Rich Amaral, known for his versatility and a knack for timely hits, is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday, July 7, when the Seattle Mariners meet the Oakland Athletics (7:10 p.m. start).Amaral, who played for the Mariners from 1991-1998, is returning to Seattle as part of
Rich Amaral, known for his versatility and a knack for timely hits, is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday, July 7, when the Seattle Mariners meet the Oakland Athletics (7:10 p.m. start).
Amaral, who played for the Mariners from 1991-1998, is returning to Seattle as part of the Mariners season-long 40th Anniversary celebration, presented by Alaska Airlines.
July 7 is also Mariners Snow Globe Night, when 10,000 fans will receive a Kingdome snow globe, and 10,000 fans will receive a Safeco Field snow globe, courtesy of Emirates Airline. Tickets are still available at Mariners.com/Tickets and Mariners Team Stores.
Amaral, a stand-out second baseman at UCLA, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of the 1983 draft. After eight years in the minor leagues, the Mariners signed Amaral as a free agent following the 1990 season. After hitting .346 for the Mariners AAA affiliate, the Calgary Cannons, he was called up to the Major Leagues for the first time, at the age of 29, and made his debut at the Kingdome on May 27, 1991 against the Kansas City Royals.
Amaral bounced back and forth between AAA and the Majors until 1993, when he became a valuable member of the Mariners roster, hitting .290 and stealing 19 bases. Because of his versatility in the field, Manager Lou Piniella could pencil him in just about anywhere. In his career, Amaral appeared at every position on the field except catcher and pitcher. He also DH'ed. He could be counted on to steal a base, advance a runner, pinch hit, or come in as a reliable late innings defensive replacement. In 1995, Amaral helped keep the Mariners in contention with an outstanding stint as a temporary replacement in center field for the injured Ken Griffey Jr.
Amaral signed with the Baltimore Orioles in 1999. He retired after the 2000 season and now lives in Huntington Beach, California. His son Beau is an outfielder in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system.
Tickets for all Mariners games are available at Mariners.com/Tickets, at the Safeco Field Box Office and Seattle Mariners Team Stores (4th & Stewart in downtown Seattle, Bellevue Square, Southcenter Mall and Alderwood Mall), and by phone at 1-888-SEA-HITS.