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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Catie Griggs returns to baseball roots as new Mariners executive

By Tim Booth Associated Press

SEATTLE — Baseball was an integral part of Catie Griggs’ life growing up just not when it came to her career.

Now it will dominate her professional life as she takes over as president of business operations for the Seattle Mariners.

“I think one of the things that undoubtedly wouldn’t have come across in my LinkedIn profile or any resume that you all may have been looking at, I grew up with a batting cage in my backyard. I grew up playing Little League ball,” Griggs said. “My dad and I spent a lot of nights at the old Durham Athletic Park watching the Durham Bulls play when they were a Single-A affiliate of the Braves. Baseball has always been a part of my life, it’s a passion of mine.”

Griggs was formally introduced in her new role Wednesday before the Mariners closed out a homestand against Houston. She spent the past four seasons as the chief business officer for the Atlanta United of Major League Soccer and will oversee all aspects of the Mariners organization outside of baseball operations.

She joins a small group of women holding executive roles in Major League Baseball. According to the Mariners, Griggs is the only woman to hold a “president” title role with a club in the majors.

“I’ve had the privilege of holding a lot of senior-level roles and I think it is a privilege and an honor to set a path for other people to follow up,” Griggs said. “With that being said, I truly view my role in this organization, in every organization, as being the absolute best leader I can be. And that has nothing to do with my gender. So with that being said, it’s a privilege and an honor and one I take very seriously. But it’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about.”

Griggs replaces Kevin Mather, who resigned in February after video surfaced of him making derogatory remarks about some players and club operations. Mather took insensitive shots at a former All-Star from Japan and a top prospect from the Dominican Republic for their English skills, and admitted the team possibly manipulated service time for some of its young players.

Mather oversaw both baseball and business operations for the Mariners. Following his resignation, Mariners chairman John Stanton said those roles would be split.

Griggs will begin her new role full time the week of Aug. 23.

“It’s very important to me that the culture of this organization include the values that she just talked about in terms of diversity and inclusion, in terms of embracing and addressing the progressive ideas, the new ideas,” Stanton said. “Innovation is one of the key elements of this organization and Catie reflected that in every conversation that we had.”

Griggs said that while she has spent the majority of her life in the South, her family has many connections to the Pacific Northwest. She’ll start the role with about six weeks left in the regular season but intends to connect with the fan base as quickly as possible.

“I’m here to listen. I’m here to learn. I want to know what you like. I want to know what you don’t like,” Griggs said. “I want to know what it will take to make the Seattle Mariners the single best experience in the city of Seattle.”

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