He brought a special intensity to Mariners Baseball in 1993. He gave Mariners fans their first taste of the postseason baseball in 1995. His 10 years as manager of the Mariners resulted in seven winning seasons. Today the Seattle Mariners announced that Lou Piniella will become the eighth member of the organization's Hall of Fame when he is inducted on Saturday, August 9, at Safeco Field during a ceremony prior to the game against the Chicago White Sox.
"Lou Piniella was bigger than life," said Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner. "There was no question what the goal was every day when the players walked into the clubhouse….win tonight's game. Anything less was not acceptable."
And win they did. Under Lou, the Mariners had a .542 winning percentage (840-711), won three AL West Division championships and made four postseason appearances. In his 23 years as a Major League manager with the Yankees (1986-88), Reds (1990-92), Mariners (1993-2002), Rays (2003-05) and Cubs (2007-10), he was named Manager of the Year three times (1995, 2001 and 2008) while posting a .517 winning percentage.
As a player, outfielder Lou Piniella was selected by the Seattle Pilots in the 1968-69 expansion draft, but was traded to the Kansas City Royals during spring training in 1969. His playing career took off from there. In a 16-year career he compiled a .291 batting average with 1,705 hits, 102 home runs, 305 doubles and 766 runs batted in.
Piniella and his wife Anita reside in their hometown Tampa, FL. He is providing color commentary on several New York Yankees' telecasts again in 2014, and remains close to the Mariners organization.
Piniella joins the seven current members of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame: Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson and Ken Griffey Jr. The Hall of Fame was created to honor the players, staff and other individuals that greatly contributed to the history of the Mariners franchise.
Note: To be eligible for selection, a player must have been active in a Mariners uniform for at least five seasons and be retired as a player at least two years. In addition to a player's impact on the field, other considerations for possible induction include his positive impact on the Northwest community outside of baseball and a player's positive impact in enhancing the image of the Seattle Mariners and/or Major League Baseball.