Seattle Mariners award $50,000 in grants to 10 Washington and Oregon high school baseball and softball programs

The grants will support purchase of basic equipment, uniforms and upkeep of over-used, often poorly maintained fields

January 27th, 2022

The Seattle Mariners today announced 10 recipients of the annual $50,000 Mariners Care grant to support baseball and softball programs in Washington and Oregon. The grant program, which is divided equally among the recipients, has now awarded $300,000 to support baseball and softball programs over the years, and ensure the games remain accessible to any student athlete who wants to participate.

2022 Mariners Care Grant Recipients (see below for additional details on each program):

  • Aloha High School Baseball, Aloha, OR
  • Auburn High School Baseball, Auburn, WA
  • Brewster High School Baseball, Brewster, WA
  • Cashmere High School Baseball, Cashmere, WA
  • Chief Sealth High School Baseball & Softball, Seattle, WA
  • Highland High School Baseball, Cowiche, WA
  • Kennewick High School Baseball and Softball, Kennewick, WA
  • Pasco High School Baseball, Pasco, WA
  • Washington High School Baseball, Tacoma, WA
  • West Seattle High School Softball, Seattle, WA

Several of the grantees are based in rural communities that have been especially hard hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they have proud histories of support for their under-funded school athletic programs, shrinking school budgets have magnified the challenges they face. It’s hoped these grants will ease the pressure on struggling baseball and softball programs and make it possible for more student athletes to participate.

Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Dan Wilson, who was a member of the grant selection committee, said although there were worthy applicants from across Washington and Oregon, this year’s winners stood out.

“They each displayed the incredible impact, both on and off the field, their programs are having on the young men and women in the Northwest as well as the community engagement that’s occurring, especially in light of difficulties due to COVID-19. These programs serve as models for all to aspire to in the Pacific Northwest,” said Wilson.

The annual grant was created in 2017 to support baseball and softball programs at the high school level in the state of Washington. In 2020, the program was expanded to include the state of Oregon. The program has now provided $300,000 to help make baseball and softball more accessible for all student athletes. The grant is part of On BASE, a strategic effort by the Mariners to leverage new and existing partnerships to break down barriers that may prevent some children from participating in baseball and softball, whether that is because of high registrations fees, lack of equipment or access to playable fields.

For more information about On BASE (Baseball And Softball Everywhere), including the high school grant program, please log onto

Mariners Care 2022 High School Equipment Donation Grant Recipients

Aloha High School Softball, Aloha, OR
Aloha is a growing community located on the west side of the greater Portland Metro area. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fundraising opportunities for Aloha’s softball program have been significantly restricted. Head coach Michelle Riley says they will use the $5,000 grant to purchase a portable batting cage so players will no longer have to schedule workouts around the boy’s team practices.

Auburn High School Baseball, Auburn, WA
According to Auburn Athletic Director Jon Price, the Southeast King County school’s baseball program has become “an oasis” for student-athletes, some of whom are dealing with difficult circumstances at home. That’s due to the efforts of coaches Gordon Elliott and Phillip Smetheram. The grant will allow them to provide a first-class experience for participants by providing uniforms and other equipment, regardless of a player’s financial means.

Brewster High School Baseball, Brewster, WA
Brewster is a small central Washington town with a proud tradition of baseball excellence with the high school producing four professional baseball players, including a four-year Major Leaguer, since 1996. Head coach Todd Phillips plans to use the grant to “create the ultimate playing experience” by upgrading basic equipment such as baseballs, helmets and protective screens for practices, as well as dedicate resources to improve field maintenance.

Cashmere High School Baseball, Cashmere, WA
Cashmere is a small town in Okanogan County, northwest of Wenatchee. The grant will allow the program to purchase baseballs, bats, tees and bases, as well as catcher’s equipment and gloves to be shared by players who don’t have their own equipment. They’ll also purchase an indoor pitcher’s mound, which will make it possible to begin practices before winter snow has melted.

Chief Sealth High School Baseball & Softball, Seattle, WA
The students who make up the Chief Sealth’s six baseball and softball teams are among the most ethnically and economically diverse in Seattle Public Schools. Head coach Ernest Policarpio says, “We never want the financial burden of baseball to be a reason a kid doesn’t play,” so coaches take it upon themselves to buy supplies and equipment with their own money. The grant will allow Chief Sealth to purchase shoes, gloves, bats, balls as well as pay for needed repairs to the scorekeeping system and provide nets and other safety equipment for practices.

Highland High School Baseball, Cowiche, WA
Located northwest of Yakima in the eastern foothills of the Cascades, Cowiche is in the heart of Washington’s apple country. Head coach Michael Morehouse says his program is “in dire need of basic training and playing equipment” including batting tees, protective pitching screens, bats and gloves. The Highland program accepts both male and female athletes, “anyone who wants to play,” according to Morehouse. And with 80% of the school’s students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program, most families don’t have discretionary money to pay for things like sports equipment, so the grant will make it possible for more students to participate, regardless of means.

Kennewick High School Baseball & Softball, Kennewick, WA
Located in the Tri-Cities, Kennewick coach Bill Templeton says the grant will help their program meet the needs of his school’s diverse student athletes. “The cost of bats, gloves and cleats and helmets can often outdistance a family’s monthly income,” said Templeton. The grant will allow Kennewick to purchase equipment that will make it possible for all students to participate in baseball and softball, regardless of means, and to do so safely.

Pasco High School Baseball, Pasco, WA
Also in the Tri-Cities, Pasco High School will use the grant to replace team jerseys that are over a decade old and purchase regulation bats, helmets and catcher’s gear, and dedicate some resources to proper field maintenance.

Washington High School Baseball, Parkland, WA
Washington High School is located in Parkland, just south of Tacoma. Like most schools, Washington’s baseball program lost a year of active participation, which has interrupted the progress of the student athletes. Head coach Victor Rodriguez says the program has also struggled to maintain its playing field and equipment. The grant will allow Washington to purchase new bases, a pitching machine and fencing to enclose right field, making it safer for students, staff and the community. Adding a pitching machine will make practices more efficient and “significantly improve the skills, performance and confidence of my dedicated players,” said coach Rodriguez.

West Seattle High School Softball, Seattle, WA
The West Seattle softball program does not receive any funding from the school or Associated Student Body and, because of COVID-19, they have not been able to independently fundraise for two years. The grant will help purchase basic equipment like bats, balls, gloves, socks and pants, that will be available to any player who needs them, as well as training equipment like weighted balls for hitting and a safety screen for batting practice.