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10 interesting facts about Servais

SEATTLE -- Here are 10 interesting facts about new Mariners manager Scott Servais.

• Servais played catcher for 11 years in the big leagues for four different teams from 1991-2001 -- the Astros, Cubs, Giants and Rockies -- and hit .245 in 820 games. Servais made $120,000 his first year in the Majors. His biggest contract: $1.6 million with the Cubs in 1998. Over the course of his career, he totaled about $6 million, or one-quarter of what Robinson Cano will earn for each of the next eight seasons.

• Servais spent much of his Major League career in a backup role, but was the Cubs' primary catcher from 1996-98. His best season was '96, when he hit .265/.327.384 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs in 129 games, and he was second in the National League in catcher assists with 72.

• Servais played college baseball at Creighton, where his coach was former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, and he was inducted into the Creighton Hall of Fame in 2003.

• Servais was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, and he also played for the silver-medal U.S team in the '87 Pan Am Games.

• Servais was drafted in the second round by the Mets out of Westby High in Coon Valley, Wis., in 1985, but he didn't sign. After his junior year at Creighton, he was selected in the third round of the 1988 Draft by the Astros, and he agreed to a pro contract at that point. His uncle, Ed Servais, is now head coach at Creighton, though he wasn't with the program when Scott was there.

• Servais and his wife, Jill, have three children. Tyler, 22, recently graduated from Princeton and was drafted by the Tigers in the 27th round last June as a catcher, and he played 15 games in Low-A ball this past season. Jacqueline, 21, is a volleyball player at UNC Charlotte and is currently interning with the Carolina Panthers. Their youngest daughter, Victoria, 18, is attending Ole Miss.

• Servais played on the same team with Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto in 2000 with the Rockies, batting .218 in 101 at-bats in 33 games as a backup before being waived in late August and catching on with the Giants. Dipoto had a 3.85 ERA in 17 games as a reliever that season, his last in the Majors.

• Servais was the catcher for the Cubs in 1998 in the game where Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' record for home runs in a season with his 62nd blast coming off the Cubs' Steve Trachsel in St. Louis. That was the same year he played in the postseason for the only time as the Cubs won a Wild Card berth before losing to the Braves, 3-0.

• Servais was held in high regard around baseball for his work transforming the Rangers' Minor League system in his six years as director of player development from 2006-11. One of his prize pupils was Nelson Cruz, whom Servais helped reconstruct his swing in 2008 after Cruz was waived and then brought back on a Minor League deal at age 27. Cruz returned to the Majors later that season, earned the first of his four All-Star berths the next year and has since become one of baseball's top sluggers.

• On Friday, Servais became the 20th manager in Mariners history and the 17th full-time skipper in the franchise's 40-year run. Only two of those managers -- Lou Piniella and Lloyd McClendon -- have finished with winning records during their tenures.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.
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