Beyond the Game: Seattle Mariners tell Travs to 'pitch in'

Travs required to give back (KATV Photo)

Since switching affiliation from the Angels to the Mariners, one of the biggest changes for the Travs has nothing to do with game day.

Rather, there is actually an emphasis on off days.

Travs management said the Angels' primary concern was baseball. The Mariners, on the other hand, make community service a must. Players are all but required to give back.

"It's really been a cultural shift with the Mariners," Travs Director of Marketing Lance Restum said. "The Mariners are much more focused on community activities and doing things with their players in the community, whereas the other organizations we've dealt with were really focused on baseball."

Appearances at community events are nothing new for the Travs; the team would bring its mascots. But the chance to bring players is a novelty, Restum said.

On the first day of practice for the Travs, the Mariners showed players a video.

"What it emphasized was the emphasis on community, getting involved with the fans, getting involved with non-profits, doing the things that [impact] our fans," Restum said.

"That was their instructions to the team, so that's what we're doing."

"This is what it's all about," said Travs pitcher Blake Perry, who appeared at a recent "Field Day" event at a school in southwest Little Rock.

"We were that kid asking for an autograph and now we get to sign that autograph so it's really cool. This is 100 percent part of your job. Not only baseball, but giving back."

Clearly, the Mariners hope it helps their own Minor League players as much as it benefits the communities in which they live.

"It's a good escape," Perry said. "Good days or bad days, you get to come out here and put a smile on somebody's face. That's priceless. That's the best part."

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