Feb. 24 Lunch with Armstrong and Sasaki
From the head of the ball club to the top of the mound, our February 24 featured speakers offer a unique baseball perspective.
If Chuck Armstrong’s only contribution to baseball in Seattle was drafting Ken Griffey Jr., that would be enough to win a place among the heart of every Mariners fan. But the former Mariners President and Chief Operating Officer brought much more to our fair city’s baseball legacy. Namely – Armstrong helped keep the game here. (Where, as those of us who bleed blue can attest, it belongs.)
Armstrong joined the club in 1983. Other than a two-year stint working in corporate America, he was with the Mariners until he retired in 2014. During his 28-year legacy he played an instrument role in getting Safeco Field built. Armstrong was at the helm during our epic comeback in 1995 to win the AL West, the AL championship series, and the impressive 116 win season in 2001.
Following a successful 10-year stint with the Yokohama Taiyō Whales in Japan, Kazuhiro Sasaki was signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1999. At the time, the right-handed reliever was joining one of the worst bullpens in Major League Baseball.
His job was simple – get wins. And that’s exactly what he did. His rookie season, he threw an impressive 37 saves. The following year he upped the ante, contributing 45 saves to the Mariners 116 wins.
Due to injuries, Sasaki retired after his 2003 season, but not before racking up another 47 saves – for a grand total of 129 career saves. During his four-year career he made the All-Star team twice and in 2014 was inducted into Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame.