Like hearing old baseball stories? When former Angels closer Troy Percival showed up at the ballpark Saturday, he visited with general manager Bill Bavasi – and made broadcaster Mike Blowers shake his head.
"I was the first Mariner ever to face him," Blowers said. "He’d just been called up, and he came into the game in like the eighth inning, these huge goggles on his head, and threw the first two warmup pitches to backstop screen."
Blowers turned to hitting coach Lee Elia for a scouting report and was told that all the team knew about him was that he threw ‘firm.’
"So I know he throws hard, and as I go to the plate, Jay Buhner is on deck and he says, ‘He’s throwing firm.’" Blowers said.
Blowers goes to the plate, and the man in the goggles throws him two pitches – 96 and then 97 mph.
"The last pitch he threw me was 100 mph, in a day when nobody threw 100 mph," Blowers said. "On my way back to the dugout I told Jay, "You got no chance.’
"Three or four pitches later, Jay was sitting back in the dugout with me."