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Katherine is the Managing Editor at The Hudsucker. She has been working in libraries for the past 10 years and holds a B.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. In her free time, the Seattleite enjoys writing fiction, going to brunch, taking long walks with her roommate, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Katherine is a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and has probably seen every Marvel movie at least five times. She loves classic rock and can quote even the most obscure lines from The Simpsons. Follow Katherine on Twitter: @thethingiskat.

MLB Roundup: Number Retirement, Players Weekend and Food Safety – Oh My!

Image Credit: @Mariners on Twitter

Major League Baseball news tends to cool off after the All-Star break and the trade deadline, but a number retirement and some big announcements added some excitement to the month of August. Even if your team isn’t in the playoff hunt, there’s still some things to be interested and excited about around the league. Below are three of the highlights of the past week that also saw an umpire suspension and the sale of the Florida Marlins to a group that includes Yankees legend Derek Jeter.

Edgar Martinez Number Retirement

This past weekend the Seattle Mariners celebrated their famed designated hitter, current hitting coach, and hopeful future MLB Hall of Fame inductee Edgar Martinez by officially retiring his number 11. A flag with his jersey number was raised atop the Space Needle on Friday to kick off the weekend, and on Saturday the team officially retired his number, making him only the second player in team history, along with Ken Griffey Jr., to receive the honor. Current and former MLB players and coaches, including many of Martinez’s former teammates, sang his praises over the weekend and touted his Hall of Fame-worthy accomplishments. Weekend highlights included Martinez’s speech on Saturday, the presence of many of his former teammates, including Ken Griffey Jr., and a video tribute touting his career accomplishments and Hall of Fame worthiness, narrated by Cal Ripken Jr. 

Image Credit: @Mariners on Twitter

Martinez played his entire career with the Mariners before retiring at the end of the 2004 season. He was a 7-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger Award recipient, and 2-time American League batting champion. He also compiled a .312 batting average and hit over 300 home runs and over 500 doubles during his playing career. During his retirement ceremony at Safeco Field, then-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award to the Edgar Martinez Award, making him one of only eight players to have an award named after them. Though he was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2007, Cooperstown hasn’t come calling quite yet, though the last few years have seen him make significant gains in the number of votes he’s received. With two years of eligibility left, it’s hard to say whether Martinez will be enshrined in Cooperstown, but as Mariners fans believe, he definitely deserves it. And based on the kind words and tributes to Martinez this weekend, many around Major League Baseball think he deserves the honor as well.

Players Weekend Announcement

Image Credit: MLB.com

Last Wednesday Major League Baseball announced an inaugural Players Weekend, set for August 25-27. This weekend focuses all on the players, and there are a lot of opportunities for them to stand out and express their individuality. While sports are often strict about what players can wear, this weekend allows for custom spikes, batting gloves, and bats, among other things. Probably the highlight, though, is the nickname jerseys the players will be wearing that weekend. Some of the best include Corey’s Brother (Kyle Seager), All Rise (Aaron Judge), Big Maple (James Paxton), Tokki 1 and Tokki 2 (Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto), PTBNL aka Player to be Named Later (Josh Phegley), and Seung-hwan Oh of the Cardinals putting his name in Korean characters on the back of his jersey. Players will also wear special patches where they can include the name of someone who has had an impact on their career. Surely other surprises are in store for the weekend, but so far it’s shaping up to be exciting for players and fans alike.

Food Safety Rankings

Ever wondered about safe food handling practices at all of MLB’s ballparks? Probably not, but you will now after Sports Illustrated released its rankings of ballpark food safety. Compiling data from local health inspection records, they ranked 28 of MLB’s 30 ballparks based on violations, critical violations, and other data. Good news for Seattle Mariners fans, myself included, Safeco Field came out on top, followed by Fenway Park and Minute Maid Park. The bottom three stadiums were Camden Yards, Oakland Coliseum, and Tropicana Field. While Sports Illustrated’s rankings might add necessary transparency, or worry, to your next trip to the ballpark, here’s to hoping they’ll release a similar list for NFL stadiums and NBA arenas in the future.

What’s going on with your favorite team? Share with us in the comments!

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