Tagged: Michael Saunders

James Paxton Part of Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

James Paxton's fielding mitt from the 2014 season is displayed at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

James Paxton’s fielding mitt from the 2014 season is displayed at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

James Paxton had a fine rookie season with the Mariners, going 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts. In 17 career Major League starts, the left-hander is 9-4 with a 2.66 ERA.

A native of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada, Paxton was asked if he had any items from his rookie season he could donate to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Following the season, Paxton donated the mitt he used all season to be displayed at the museum in St. Marys, Ontario.

As you can see in the picture above, Paxton’s mitt is placed nicely next to a signed Mariners hat and game-used batting gloves from Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders, who is also a Canadian native from Victoria.

Michael Saunders to Receive Community Service Award

Michael Saunders is the 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award winner.

Michael Saunders is the 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award winner.

The Seattle Mariners RBI Club has conferred its top community service award on Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders. The 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award will be presented to Saunders on November 15, at the RBI Club’s annual Toys for Kids fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. The RBI Club is an organization of Mariners season ticketholders who are active in the community.

The Moose Clausen Award is given to a member of the Mariners organization (active or retired) for significant contributions to the community. This year’s award is being presented to Saunders in recognition of his community service to the Seattle area.

Saunders’ life has been touched by cancer and his community involvement reflects that personal connection. Saunders’ mother died in 2011 at the age of 50 after a 13-year fight with cancer. Each season, Saunders is involved with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Major League Baseball’s “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative. Saunders also spends time during the offseason on the Mariners Caravan talking with elementary school students about education and staying drug-free and visiting children at Boys & Girls Clubs.

This year, Saunders joined Felix Hernandez and manager Lloyd McClendon as spokesmen for the Refuse To Abuse® anti-domestic violence public service campaign. The campaign is part of the 17-year partnership between the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The RBI Community Service Award is named for Al “Moose” Clausen who is a Seattle born and raised baseball fanatic. During his years at Ballard High School, Clausen’s baseball coaches nicknamed him “Moose.” The name stuck, and he has been fondly called Moose ever since.

In 1982, Clausen joined the Mariners Front Office as Director of Sales and was part of the Mariners family until he retired in 2012. Due to his decades of service with Northwest baseball and the community, the RBI Club and Seattle Mariners named their Community Service Award for Moose in 2001.

Previous Moose Clausen Award Winners are:
2001   Jamie Moyer
2002   Dan Wilson
2003   Edgar Martinez
2004   Jay Buhner
2005   Rick Rizzs/David Henderson
2006   Raul Ibanez
2007   Dave Valle
2008   John Olerud
2009   Howard Lincoln
2010   Bill Krueger
2011   Julio Cruz
2012   Jack Zduriencik
2013   Eric & Kate Wedge

RBI Club

Thank You For a Great FanFest Weekend!

Batting practice with one of the best hitters in baseball!

Batting practice with one of the best hitters in baseball!

Two days of bright blue skies, excited and engaging players and awesome attractions…and the BEST fans in baseball…made for a record-breaking FanFest weekend at Safeco Field.

Over 21,000 fans came out to Safeco Field for the two-day event to take part in the exciting event, getting autographs and photos taken with several Mariners players, riding zip lines and running around the bases.

Thank you for a great weekend, and we can’t wait for Opening Day on March 31 at the Los Angeles Angels, and the home opener April 8 vs. the Angels!

Here are some photos from FanFest weekend! Go Mariners!

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Michael Saunders Plays Reporter

Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders may have a career after his current career, as a broadcaster. This morning he interviewed Mariners radio announcer Rick Rizzs about the upcoming 2013 season. As you can see, Michael has quite the personality and is a joy to be around (and to watch on the field)!

Several Mariners Listed On World Baseball Classic Provisional Rosters


World Baseball Classic, Inc. today announced the provisional rosters submitted before the January 16th deadline by the 16 participating Baseball Federations in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  Provisional rosters allow up to 28 players to be listed.

Included were 9 players who currently play in the Seattle Mariners organization, including four Major Leaguers and five minor leaguers:

Venezuela – Felix Hernandez
Canada – Michael Saunders
Italy – Alex Liddi, Brian Sweeney
Mexico – Oliver Perez
Netherlands – Kalian Sams
Brazil – Luiz Gohara, Pedro Okuda, Thyago Vieira

Each Federation must submit its final 28-man roster, including a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, by February 20th.

The 2013 World Baseball Classic will be held in early March, with Pool A (Fukuoka, Japan) and Pool B (Taichung, Taiwan) beginning March 2. For a full schedule, and to follow all the WBC action, visit www.WorldBaseballClassic.com or follow on twitter via @WBCBaseball.

Michael Saunders played for Team Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Michael Saunders played for Team Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and will be playing in his first World Baseball Classic in 2013.

Saunders & Kawasaki Relive Olympic Memories

With the 2012 London Olympics underway, we can’t help but notice that baseball is missing from the games for the first time since debuting as an exhibition sport in the 1984 Los Angeles games. Baseball was cut from the Olympic program following the 2008 Beijing games when South Korea won the gold medal, Cuba won silver and the United States won bronze.

Current Mariners players Michael Saunders (Canada) and Munenori Kawasaki (Japan) were both participants in the 2008 Olympics, while Hisashi Iwakuma (Japan) played in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

For Saunders, the experience in 2008 was one that he’ll never forget. As a 21-year-old he had the chance to walk in the Opening Ceremonies, take in the Olympic spectacle and feel the pride of representing his country.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be able to represent my country in baseball on a number of different levels from the Little League World Series to the Junior National Team, but playing in the Olympics for my country was the highlight,” said Saunders. “There is such pride in competing at that level and wearing your country’s flag on your hat. It is a tough experience to describe with words.”

Saunders had a pretty good tournament, batting .286 (8×28) with 2 home runs and 4 RBI while Team Canada finished tied for 5th with a 2-5 record.

“We played pretty well, but lost some close games against some really great players,” added Saunders. “In the end it was not the wins and losses, but the whole experience that I’ll remember forever. It was an honor to compete on the same stage as the greatest athletes in the world. I have a chest full of souvenirs and memorabilia from Beijing that I brought back with me.”

Michael Saunders played for Team Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

And Michael got the chance to meet some of those premier athletes when he was in Bejing.

“I got my picture taken with tennis star Rafael Nadal because Spain was housed pretty close to us, and saw a lot of the top USA athletes like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Michael Phelps and Jennie Finch.”

And he even got the chance to take in another sporting event when not competing on the baseball diamond.

“Each athlete was allowed to pick one sporting event they wanted to attend, and you could list your top three choices,” recalled Saunders. “I put down the 100-meter final in track and field all three times, because I really wanted to see it.”

Not only did Michael get great seats near the finish line, but he saw history as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt set a world record in the event at 9.69 seconds.

“It was an amazing event to see in person. There was so much build-up before Bolt ran, and it was so quick, and it was worth every second to see it in person.”

Saunders was on hand to watch Usain Bolt break the World Record in the 100m in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Getty Images)

While baseball will not be played at the London Games, the 2013 World Baseball Classic is just around the corner. Saunders did not get the chance to represent Canada in 2009, but is hopeful to put on the Team Canada uniform again.

“First and foremost my loyalty is to the Seattle Mariners and doing everything I can to help this organization win more baseball games,” said Saunders. “But, if all parties agreed, I would love the opportunity to play in the World Baseball Classic and once again represent my country.”

Kawasaki also played in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Japan going 4-3 and losing in the bronze medal game to Team USA.

For Kawasaki, the experience in the Olympics was memorable, but was also different since the games were right in the middle of the his season in Japan.

“It was an honor to play for my country in the Olympics, much like playing in the World Baseball Classic,” said Kawasaki.

He did not get the chance to walk in the Opening Ceremonies, but did get a feel for the Olympic experience and got to see many famous athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Munenori Kawasaki played for Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Getty Images)

– JE

Video Rewind – Felix and the Walk-Off

Last night was one of those memorable night’s at the ballpark that fans will remember for a long time. Whether it was the dominating performance by Felix Hernandez, in which he tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts, or the great catches by Casper Wells and Michael Saunders in the outfield, and of course the walk-off single by John Jaso to deliver a 1-0 victory over Boston.

Here are some video highlight’s of last night’s 1-0 victory over the Red Sox:

Felix Strikes Out 13 Red Sox:

Jaso’s Walk-Off Pinch-Hit Single:

Felix Hernandez pumps his fists after striking out a career-high-tying 13 batters in a 1-0 shuout win over the Red Sox. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Felix’s Career Double-Digits Strikeout Games:

Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
2012-06-28 SEA BOS W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 5 0 0 1 13 0 128 84 89
2011-05-22 SEA SDP W 6-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 6 1 1 0 13 0 114 75 79
2010-08-10 SEA OAK W 2-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 0 0 1 13 0 110 75 84
2012-04-19 SEA CLE L 1-2 GS-8 8.0 5 0 0 1 12 0 126 75 83
2011-08-07 SEA LAA L 1-2 CG 8 ,L 8.0 4 2 2 0 12 1 98 70 78
2007-04-02 SEA OAK W 4-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 0 2 12 0 111 77 86
2011-06-02 SEA TBR W 8-2 GS-7 ,W 7.0 5 1 1 2 11 0 97 64 72
2010-08-20 SEA NYY W 6-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 4 0 0 3 11 0 117 74 82
2010-06-30 SEA NYY W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 3 11 0 115 76 91
2009-09-24 SEA TOR W 5-4 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 4 3 2 11 1 108 77 63
2005-08-15 SEA KCR W 11-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 1 1 1 11 0 99 67 82
2012-06-23 SEA SDP W 5-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 6 1 1 1 10 0 94 64 70
2011-08-24 SEA CLE W 9-2 GS-6 ,W 6.0 7 2 2 2 10 0 106 72 58
2011-07-05 SEA OAK W 4-2 GS-8 8.0 4 1 1 0 10 1 122 81 80
2011-06-24 SEA FLA W 5-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 2 1 1 2 10 0 115 76 82
2011-05-01 SEA BOS L 2-3 GS-7 7.0 6 2 2 1 10 0 111 72 66
2009-08-12 SEA CHW W 1-0 GS-7 7.0 6 0 0 4 10 0 105 67 71
2009-05-24 SEA SFG W 5-4 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 4 1 1 10 1 112 83 67
2008-04-27 SEA OAK L 2-4 GS-7 ,L 7.0 6 4 4 4 10 0 115 75 55

Tweet of the Night:

– JE

Mariners Magazine – Saunders Reinvented

There is just 6 games remaining in June, starting with tonight’s homestand opening game vs. the Oakland Athletics. That means you have 6 more days to get your June copy of Mariners Magazine (Volume 23, Issue 3) featuring this article on outfielder Michael Saunders and his reinvented swing (article written by Kieran O’Dwyer). You can pick up Mariners Magazine throughout Safeco Field and at any of the five Mariners Team Stores. You can also subscribe to Mariners Magazine and have it delivered to your home.

Mariners All-Access – Tricks of the Trade

The newest episode of Mariners All-Access debuts today on ROOT Sports NW at noon, and re-airs tonight at 6 p.m. following the Mariners-Padres Interleague finale.  If you are not able to watch today, you can catch the show at 6 pm on June 29 or June 30.

This week’s episode is dedicated to the Tricks of the Trade feature.

  • Switch hitters are rare and the Mariners have the rarest… one with power.  Justin Smoak puts on a hitting clinic from both sides of the plate, from the most basic things like stance and swing, to contact points with the ball.
  • Left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush earns a cameo, but his impact is big, just like his slider—he’ll teach you how he throws it. (Great at parties to strike out your friends).
  • Catcher Jesus Montero recently switched things up, not his delivery or swing, but his equipment.  Here is a hint, it is unknown how well Montero would fair out on the ice against Pavel Datsyuk, but he looks the part with his new mask.
  • And finally, if the ball gets by an infielder, the guy is going to be standing on first, if it gets by the outfield chances are someone is touching home—that’s why they say, the infield will hurt you, the outfield will kill you.  Outfielder Michael Saunders makes sure this won’t happen.  He takes us out to the grass for a lesson on catching Major League fly balls.

Michael Saunders will be featured on today’s episode of Mariners All-Access showing the Tricks of the Trade behind catching fly balls. (Getty Images)

Check back to the blog for more previews of Mariners All-Access.

– JE