We’re introducing some of the Mariners’ offseason additions and lesser-known players during spring training. Here’s a personal look at Chris Iannetta.
• Position: Catcher
• Height/weight/age: 6-0/230/32
• Hometown: Providence, R.I.
• How acquired: Signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract as a free agent after four seasons with the Angels.
How he ended up playing catcher: “I got there because a kid broke his hand or wrist, and they said I looked like a catcher, so they put me back there. I hated it at first but after a while I fell in love with it.”
Favorite baseball memory before the majors: “Probably playing my first college game,” said the former North Carolina Tar-Heel. “That was pretty cool.”
What he would be doing if he wasn’t playing baseball: “Probably something in engineering. That was kind of the academic path I was going on,” said Iannetta, a math major at UNC. “I think I would have went back, and if baseball hadn’t worked out, I would have finished at North Carolina and then picked up some engineering classes at another school and then went to grad school.” Though he doesn’t know what kind of engineer he would have been, he mentioned that aerospace interested him.
Favorite home-cooked meal: Iannetta’s not picky so long as his mother is cooking. “My mom’s a great cook. Everything that she makes is pretty good.”
Favorite cartoon growing up: “Bugs Bunny.”
Favorite baseball player growing up: Even though he grew up a Red Sox fan in Rhode Island, his answer will make Mariners fans quite happy – Ken Griffey Jr. “I had a chance to shake his hand, say hello; it was actually at (the Mariners’ spring training complex) when I was with the Rockies. He was just the best of his generation. He was the most natural, made everything look easy.”