Seattle PI's Sports Star of the Year

On Tuesday night (20th) I attended the Seattle PI’s Sports Star of the Year Awards at the Westin in downtown Seattle. I was excited to go because I knew that there were going to be a lot of my colleagues in attendance and I like going to social events in the sports world. Unfortunately this could be the last year for this event because the Seattle PI is up for sale (due to our poor economy). So I’m very glad that I got the opportunity to attend this 74th Annual event honoring Northwest athletes from 2008. Because despite a major upset for Seattle sports last year, we have some incredible athletes making quite a name for themselves.

There was also quite the collection of people there… Front office staff attendance from the Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, Storm, Emerald Downs, UW, WSU. I didn’t know how big the Sports Star of the Year Awards were… Past recipients of this award include but aren’t limited to: Brandon Roy, Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck, Lauren Jackson, Jamie Moyer, Ichiro Suzuki, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Gary Peyton, Alex Rodriguez, Lou Piniella, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., and the list goes on and on.

Steve Raible was the EMCEE of the evening. Steve was a Seattle Seahawks wide receiver (1976-81), an Emmy-winning news anchor for KIRO-TV and also serves as the radio voice of the Seahawks. Jon Lester (pitcher for the Boston Red Sox) was sitting at the table directly in front of mine. He was there to receive the 2008 Hutch Award (an award that has gone to Jamie Moyer, Curt Schilling, and John Olerud in past years).

It was amazing to be surrounded by such great, young athletes. Rick Rizzs, Jack Zduriencik and Dan Wakamatsu were also there to talk about the upcoming season and what they are looking forward to in 2009. Dave Neihaus got a standing ovation as he got up to accept an award for being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last July. The Mariners ended up having a strong presence at the banquet. It made me extremely proud of the organization that I work for; we have such accomplished individuals that I’m honored to call my co-workers.

It's now 2009 and it will prove to be an interesting year for Seattle sports. The Seattle Sounders start their season at Qwest Field on March 19th. They have already sold over 18,000 season tickets, which is quite remarkable. They will be exciting to watch. We have baseball starting April 6th (opening day is April 14th). With all the changes that Jack Zduriencik is making, I’m so excited to see what’s in store for us. I have a lot of trust in him and I can’t wait to start the journey that will be the 2009 season.