Karen Westeen

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1 September 2011

Kelley showing life at end of season

At the end of July the Rainiers added right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Kelley to their bullpen after he spent 14 months on the disabled list. Kelley was drafted by Seattle in 2007. He appeared in one game in Tacoma in 2009 and two last season before undergoing “partial” Tommy John ligament surgery on his right arm last…

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18 August 2011

Henriquez learning on the fly

Rainiers’ catcher Ralph Henriquez is one of five backstops who have played in Tacoma this season. Just 24 years old, Henriquez was originally drafted by Houston in 2005 right out of high school in Key West, Florida. As of August 16 he was batting .267 and had 13 RBI. Recently he sat down with Tacoma Weekly baseball writer…

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11 August 2011

Robertson continuing experienced career with Rainiers

Quick—name the only Tacoma Rainier with World Series experience. Give up? That would be starting pitcher Nate Robertson who started (and lost) one game for Detroit in 2006 against St. Louis in a series that the Cardinals ultimately won four games to one. Robertson, who attended Wichita State University from 1997 to 1999,…

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4 August 2011

Seager experiencing success in busy year

Drafted just over two years ago, Rainiers’ infielder Kyle Seager has spent most of this summer packing and unpacking, playing at three levels already (Double A, Triple A and the Major Leagues). The 23-year-old won the 2010 California League batting title with a .345 batting average and led all minor leaguers with 192 hits.…

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21 July 2011

Yearly amateur draft provides hope for the future

First things first – the first picks in the annual amateur baseball draft are a reward – for playing poorly. The worse that a team plays the higher their draft pick. So Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek and Adam Jones, who were all chosen in the first round, were part of the Rainiers, at least briefly, because…

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7 July 2011

Brown reflects on changes, Rainiers season to date

Daren Brown is in his fifth season managing the Tacoma Rainiers.  As of July 2 he has an overall W-L record of 324-308 with Tacoma.  Since last year’s All Star Break, Brown has experienced some major changes in his life.  He spent the final two months of 2010 as the Mariners’ interim manager (going 19-31)…

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30 June 2011

Liddi making a name for Italian baseball

Rainiers’ third baseman Alex Liddi comes from Italy, a country not renowned for its baseball heritage. He was only 16 when the Mariners signed him as a non-drafted free agent in September of 2005, just out of high school. The next spring he was playing in Peoria, Ariz., in the rookie league, thousands of miles away from…

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16 June 2011

Cortes has seen it all in young career

RHP Dan Cortes was traded to the Mariners’ organization from Kansas City for Yuniesky Betancourt in July 2009.  He appeared in nine games last season for the Rainiers after spending the last half of 2009 and the first half of 2010 with Double A West Tennessee. After helping Tacoma win the Pacific Coast League championship…

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2 June 2011

Rainiers’ Roe looking to make impact with new team

Rainiers starting pitcher Chaz Roe spent the first seven years of his professional career with the Colorado Rockies organization. He was traded to the Mariners last December in exchange for Jose Lopez. This season he has made 10 starts and has a 0-5 record. Tacoma Weekly baseball writer Karen Westeen recently sat down with…

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26 May 2011

Aden Helping Continue Studs’ Baseball Heritage

First things first. The Cheney Studs are not really “studs” in the colloquial sense. The semi-pro baseball team has played in Pierce and King counties for nearly 60 years and many of the players have indeed been studs, but all of those associated with the organization have had a connection to Ben Cheney and his lumber…

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12 May 2011

Rainier’s Kazmar has new team, similar location

Sean Kazmar is one of the new members of the Tacoma Rainiers. After spending the first seven years of his career with the San Diego Padres’ organization, the 26-year-old Kazmar was signed by Seattle as a minor league free agent last December. He primarily plays shortstop and second base, and is currently batting .220. Recently…

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5 May 2011

Baseball history remembered

Hundreds of fans turned out on May 1 for the first ever Fan Go-Round, an event that brought back several players from different eras of Tacoma baseball and softball.

“It’s beyond amazing,” event organizer Marc Blau said of the turnout. “I think it’s a great event for the community. It promotes the sport,…

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28 April 2011

Catching up with Alonzo Powell

When the Pacific Coast League champion Tacoma Rainiers played their first game at the newly remodeled Cheney Stadium on April 15, fans recognized only about half the players. But they recognized the names of the field staff as all three are returning for the beginning of the 2011 season.

Tacoma Weekly…

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21 April 2011

New book on local baseball history covers all the bases

“Baseball in Tacoma-Pierce County” by local sports historian Marc Blau (published by Arcadia Publishing) may be a small book (127 pages) but it holds a wealth of information. Everything from the Amocats (Tacoma spelled backwards, this team played from 1901 to 1906) to A.J. Zapp (whose 505-foot homerun hit over…

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7 April 2011

Championship Rainiers set for a fabulous season

With a new stadium, new ownership and a lot of new players, 2011 looks to be awesome for the Rainiers. The team is also bringing along some new hardware – the championship rings they earned as the winners of the 2010 Pacific Coast League title. So there will be much to celebrate when the team plays its 2011 home opener…

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30 December 2010

Best of: Cheney Stadium

Since it opened in 1960, the basic configuration of Cheney Stadium changed little, except for the seating areas and some cosmetic improvements. This spring, the team’s ownership, Schlegel Sports of Texas, signed a 30-year lease with the city, assuring that the franchise will be in Tacoma for many years to come. Tacoma…

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16 December 2010

Neihaus Remembered

Dave Niehaus was not the Mariners’ only broadcaster, but he was the most beloved.

He’s the one most people remember when they think about listening to Ms’ games. It was his voice that created thousands of fans and millions of memories. His death from a heart attack on November 10 caused the kind of grief throughout…

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23 November 2010

“Mrs. Annathena Gilly Gully From Puddle Rumple Tilly Willy”

“I try ignoring the children but they just keep making fun of me. How can I make them stop? It isn’t nice to laugh at people about their name,” says Mrs. Annathena Gilly Gully From Puddle Rumple Tilly Willy.

So begins the thought-provoking treasure of a book of the same name by local author and Tacoma native…

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19 October 2010

Join the Little Italy Reunion

Nine years ago many residents of the Irving Playfield-Stanley School neighborhood got together for a hugely successful reunion. Local restauranteur and community activist Joe Stortini helped organize that first event, which drew over 300 residents and friends. Stortini has decided it’s time to hold another reunion. He…

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23 September 2010

Rainiers’ PCL Championship a total team effort

Do the math. What do 140 roster moves, two managers, four coaches, and zero play-off games at Cheney Stadium add up to? One Pacific Coast League championship for the Tacoma Rainiers, the first outright title for a Tacoma franchise since 1969 over Eugene, Ore.

After Tacoma won the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific…

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