune.
  6. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y1pUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=644DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4961,298114&dq=bret-boone&hl=en
  7. ^ David Schoenfield (September 12, 2011). "2001 Mariners: Best team that never won". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  8. ^ "It's been a fun, unforgettable ride | Erick Walker". Kent Reporter. September 18, 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  9. ^ Marty Noble (March 1, 2006). "Bret Boone calls it a career". MLB.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  10. ^ "Nationals sign three-time All-Star Bret Boone to Minor-League contract". MLB.com (Press release). February 18, 2008. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  11. ^ Bill Ladson (February 23, 2008). "Boone joins big league camp". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  12. ^ Ladson, Bill (March 20, 2008). "Nats reassign Boone to Minors". MLB.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  13. ^ Bill Ladson (May 28, 2008). "After 14 major league seasons, retiring Boone in a better place". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  14. ^ Hickey, John (February 18, 2005). "Bret Boone on steroids? 'No chance,' he says". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  15. ^ "Spring Training 2001". Sports Illustrated. CNN. February 3, 2001. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Jeff Merron. "And the real facts are..." ESPN.com. p. 2. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  17. ^ "José Canseco". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2013.

External links

1994 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds were leading the National League Central division by a half game before a strike ended the 1994 Major League Baseball season.

1995 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1995 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League Central, and the National League Division Series in three straight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing the National League Championship Series in four games to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

1999 Atlanta Braves season

The 1999 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 34th season in Atlanta and 129th overall. The Braves won their eighth consecutive division title with a 103-59 record and 6 game lead over the New York Mets. The Braves appeared in the World Series for the fifth time during the 1990s. The Braves lost all four games of the 1999 World Series to the New York Yankees, resulting in a sweep. The Braves played their 2nd World Series against the Yankees in 4 years, with the first being in 1996, which they played in six games. This is to date their last National League pennant.

Two key players on the 1999 Braves were Chipper Jones & John Rocker. Jones won the National League's Most Valuable Player award with a .310 average, 45 HRs, 110 RBIs, and sealed the award with his September heroics against the New York Mets. Rocker recorded 38 saves as Atlanta's closer, but later created controversy due to his racist and homophobic comments in a December 27, 1999, Sports Illustrated article.

1999 World Series

The 1999 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1999 season. The 95th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the defending American League (AL) and World Series champion New York Yankees and the National League (NL) champion Atlanta Braves. The Yankees swept the Series in four games for their second consecutive title, third in four years, and 25th overall. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to none, and then the Boston Red Sox in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. The Braves advanced to the series by defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Division Series, three games to one, and then the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series, four games to two. The matchup between the Yankees and Braves was a rematch of the 1996 World Series, in which the Yankees also prevailed. It is remembered for Chad Curtis's walk-off home run in Game 3, which gave the Yankees a 6–5 victory, and Game 2's infamous interview of Pete Rose by Jim Gray on NBC. This was the first World Series to feature both number-one seeds from the AL and NL, which would not repeat again until 2013.

2000 Atlanta Braves season

The 2000 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 35th season in Atlanta along with the 125th season in the National League and 130th overall. The Braves won their ninth consecutive division title, however, the 2000 season would mark the first time since 1990 that the Braves did not appear in the National League Championship Series. One of the highlights of the season was that the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field in Atlanta.

2000 San Diego Padres season

The 2000 San Diego Padres season was the 32nd season in franchise history.

2001 American League Championship Series

The 2001 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a rematch of the 2000 ALCS between the New York Yankees, who had come off a dramatic comeback against the Oakland Athletics in the Division Series after being down two games to zero, and the Seattle Mariners, who had won their Division Series against the Cleveland Indians in five games. The series had additional poignancy, coming immediately after downtown New York City was devastated by the events of September 11, 2001 (the series was played in late October due to Major League Baseball temporarily shutting down in the wake of the attacks). The Yankees would go on to lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series.

Though the Mariners had won an American League record 116 regular season games (tying the major league record established by the 1906 Chicago Cubs), and had home field advantage, the Yankees won the first two games in Seattle. The Mariners' manager, former Yankee player and manager Lou Piniella, guaranteed after Game 2 that the Mariners would win at least two of the next three games in New York to return the series to Seattle. But the Yankees closed out the series in New York, beating the Mariners four games to one. The series ended with a 12–3 Yankees victory in Game 5.

2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 72nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the Seattle Mariners of the American League. The American League defeated the National League, 4–1. This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 19th and final All-Star Game. It was also the final All-Star Game for San Diego Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn.

2005 Minnesota Twins season

Coming into the year, the 2005 Minnesota Twins were favored to go on and win their division. However, a weak offense and injuries (most notably to Torii Hunter) prevented this from coming to fruition. This led manager Ron Gardenhire to reshuffle his coaching staff following the season. The team finished sixteen games behind the World Champion Chicago White Sox. The Twins have never won four straight division titles in their 104-year franchise history.

Aaron Boone

Aaron John Boone (born March 9, 1973) is an American former professional baseball infielder, broadcaster, and current manager for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is the son of Bob Boone, grandson of Ray Boone, and the brother of Bret Boone. He played in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros from 1997 through 2009.

Boone was an All-Star in 2003, and hit a series-winning walk-off home run in the 2003 American League Championship Series. From 2010 to 2017, Boone was employed by ESPN as a game analyst and was a color commentator for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball coverage, as well as a contributor to Baseball Tonight. In December 2017, the Yankees hired Boone to become the 33rd manager in franchise history.

Bob Boone

Robert Raymond Boone (born November 19, 1947) is an American former catcher and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) who was a four-time All-Star. Born in San Diego, California, Bob Boone is the son of a Major League player, the late third baseman Ray Boone, and he is the father of two Major Leaguers: former second baseman Bret Boone and former utility infielder Aaron Boone. All four family members were named All-Stars during their careers.

Bret (given name)

Bret is a male given name, which derives from Breton, a person from Brittany in France.

People so named include:

Bret Anderson (born 1974), Canadian football player

Bret Baier (born 1970), American journalist

Bret Bergmark (born 1973), American mixed martial artist

Bret Bielema (born 1970), American football coach

Bret Blevins (born 1960), American comic book artist

Bret Boone (born 1969), American baseball player

Bret Cooper (born 1970), American football player

Bret Easton Ellis (born 1964), American writer

Bret Gilliam, American diver

Bret Haaland (born 1959), American animator

Bret Harrison (born 1982), American actor

Bret Hart (born 1957), Canadian-American wrestler

Bret Harte (1836-1902), American author

Bret Hedican (born 1970), American ice hockey player

Bret Iwan (born 1982), American voice actor

Bret Anthony Johnston (born 1972), American writer

Bret Loehr (born 1993), American actor

Bret McKenzie (born 1976), New Zealand musician and actor

Bret Michaels (born 1963), American singer

Bret Morrison (1912-1978), American actor

Bret Saberhagen (born 1964), American baseball player

Bret Schundler (born 1959), American politician

Bret Stephens (born 1973), American journalist

Bret Thornton (born 1983), Australian football playerFictional characters with the given name include:

Bret Leather, in the comic book series Planetary

Bret Maverick, in the television series Maverick and subsequent movies

Bret Rensselaer, in several spy novels by Len Deighton

List of Gold Glove Award winners at second base

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985 and 2007), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Roberto Alomar leads second basemen in wins; he won 10 Gold Gloves in 11 years with three different American League teams. Ryne Sandberg has the second-highest total overall; his nine awards, all won with the Chicago Cubs, are the most by a National League player. Bill Mazeroski and Frank White are tied for the third-highest total, with eight wins. Mazeroski's were won with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and White won his with the Kansas City Royals. Joe Morgan and Bobby Richardson each won five Gold Glove Awards, and four-time winners include Craig Biggio (who won after converting to second base from catcher), Bret Boone, Bobby Grich, and Dustin Pedroia. Hall of Famers who won Gold Gloves at second base include Alomar, Sandberg, Mazeroski, Morgan, and Nellie Fox.Only one winning second baseman has had an errorless season; Plácido Polanco set a record among winners by becoming the first to post a season with no errors and, therefore, a 1.000 fielding percentage. The best mark in the National League was set by Sandberg in 1991, his final winning season. He committed four errors and amassed a .995 fielding percentage. Grich has made the most putouts in a season, with 484 in 1974. Fox made 453 putouts and the same number of assists in the award's inaugural season; this is more putouts than any National League player has achieved. Morgan set the National League mark, with 417 in 1973. Sandberg's 571 assists in 1983 are the most among winners in the major leagues; the American League leader is Grich, who made 509 in 1973. Mazeroski turned the most double plays by a winner, collecting 161 in 1966. The American League leader is Fox (141 double plays in 1957).

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at second base

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among second basemen, Ryne Sandberg, who played 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs in his 16-year career, owns the most Silver Sluggers with seven wins, including five consecutive from 1988 to 1992. Three other National League players have won the award four times. Jeff Kent (2000–2002, 2005) won three consecutive awards with the San Francisco Giants, before adding a fourth with the Los Angeles Dodgers; Craig Biggio, who played his entire career with the Houston Astros, won the award four times as a second baseman (1994–1995, 1997–1998) after winning another as a catcher. Chase Utley followed Kent's last win by capturing four consecutive awards (2006–2009).In the American League, José Altuve and Robinson Canó have won five Silver Slugger awards. Altuve won five consecutive awards (2014–2018), all with the Astros, while Cano won all five of his Silver Slugger awards as a member of the New York Yankees, including four consecutive wins (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). Altuve and Cano's five Silver Slugger awards are second-most all-time for a second baseman and first among American League winners, ahead of four second basemen who are all four-time winners in the American League. Roberto Alomar won the award at the same position with three different teams (Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians). Julio Franco won four consecutive awards (1988–1991) with two different teams, and Lou Whitaker won four awards in five years (1983–1985, 1987) with the Detroit Tigers.Altuve holds the record for the highest batting average in a second baseman's Silver Slugger-winning season with the .346 mark he set in 2017. In the National League, Daniel Murphy's .347 batting average in 2016 ranks first. Willie Randolph, who won the inaugural award in the 1980 season, set a record for on-base percentage (.427) that has not yet been broken. Chuck Knoblauch is second behind Randolph in the American League with a .424 on-base percentage, a mark that was tied by Jeff Kent in 2000 to set the National League record. That year, Kent also set the record among second basemen for highest slugging percentage (.596) and the National League record for runs batted in (125). Bret Boone is the overall leader in runs batted in (141) and holds the American League record for slugging percentage (.578); both of these records were established in 2001. Sandberg hit 40 home runs in 1990, the most ever by a second baseman in a winning season, while Alfonso Soriano set the American League mark with 39 in 2002.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. It is also awarded to women fastpitch softball players in the National Pro Fastpitch as of 2016. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Additionally, a sabermetric component provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in Major League Baseball; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.

Ray Boone

Raymond Otis Boone (July 27, 1923 – October 17, 2004) was an American Major League Baseball player. He batted and threw right-handed.

Boone was born in San Diego, California, and attended San Diego's Hoover High School. He served in the United States Navy during World War II.

An infielder, he broke into the major leagues on September 3, 1948, with the Cleveland Indians. In a thirteen-year career, he hit .275 with 151 home runs in 1373 games for Cleveland, the Detroit Tigers, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Athletics, the Milwaukee Braves and the Boston Red Sox.

Boone was followed into the majors by son, Bob Boone, who was a catcher from 1972 to 1990 and grandsons Bret Boone, who played from 1992 to 2005, and Aaron Boone, who played 1997 to 2009. The Boone family was the first to send three generations of players to the All-Star Game. Recently, the Washington Nationals selected Ray's great-grandson, Jake (Bret's son) in the 2017 draft, making the Boone family the first to produce four generations of players. In 1973, Boone was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing field.Boone, in his later years, spent over three decades as a Red Sox scout and was well known as the leader of the local San Diego National Lumberjack Association chapter.Boone was a descendant of American pioneer Daniel Boone.Boone died at the age of 81 on October 17, 2004 following a long illness in San Diego.

Robert Szasz

Robert Szasz, also known as The Happy Heckler, is a real estate developer and has been a well-known heckler at Tampa Bay Rays baseball games for several seasons.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Szasz relocated to Florida in 1984 and resides in Clearwater, Florida. He held season tickets for the then Devil Rays from 2000 until the end of the 2008 season, sitting in club seats behind home plate at Tropicana Field. He would choose one player from the opposing team to insult during a game or series, waiting until the player stepped into the batter's box before shouting a barrage of insults regarding the player's playing ability. Between the typically small and quiet crowds at Devil Rays game during the early 2000s and his booming voice, Szasz's heckling was often heard on television and radio broadcasts of the team's games.

Szasz's heckling visibly rattled players on multiple occasions. He once heckled the Mariners' Bret Boone so viciously that when Boone struck out, he threw down his batting helmet and started yelling back at Szasz. In another instance, outfielder José Guillén offered Szasz an autographed baseball bat if he would stop heckling him in a game. Szasz says he didn't heckle with profanity, nor did he insult a player about a personal thing such as weight or height. He says he tried to only heckle a player on their baseball ability. Although rare, Szasz also heckled opposing pitchers.

Szasz became a controversial figure. Some fans, television viewers, and media that covered the Rays complained about his volume and abrasiveness, while others enjoyed his heckling. In any case, he became one of the more famous fans in Tampa Bay Rays baseball history, and was known throughout the American League.In 2008, Szasz released a book entitled The Happy Heckler. Szasz did not renew his Rays season tickets for 2009 and was not heard heckling in Tropicana Field again until April 30, 2012, during a game against the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle Mariners award winners and league leaders

The following is a list of Seattle Mariners professional baseball players and managers who have won various awards or other accolades from Major League Baseball or other organizations or have led the American League in some statistical category at the end of the season.

Switch pitcher

In baseball, a switch-pitcher is an ambidextrous pitcher who is able to pitch with both the right and left hand from the pitcher's mound.

Four 19th-century pitchers are known to have thrown with both hands: Tony Mullane in 1882 and in 1893, Elton Chamberlain in 1888, Larry Corcoran in 1884, and George Wheeler.Greg A. Harris was one of few major league pitchers in the modern era to pitch with both his left and his right arm, though he only did so in a single Major League game. A natural right-hander, by 1986 he could throw well enough left-handed that he felt capable of pitching with either arm in a game. Harris did not throw left-handed in a regular-season game until September 28, 1995, the penultimate game of his career. Pitching for the Montreal Expos against the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning, Harris retired Reggie Sanders pitching right-handed, then switched to his left hand for the next two hitters, Hal Morris and Eddie Taubensee, who were both left-handed batters. Harris walked Morris but got Taubensee to ground out. He then went back to his right hand to retire Bret Boone to end the inning.

Pat Venditte regularly pitches with both arms. Venditte was drafted by the New York Yankees, played for the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics and now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. While with the Staten Island Yankees, the Yankees' Single-A affiliate, when he opposed switch hitter Ralph Henriquez, Venditte switched his modified glove to his left arm. (Hitters traditionally derive advantages from batting from the opposite side of the plate to the pitcher's throwing arm.) Henriquez then switched to batting left-handed, and a series of changes continued for several minutes. This prompted the PBUC (Professional Baseball Umpires Corporation) to issue a new rule about switch-pitching. In short, switch-pitchers must indicate to the umpire, batter, and any runners the hand with which they will use to pitch. The pitcher must continue using this hand for the duration of the at bat, with some exceptions for injury and the use of pinch hitters. Following this choice, batters can then select with which hand they will bat. Right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish throws with his left hand when training. He does this to keep both arms strong and balanced. He does not pitch left-handed during a game, however.

In 2003, the Atlanta Braves drafted switch pitcher Brandon Berdoll of Temple (Texas) Junior College in the 27th round. He never made it to the major leagues.

In the collegiate ranks, Matt Brunnig (Harvard class of 2006–07) was able to pitch over 85 mph left-handed and over 90 mph right-handed, but only pitched with both arms in the same game a few times. In college, he pitched more from the right side as a starter and pitched some relief as a lefty although he did start one game left-handed. When playing the outfield after a start he would typically play the position with the other arm to rest the arm he just pitched with.Switch-throwers are commonly taught to switch-throw at a young age. For instance, Venditte's father trained him in ambidextrous throwing from the age of three and Brunnig's father taught him from age five.

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