2017 Seattle Mariners Caravan hits the road

Three-week tour across the Pacific Northwest begins in Yakima January 9

The 2017 Seattle Mariners Caravan hits the road on Monday, January 9, with the first stops in Yakima.

Over a three-week period during the month of January, the Caravan will visit some two dozen communities across the Pacific Northwest.

At various stops on the Caravan, current and former Seattle Mariners players, announcers, and the Mariner Moose host assemblies for elementary school students, meet Boys & Girls Club members, visit hospitals, and host free public autograph and photo sessions.

Scheduled to appear in Yakima are pitcher Dan Altavilla, outfielder Ben Gamel, broadcaster Mike Blowers and the Mariner Moose.

Day 1 stops include:

  • D.R.E.A.M. Team assembly for students at Ahtanum Valley Elementary School, a fun-filled program that stresses the importance of the D.R.E.A.M. principles: Drug-free, Respect for yourself and others, Education through reading, Attitude, and Motivation to achieve your dreams. (NOTE: This event is not open to the public.)
  • Free public autograph session at the Yakima Valley SunDome from 4:30-6:00pm (1301 S. Fair Ave., Northwest Entrance)

Infielder/Outfielder and Tri-Cities native Shawn O'Malley will join the Caravan on Wednesday, January 11 for the stops in Spokane, Walla Walla and Tri-Cities.

Dan Altavilla was promoted from AA Jackson on August 27 and made his Major League debut that night at the Chicago White Sox. Altavilla pitched one shutout inning of relief, striking out Todd Frazier to end the 8th. In 15 relief appearances last season, Altavilla was 0-0 with a 0.73 ERA with 10 strikeouts. Over his last 21 minor league outings, he was 3-2 and successfully converted eight out of 10 save opportunities while posting a 1.55 ERA with 35 strikeouts and nine walks.

Ben Gamel was acquired from the New York Yankees on August 31. He made his Mariners debut on September 2 vs. the Los Angeles Angels, the same game he collected his first Major League RBI. Gamel was named International League Most Valuable Player in 2016 after batting .308 with 26 doubles, six home runs, 51 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 116 games with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

O'Malley started 2016 at Tacoma. He was promoted to the Majors on May 15 and appeared in a career high 89 games. A versatile fielder, O'Malley made appearances at shortstop, second and third base, all three outfield positions and as designated hitter. A highlight of 2016 was his game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 7th on August 6 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Broadcaster Mike Blowers is entering his 11th season as the Mariners television analyst. He did three tours as a Mariners player (1992-95, 1997, 1999). During his 11 year Major League career, Blowers also played for the Yankees (1989-91), Dodgers (1996) and Athletics (1998). Blowers was a standout at Bethel High School in Spanaway and was a Pac-10 Triple Crown winner while with the University of Washington Huskies baseball program.
A schedule of public appearances for the Caravan is available at Mariners.com/Caravan. It will be updated regularly with public events and activities.