Tooning Up For the Big Leagues

From Saskatchewan to Seattle, Marco Gonzales always managed to take his game to the next level.

The 28-year-old is one of the more notable alumni of the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL), and after signing a four-year, $30-million contract extension with the Mariners in 2020, the reliable left-handed pitcher should be memorable to those who follow the summer collegiate circuit.

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Potent Pitching

Luring one of the most mild-mannered players in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to charge the mound is an unusual achievement, but it’s one that Lou Pote can celebrate.

The 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher was with the Anaheim Angels in 2001 when he did the nearly impossible: he made Hall-of-Fame designated hitter (DH) Edgar Martinez mad … like, really mad.

It was the sixth inning of an early October game in Anaheim between the Angels and the Seattle Mariners, who finished that season with an American League (AL) record 116 wins.

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Q&A with Harold Reynolds

He’s now a familiar voice on baseball broadcasts and a frequently seen face on MLB Network programming, but long before Harold Reynolds made a name for himself on TV he was another ball player trying to crack a major-league roster.

A second overall selection of the Seattle Mariners on June 3rd of the 1980 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, Reynolds made his big-league debut in 1983. The second baseman bounced between the Triple-A and MLB levels for the next four seasons before becoming a fixture in Seattle.

One of his big stops along the way was with the Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League, where he played 52 games in their inaugural 1985 season and another 29 games in 1986. The two-time American League (AL) All Star and three-time Gold Glove award winner made time for us to chat about his time in Cowtown, how he ended up in the broadcast booth and the time he was almost traded to the San Francisco Giants …

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Coles Notes

It was a long and winding road for utility player Darnell Coles, who played 17 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons for eight different teams. 

The Californian quickly climbed the ranks of Seattle’s minor-league system after the Mariners made him the sixth overall pick in the 1980 amateur entry draft. Coles had already played in Bellingham, Wausau, Bakersfield, Chattanooga, Salt Lake City and Seattle by the time he was sent to Calgary to play for the city’s new Triple-A franchise in the Pacific Coast League.

That 1985 Cannons team, Coles recalled, was loaded with talent.

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In the Cards: Ian’s All Stars

In a pre-internet world, baseball cards served as a fantasy baseball type of resource that connected fans with players.

They provided stats, factoids, interesting graphic designs and photos that ranged from fantastic to hilarious. On occasion, the packs of cardboard collectibles even provided mouth-scraping gum that was capable of losing flavour faster than a card in bike spokes could drop its value.

Of course, baseball cards are still around – they’re even available in mobile app form – but the popularity of the memorabilia is nowhere near what it was in the sports card boom of the 1990s and before that era.

Here at Alberta Dugout Stories, we love our collectibles, so we’ve decided to unveil a baseball card-themed All-Star Team!

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