Paying Respects To The Late Mariners GM Dan O’Brien
Many general managers have made their way through the Mariners organization, but few have accomplished what Dan O’Brien was able to during the infancy of the Mariners franchise.
Before millions of fans were treated to the beauty of Safeco Field, ticket-holders were privileged to sit inside one of baseball’s first domes, the Kingdome, to watch the upstart Mariners take on the rest of the MLB.
As president of one of the league’s newest teams, O’Brien channeled his inner Bill Veeck and tried to promote his new club by orchestrating that the Mariners Kingdome would host the All-Star Game in 1979.
It is always a big deal when a city is chosen to host a major sporting event such as the MLB All-Star Game, but for a new franchise looking to make a name for itself in its state of the art arena to be chosen is a bigger deal.
The event helped the new franchise stay relevant while expanding it’s fan base across the country.
A few years after the Mariners-led mid-summer classic, O’Brien brought two-time Cy Young award winner, Gaylord Perry, to Seattle.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Perry went on to win 10 games in 1982, including his 300th victory.
It was moments like these that made O’Brien so loved in Seattle and everywhere else he worked.
Current Mariners president Kevin Mather released this statement on O’Brien’s passing:
“On behalf of the Seattle Mariners organization, I extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dan O’Brien,” Mather said. “He was a true gentleman who loved the game of baseball at all levels and served it well for over 45 years.”
Mather went on to say:
Who’s to say what the M’s organization would have been like without O’Brien’s ingenuity, thoughtfulness, and drive.
Thankfully we will never know.
He may not have been known to the younger generations, but without him, today’s youth may not have had a team to root for in Seattle if not for O’Brien’s craftiness at the helm nearly 40 years ago.
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