Sunday, April 4, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 4/4/10

Time again for another look at a Mariner from the past. This week's player didn't spend much time a Mariners uniform as a player.

Alonzo Powell was an undrafted free agent out of high school, but signed with the Giants in 1983. After the end of the 1984 season the Giants traded him to the Montreal Expos. Alonzo was the opening day starting left fielder for the Expos in 1987, because the team and Tim Raines could not work out a contract. Once Tim signed, Alonzo was sent back to the minors and remained there. Near the end of the 1989 season, he was traded by Montreal to the Minnesota Twins. After spending 1990 at AAA Portland, he was granted free agency and signed with the Mariners for the 1991 season.

While with Calgary, he was part of a team that made history by hitting three grand slams in one game. On May 16, 1991 Dave Cochrane, Chuck Jackson, and Alonzo all hit grand slams. He spent a total of 57 games with the Mariners in 1991, playing all three outfield positions, some time at first base and at DH. During spring training of 92 he was approached by Ken Macha asking if he could give his name to some Japanese teams. In May of 1992, he signed with the Chunichi Dragons of the Central League. While spending six seasons with the Dragons, Alonzo won three straight batting titles from 1994-96, and was a five time all-star and two time gold glove winner. During the 1997 season, he hit a home run in the Nagoya Dome that travelled 520 feet. one of the longest in Nippon Pro Baseball history. He was released after the 1997 season and signed with the Hanshin Tigers for 1998.

After not being too productive with the Tigers in 1998, he was released and signed with the Blue Jays and was assigned to the Syracuse Chiefs. In 1999, He moved to the Yankees organization and spent the season with the Columbus Clippers. For 2000, Alonzo split time between Columbus and The Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Rockies system. 2001 was his final season as a player when he played for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

In 2002 and 2003, he was the hitting coach for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts of the Cincinnati Reds Organization. For the 2004 and 2005 seasons, he became the manager of the A Dayton Dragons. Unfortunately, those teams both finished in last place. He was replaced as manager by long time manager of many teams, Billy Gardner. Alonzo was retained as the hitting coach in Dayton for 2006. In 2007, Alonzo came back to the Mariners family and was the minor league hitting coordinator, working with players at all levels. In 2008, he was named as hitting coach for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. At the end of the 2008 season, He was named to John McLaren's extra staff for the last few weeks of the season. He worked with players on hitting, and did a little coaching at first base. He spent 2009 and will spend 2010 as the hitting coach still with the Tacoma Rainiers.

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