The Cook & Son Hall of Fame was established in 2009 as a way of honoring and thanking certain individuals who, for a variety of baseball-related reasons, are particularly important to Cook & Son. The Cook & Son Hall of Fame is open to players, coaches, broadcasters, stadium attendants, fans or anyone else who, in the sole and unfettered discretion of Cook & Son, are deemed worthy of enshrinement.
Class of 2009
Inducted December 21, 2009
Class of 2010.
Inducted June 2, 2010
Inducted June 4, 2010
Inducted December 11, 2010
We just received a package of Christmas gifts in the mail from my folks. Tucked in the bottom of the box, my folks had stashed a little surprise from the past:
Clicking on the picture will enlarge the certificate and display this explanatory note:
“The pitch was clocked by a Radar Gun, an instrument used to measure Major League pitchers. This speed-measuring equipment has been verified to be accurate within one percent.”
So, that’s right, as a nine year old phenom, I lit up that official “Radar Gun” at a blazing 46 miles per hour (or at least within one percent of 46 miles per hour).
I remember the old Kingdome speed pitch. It was just inside the Dome’s northern gate — just off to the right in this picture. I couldn’t heat up the gun then, and I can’t heat it up now. But its always been fun trying.
As you can see at the top of the certificate, there are a bunch of holes from where I tacked this “Official” certificate to the wall of my boyhood bedroom. You will also notice that I did my best to obliterate one of the speed pitch sponsors. I was a coca-cola drinking kid, and I didn’t want this “new generation” inspired soft drink logo muckin’ up my bedroom walls (FYI, I still prefer coke products).
Its cool to get back this little momento of past feats. But what is even cooler is getting confirmation of a random date of a game I attended in the first few years of my Mariners fandom: May 4, 1985.
With the help of Baseball-Reference.com, I was able to review a detailed description of this game – and it was a great one for a young Mariners fan.
- The Mariners won the game by a score of 8-1 over the Blue Jays.
- My favorite Mariner, Spike Owen, hit a 2-run homerun — his first of the season and sixth of his career.
- Matt Young pitched a 1-run complete game for his second win of the young season.
Hey, what more can you ask for in a night at the Kingdome. Good times.
I’ve been looking through some old photo albums lately and found a bunch of old Mariners photos I figured I would share. Most of the following photos are from “Camera Day” (the best promotional night ever) at the Kingdome. The first set are from 1986, the second is from 1987, and the third is from 1990 or 1991 (my hunch is its 1991).
The picture quality of these photos is pretty shabby because I literally just took digital photos of actual printed photographs (my scanner is out of order right now).
During the 1986 season, I was ten years old and I was a huge Mariners fan. And in this pre-Griffey era, there was no Mariner (an no ballplayer period) more important to me than the Mariners sure-handed short stop, Spike Owen. This is the only picture I ever got with Spike.
Later this season, I was dealt a major blow when the Mariners dealt my all-time favorite player to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox then moved on to the World Series and, for the first time ever, I watched the World Series and was pulling hard for Spike to win a championship. Spike had a great post-season in ’86. He hit .429 in the ALCS and .300 even in the World Series.
After 1986, Spike went on to have a solid career. He wasn’t an all-star and he won’t be in the Hall of Fame, or even any team’s Hall of Fame, but he had a career of which he should be proud. He had over 1,200 hits and was recognized as a quality short stop (although he never won a gold glove).
Interestingly, in the final at bat of his career, Spike hit a fly ball that Ken Griffey, Jr. caught for the first out of the ninth inning of the Mariners 1-game playoff against the Angels in 1995. Two outs later, Spike’s career was finished and the Mariners had won their first A.L. West Championship and made the playoffs for the first time in team history.
How about some more 1986 Mariners. Here I am with Al Cowens:
Phil Bradley was a quality Mariner. Over five seasons, he hit .301 and was an all-star in 1985. In ’86, Bradley hit .310.
I never realized this until right this second, but Yeager is apparently the reason that Spike Owen changed his number from 7 to 1 in 1986. I became a big Spike Owen fan initially because we both played short stop and we both wore number 7. I can tell you that M’s jersey I’m wearing in these pictures has a big number 7 on the back, and it was for Spike Owen, not Steve Yeager.
Of course, Ken Phelps is famous in Mariners history for two things he did involving other teams. First, Phelps was famously traded to the Bronx for future Mariners Hall of Famer, Jay Buhner. Second, as an Oakland Athletic, Phelps hit a homerun with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to break up Brian Holman’s bid for a perfect game.
Hendu was traded to the Red Sox along with Spike Owen. While he only had one hit and batted .111 in the ALCS against the Angels, Dave’s only hit was huge. With the Red Sox down to their potential final out of the series in the ninth inning of game five, Hendu delivered a two-run homerun off of Donnie Moore. The game when into extra innings, in the 11th inning, Hendu delivered the game winning RBI with a sac fly (also off of Donnie Moore). The Red Sox won the game, and then won games 6-7 to advance to the World Series. In the series, Hendu hit .400 (10 for 25) with 2 homeruns.
Hendu can be heard from time-to-time broadcasting Mariners games and seems to be a great guy.
Our catcher in 1986 was the one and only, Bob Kearney.
In 1987, I wasn’t about to miss Camera Day. Again, we were along the third base line. This season, I decided to sport my green and gold Sno-King Youth Club baseball uniform. Here I am with “Mr. Mariner,” Alvin Davis:
I don’t even remember the next guy, Bill Wilkinson:
The 1987 Mariners catcher of the future, Dave Valle:
We weren’t the best team in 1987, but we did have a (future) Hall of Famer at the helm: Dick Williams:
Next up, in the only picture of me holding a bat on a big league field, I posed with Mariners coach, Phil Roof:
Coming off of the bench, we had Rich Renteria:
Who could forget Scott Bankhead?
Our primary catcher in 1987 was this man: Scott Bradley:
Another guy I don’t remember was Steve Sheilds:
Here I am with Mariners coach Ozzie Virgil:
And finally, it was Hendu’s replacement: John “Johnny Moe” Moses:
Here I am in the Mariners dugout during a Spring Training game in 1991 — I was the batboy for the game:
Here I am retrieving a bat (possibly Ken Griffey, Jr.‘s) as Jay Buhner strides to the plate:
By the way, Griffey went 3-3 with 3 singles, Randy Johnson got the win, and Cubs 2B Ryne Sandberg a solo homerun.
This experience was one of the coolest I’ve ever had in baseball. Griffey was incredibly cool to me. He was easily the most chatty with me in the dugout. Harold Reynolds warmed up before the game using my first basemens glove. Randy Johnson pitched at had to use Edgar Martinez’s bat. At one point, The Big Unit bunted a pop up to the Cubs pitcher and never left the batters box. The Cubs pitcher totally booted the ball and it rolled into foul territory over by the Cubs dugout. But Randy was still in the batters box and was thrown out at first. Finally, I went from really disliking M’s first baseman Pete O’Brien (I’m not sure why I had not liked him previously) to really liking him (because he was incredibly cool to me in the dugout).
After this game, I got my first and only picture with Ken Griffey, Jr.
Our last Camera Day was in 1990 or 1991. We just took pictures of players as they stopped by to shake hands. I’m not in any of the pictures. I’m not sure if it was because it was too packed or if I felt like I was too old (I was 14 or 15) or if the players were just shaking hands and not posing for pictures. Who knows?
In a couple years, I was never able to get a good picture of (or with) Harold Reynolds, which is really unfortunate because I regard him as one of the top players in Mariners history. A great player and a great guy.
Ken Griffey, Jr. stopped by, but we got a really terrible picture that isn’t even worth posting.
Finally, we got this shot of Dave Valle:
Next stop is Pittsburgh in 2004. Colleen and I headed to Pittsburgh for the weekend to see the Mariners in their first and only appearance at PNC Park. Colleen and I had been together almost five years at this point and were engaged, but because I had been in law school for three of those years and hours away from any Major League team with no son to travel around with she didn’t really fully know me as a baseball fan yet. Primarily, she knew me as a guy who watched a ton of Mariners games on TV and occassionally took her to a game in Philadelphia or Baltimore. This was her first real baseball roadtrip.
Here is another (poor quality but) interesting picture from our Pittsburgh trip: Ichiro wearing (i) a brown glove and (ii) long pant legs:
This day is long past due. But, there is no time like the present. Finally, we are proud to officially induct Edgar Martinez into the Cook & Son Hall of Fame:
Edgar is a new breed of Cook & Son Hall of Famer. He retired two years before Tim was born so he hasn’t played a role in any father-son baseball moments for us. But, I watched him play in countless games with my parents, wife and friends during his career.
Unfortunately, Edgar played most of his career before the age of digital cameras. So I have very few pictures of him from his playing days. Lately, I have been searching for this one…
…which my mom snapped when we were up close to Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner at “camera night” at the Kingdome. This picture was from either 1990 or 1991 during the brief period when the Mariners had two Ken Griffeys.
Edgar was one of the most loved Mariners during his playing days, and he continues to be one of the most loved Mariners today. For several years, a sign hung from the Kingdome’s 200 Level near home plate that prominently reminded everyone that “Edgar Esta Caliente.”
And, indeed, Edgar was “caliente.”
Between 1990-2001, Edgar was hurt for large parts of two seasons. But in the other ten seasons, Edgar hit .302, .307, .343, .356, .327, .330, .322, .337, .324, and .306.
In one of my few action shots of Edgar, this picture shows Edgar’s familar batting stance:
One interesting Edgar Martinez memory from my past comes to mind. It occurred around 1991-92 in the Kingdome. I was at the game with my folks and one of my friends. My friend and I were sitting in the first row down the 3B line near the home plates in the visitors’ bullpen. My parents were in the second row just behind us (in our actual seats). Edgar was playing 3B and Randy Johnson was pitching. I was playing the role of the Steve Bartman character (but without the unhappy ending).
I have no memory of who the Mariners were playing or who was at the plate. The batter fouled a high looping pop fly right to me. My mom was listening to the game on a set of earphones and, when Edgar and I clanked gloves, she heard Dave Neihaus call out in dissappointment, “Oh, no!!! A fan made Edgar miss the ball!”
Edgar picked up the baseball and tossed it back to me, but someone interfered and the ball once again fell to the astroturf below. The ball girl ran over and ended up giving the baseball to someone else (or maybe she kept it…bottom line, she didn’t give it back to me).
The happy ending: Randy Johnson struck out the batter on the next pitch.
And that’s the story of how I prevented Edgar Martinez from making a put out and thereby directly effected Randy Johnson’s career strike out total (4,875 rather than a mere 4,874).
Of course, in the 1995 ALDS, Edgar hit a grandslam in game 4 to force a game 5. Then, in game 5, Edgar hit a “The Double” scoring Joey Cora for the tie and Ken Griffey, Jr. from first to send the Mariners to their first ever ALCS. It is the defining moment and pinnacle of success in the Mariners 33 year history.
When we visited Seattle in October, I got the opportunity to attend an Edgar Martinez Foundation event and meet the man himself:
The event was an silent/live auction and dinner program that benefited the Martinez Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to education issues. It was a great event and a lot of fun. In fact, it was by far the most fun I have ever had at a charity dinner event.
I attended with my buddy, Paul, and a couple of Paul’s friends. When I saw Edgar walking around during the silent auction, I didn’t hesitate to go say hello. Paulie was quick with his iPhone and snapped that picture above.
Then, Paulie handed off his phone to Nikki — a friend from high school — and she snapped this picture:
Edgar was the third person inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame (following Alvin Davis and Dave Niehaus). So, I took the opportunity to discuss the Mariners Hall of Fame with Edgar. My first question:
Todd - ”You know who needs to be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame?”
Edgar – “Who?”
Todd – “Harold Reynolds!”
Edgar – “Absolutely!” (or some positive term of agreement like that).
I asked how we make that happen and Edgar was at a loss for an answer. Eventually, we discussed that I should run an online campaign for Harold to be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. Its a lot more ambitious of a concept than our (successful) campaign to get ice cream helmets at Camden Yards last season, but I think its worth a shot. So, watch for that.
Harold will have his day. This day, however, is for “Gar.” It was a thrill to have such an excellent human being and ballplayer wear a Mariners uniform for his entire career. And it is an honor to now induct Edgar Martinez as the fourth member of the Mariners Hall of Fame.
A couple parting notes, for a long time, Edgar’s 2,247 hits have been an all-time Mariners record. That record, however, will be broken in April 2011 after Ichiro collects 4 more hits to pass Edgar has the all-time Mariners hit record. It has been great having a true Mariners hero lead the hit parade for so many season.
Finally, I would like to thank Edgar for being so nice in person and signing these baseball cards for my boys:
This entry provides a map through Kellan’s MLB adventures, featuring a picture from every regular season game he has attended along with the final score, date, location and a link to the relevant game report.
1. Athletics 9 defs. Mariners 0 (Safeco Field – Oct. 1, 2010)
2. Athletics 4 defs. Mariners 3 (Safeco Field – Oct. 3, 2010)