Club officials usually stand on the “field” side of the fences during the Mariners’ Spring Training workouts. But general manager Jack Zduriencik stood on the fans side of the barrier on Saturday morning.
He was watching the team go through situational hitting drills when long-time Mariners fan (and season-ticket holder) Marilyn Cook, standing next to her husband, Jim, asked Zduriencik about the identity of a player she didn’t recognize.
“I am still learning the names myself,” the GM politely answered.
Minutes later, club president Chuck Armstrong walked up, saw his GM on the spectator side of the fence, greeted him with a finger handshake through the wire, and Marilyn suddenly realized that he wasn’t a normal fan. She asked Zduriencik was with the team. When he introduced himself, she could have been knocked over by a feather, apologizing for not recognizing him.
“I’m so embarrassed,” she said.
“Don’t worry about it,” he answered.”It’s no big deal, really.”
If the Cooks were not Mariners fans for life before the exchange, they certainly are now. In less than a minute, they discovered that the person who helped bring Ken Griffey Jr., back to Seattle is a down-to-earth individual.
— Jim Street