‘Special day’ as grandparents see Mariners rookie Bryan Woo pitch

Jul 4, 2023, 10:20 AM | Updated: 11:11 am

Seattle Mariners Bryan Woo...

Bryan Woo of the Seattle Mariners pitches against San Francisco on July 3, 2023. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Seattle Mariners pitcher Bryan Woo’s grandparents are about to celebrate 64 years of marriage, John having recently turned 93 and Nancy 85.

They had plenty of reason to hold a family party a little bit earlier than their July 19th anniversary: Their grandson Bryan took the mound starting for Seattle in the interleague series opener at San Francisco on Monday night, right across the bay from where the rookie right-hander grew up and attended Alameda High.

“I usually just like the peanuts and Cracker Jacks,” a smiling John Woo said between innings in a large suite at Oracle Park filled with some 30 family members and a few dear friends — his first time at the waterfront ballpark. “It is (special). I am so impressed, this is the first time and with a grandson pitching, you can’t beat that.”

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Woo had a huge contingent of friends, coaches and old teammates scattered throughout the sellout crowd of 40,691, too, many of whom wore their high school jerseys and cheered more for the visiting team this time.

The pitcher’s father, Clayton, appreciated all the love from supporters in the East Bay and beyond and cherished the opportunity to watch his son live right here at home. Members of the family took video and photos from high above the diamond along the third-base line.

“It is a real special day. With all his trials and tribulations, he had to go through a lot of adversity as well,” Clayton Woo said. “But he kept to it and this is just payoff for all his hard work. It’s just a lot of love with family and friends who are at the game today, so you couldn’t ask for a better scenario. It’s just a special, special, special day for us.”

Woo admitted to some nerves pitching in front of a sellout crowd in a park he visited as a kid, saying, “I try not to look around the stadiums too much, but it was kind of hard not to do that tonight. I tried to take it in as much as I can.”

For John and Nancy, these are moments to remember always yet they also realize this is just a start for the family as Bryan begins his big league baseball career. It was their idea to gather everybody in a suite to enjoy this night.

The 23-year-old Woo made his sixth career start after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft out of Cal Poly. He struck out seven with two walks, allowing two runs on three hits in six stellar innings but didn’t get a decision in Seattle’s 6-5 win.

“It is wonderful. I am so proud of him,” Nancy Woo said. “God gave him health and talent and I know that he’s going to use it well.”

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