Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Tom Lampkin, the Kingdome clubhouse boy who joined his hometown team

Jun 9, 2021, 12:25 PM
Mariners Tom Lampkin...
Tom Lampkin first joined the hometown M's in 1999. (Getty - Otto Greule Jr./Allsport)
(Getty - Otto Greule Jr./Allsport)

2001: A Baseball Odyssey – a weekly look back at the record-setting 2001 Mariners and the players who got them there.

As the Mariners rolled through June, there was no slowing down. The record-setting 2001 season was a total team effort and there were some fun stories to uncover. For example, did you know the roster included a player who had been a clubhouse assistant in the Kingdome days?

O’Neil: Kelenic’s struggles were the best thing for relationship with M’s

Backup catcher Tom Lampkin was a 15-year-old student at Bishop Blanchet High School when he started working for the Mariners as a clubhouse boy. He even got to work the 1979 All-Star Game. Undrafted out of high school, he went to Edmonds Community College and the University of Portland, and eventually Cleveland drafted him in the 11th round in 1986.

After nine years in the big leagues with five teams, Lampkin signed a two-year contract to play for his hometown team. Though the Mariners moved into Safeco Field in July 1999, Lampkin returned in time to play half a season in the Kingdome, where he still knew some clubhouse staff.

Lampkin kept his edge and his career going by always asking questions. For example, prior to the ’99 season he worked with Vince Coleman, then a baserunning coach, not because he wanted to start stealing bases but because he wanted to learn what good baserunners think. It was that kind of work that kept Lampkin in the league for 13 seasons.

Lampkin got the start on June 16, 2001, as he often did that year when lefty John Halama pitched. The Mariners cruised to a 9-2 victory in front of a big crowd in San Diego to improve to 52-14. It was Halama’s sixth win, with the 37-year-old catcher behind the plate living the dream of playing for the hometown team when they just happened to be the best in baseball.

Watch Lampkin look back at the 2001 Mariners season along with teammates Bret Boone, Aaron Sele and Norm Charlton in the roundtable video below hosted by Rick Rizzs from the Mariners Virtual Baseball Bash earlier this year.

Follow The Groz on Twitter.

More 2001 Mariners memories from Groz

Edgar Martinez cements his legacy with his last great season
Aaron Sele, the pitcher who ‘fell from the sky’
Bret Boone gave Seattle a huge, surprising boost
Paul Abbott, the forgotten hero of the historic ’01 M’s
Introduction: Celebrating the 2001 Mariners, 20 years later

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 74° | Low 54°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Athletics today at 6:40pm

Fri, Sep 21 @ 6:40 pm
Starting Pitcher:
Seattle’s Marco Gonzales

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Jarred Kelenic Scott Servais...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners, still alive in playoff race, setting up a lot to look forward to

The Mariners' playoff chase has delayed the usual look ahead that happens in September, but the future is clearly bright for baseball in Seattle.
13 hours ago
Mariners Kyle Seager...
The Associated Press

Kyle Seager, Tyler Anderson help Mariners stop A’s 5-game win streak

Kyle Seager had a two-run single in the decisive third inning among his three hits and three RBIs, Tyler Anderson threw seven innings of one-run ball and the Mariners beat the A's 4-2 on Monday night.
2 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

Salk: Mariners CF Jarred Kelenic’s September is what it looks like ‘when he truly arrives’

Jarred Kelenic was the star of the Mariners' weekend series win over the Royals, and his September has been what M's fans have been waiting for.
2 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
The Associated Press

Red-hot Jarred Kelenic, fellow rookie Logan Gilbert lead Mariners past KC 7-1

Rookie Jarred Kelenic homered, doubled twice and wrapped up his impressive series, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Sunday.
3 days ago
Mariners Max Scherzer...
Brandon Gustafson

ESPN’s Jeff Passan: ‘No better guy’ for Mariners to build around than Max Scherzer

Jeff Passan thinks the Mariners should "shoot for the moon" this offseason and target three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in free agency
4 days ago
Mariners Royals...
The Associated Press

Kris Bubic and Royals dent Mariners, Yusei Kikuchi with 8-1 victory

Kris Bubic allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings and the Royals beat Seattle 8-1 to put another dent in the Mariners’ slim playoff chances.
4 days ago
Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: Tom Lampkin, the Kingdome clubhouse boy who joined his hometown team