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Longtime Mariners scouting administrator retires

MLB.com @TracyRingolsby

Hallie Larson had a lot to learn in a hurry. She was hired as the scouting administrator for the Mariners on June 1, 1981, a week before the annual First-Year Player Draft.

"They were talking about the June Draft," she said. "I didn't even know what the June Draft was."

Hallie Larson had a lot to learn in a hurry. She was hired as the scouting administrator for the Mariners on June 1, 1981, a week before the annual First-Year Player Draft.

"They were talking about the June Draft," she said. "I didn't even know what the June Draft was."

Thirty-four years, eight months and 26 days later, Larson quietly cleaned off her desk at the Mariners offices in Seattle for the final time.

On Friday afternoon, Larson officially retired.

There was no party or celebration, just a quiet goodbye, the way a person who broke into baseball under the guidance of Hal Keller and then worked for Roger Jongewaard -- two men with wry sense of humors but a quiet persona -- might.

Larson learned about the June Draft in a hurry. That first year, alone, the Mariners selected and signed six eventual big league players, including first-round pick Mike Moore, second-round pick Mark Langston and third-round pick Phil Bradley.

Keller, the brother of Charlie "King Kong" Keller, was old-school in the truest of descriptions. He began his scouting career with the expansion-team Washington Senators in 1961, moving with the franchise to Texas, and joined the Mariners in the fall of 1979.

"He dictated the best letters,'' said Larson. "I took shorthand and would type the letter up. He had that dry wit."

Jongewaard joined the team in 1985, and oversaw the drafting and signing of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Tino Martinez, among others.

"I was so fortunate to have worked for the people I worked for over the years in Seattle," Larson said. "They made you feel like part of the team."

As well as the administrative duties in the office, Larson was the conduit between the front office and the scouts, not only for the Mariners, but with other teams, whose scouts would call for tickets when they were in town.

That, however, is part of the past. Larson has begun the next chapter in her life.

"I'm going to get a dog," she said. "I'll drive to the beach, take some trips and get involved with volunteer work."

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seattle Mariners