Mariners Players Help Kids Achieve Their Dreams with 19th Annual Visit to Seattle Area Schools


The Seattle Mariners got schooled on Tuesday. The entire team, including manager Scott Servais, visited four greater Seattle area elementary schools to ask the kids to join the Mariner Moose DREAM Team.

DREAM Team is a fun program that outlines the Moose’s keys to success in life: stay Drug-free, Respect for yourself and other, get a good Education, maintain a positive Attitude and stay Motivated to achieve your goals.

At Van Asselt Elementary School on South Beacon Hill, broadcaster Dave Sims led Norichika Aoki, Hisashi Iwakuma, Wade Miley, Taijuan Walker, Seth Smith, Chris Iannetta and manager Scott Servais through the program.

Van Asselt Kuma Aoki

Speaking with the aid of interpreter Antony Suzuki, Aoki told the kids that doing drugs is bad. He told them that it makes it hard for them to learn in school, and it “makes people around you sad.”

Scott Servais, who must have been a teacher in a previous life, commanded the respect of the 500-plus students as he talked about how important it is for the kids to respect their classmates, teachers and especially their parents.


Chris Iannetta explained how the lessons he learned in school have helped him be a better baseball player. Plus, he says a career in baseball is no sure thing and his education is something no one can take away.

Seth Smith told students that of all the things in life they can’t control such as when they’re told to do their homework or eat their vegetables, there is one thing they can always control – their attitude. He said that if they always approach everything with a good attitude, life will be much better.

Hisashi Iwakuma took the letter M, for motivation. He said that it is the last letter, and it is the most important because you have to stay motivated to succeed. He urged the students to set a goal for every day and to work hard to achieve it. If they do that, Iwakuma said their dreams can come true.

Then pitchers Taijuan Walker and Wade Miley issued a challenge to the students to read two books over the summer to make sure they stay sharp for the next school year.


Other schools visited were Concord International School and Roxhill Elementary in the Seattle School District and Challenger Elementary in Issaquah. Students at each school received a piece of school letterhead with autographs from all the players who visited their school, a bookmark, Mariner Moose DREAM Team card and a Junior Mariners Wiffle® Ball.


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