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Morrison inspires kids during school visit

Mariners players make appearance at D.R.E.A.M. Team Assembly

TUKWILA, Wash. -- Logan Morrison wasn't always determined to become a Major League baseball player. He had moments growing up when he questioned if it was worth it. Had his parents not been there to push him, who knows?

"There were times when I didn't want to play anymore," he admitted. "And my parents wouldn't let me give it up."

Morrison joined Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Austin Jackson, Mark Lowe and J.A. Happ on Thursday afternoon at Thorndyke Elementary School in Tukwila for one of the Seattle Mariners' 18th annual D.R.E.A.M. Team Assemblies.

In front of a chattering audience, each player outlined a message that Morrison said was meant to promote "good clean living."

"You want to inspire kids to take the right path," he said.

The guidelines introduced during the half-hour program were simple and meaningful.

(D)rug-free, (R)espect for yourself and others, (E)ducation through reading, (A)ttitude and (M)otivation to achieve your dreams.

It was one of four assemblies at local schools attended by players and broadcasters as part of the Mariners' Care initiative.

Though he didn't choose his topic, Morrison, the Mariners' hulking, tattooed first baseman, spoke about motivation.

"What's motivation mean to you? To me it means everything," he said in front of a packed gymnasium. "You wouldn't be able to achieve any of your dreams if you don't have the motivation to do it. You really have to want it."

Morrison's late father, Tom Morrison, instilled that in him from an early age.

He was hard on Morrison at times, urging him to work harder, as the family moved from city to city because of Tom's job in the United States Coast Guard.

Morrison's father died in 2010 after a battle with stage 4 lung cancer. But Logan Morrison easily recalled his dad's influence Thursday.

"He would always be pushing me to do more, wanting me to want to do more, basically," Morrison said. "That's definitely a big part of the reason why I'm here today."

"You know, I don't have the most talent, but I don't think anybody outworks me," he said. "He definitely set that in stone for me."

In his second season with the Mariners, Morrison entered Thursday hitting slightly lower than his career .251 batting average, and has six home runs and 14 RBIs in 52 games.

"You can have better motivation by setting short-term goals and making them turn into a longer-term goal," he said. "For example, I want to hit .300, but I'm only hitting [.245] right now, so I want to get to .250 [first], that sort of thing."

Adam Lewis is a contributor to