SEATTLE MARINERS

Family of Mariners’ Luke Raley plays wacky role in his big game

Jun 19, 2024, 11:46 AM

Seattle Mariners Luke Raley...

Luke Raley of the Seattle Mariners after hitting a home run in Cleveland on June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

For the fourth time in his big league career, Seattle Mariners outfielder Luke Raley was able to suit up Tuesday in a game at the ballpark he grew up visiting to watch baseball.

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The 29-year-old Raley grew up in Medina, Ohio, about a half-hour from Progressive Field, home of MLB’s Cleveland Guardians. And like any player who graduates from fan to professional, Raley was always hoping to have a memorable game in that park.

He certainly did in Tuesday’s series opener between the two American League division-leading teams – and it turns out it was pretty memorable for his family, too.

Raley made a sensational diving catch to end the fourth inning, then came up second for Seattle in the top of the fifth and made a boyhood dream come true by homering off Guardians reliever Scott Barlow.

This is where the story gets even more interesting. Raley’s homer was to left field, his second opposite-field shot of the year. And presumably because he’s mainly played left field with Seattle, including on Tuesday, at least one of the 50-60 family members Raley estimated to be in attendance for the game was seated in that area.

That would be Raley’s uncle, Scott Profitt, who you can actually see in the video of Raley’s homer – because he was the person in the blue shirt who nearly caught the ball, only for it to hit off his hands and fall back onto the field.

“He’ll be hearing about that at Thanksgiving,” Raley joked after the game.

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Profitt’s seat location allowed the two to interact when Raley went back out on defense.

“He was yelling down to me and letting me know, ‘It was right in my hands,'” Raley said. “I actually saw it on the iPad in the dugout watching the swing, and I saw him laughing … He had (another souvenir baseball) when he was leaving, so yeah, he had a good time. He was laughing about it, being a good sport.”

The home run with his family in attendance is something Raley isn’t likely to forget.

“I’ve been wanting to do that in front of them, so it’s nice to get one,” he said.

You’re outta here

As if the homer and catch weren’t enough, Raley’s night in Cleveland included a career milestone, too. He received his first MLB ejection, which came after he struck out in the ninth inning.

Believe it or not, he wasn’t the first Raley to get the heave-ho at Progressive Field, as Mariners manager Scott Servais let slip.

“Yeah, it was great,” Servais said of Raley’s night, “and then he got thrown out of the game. You know, it’s a family thing – I think his dad got thrown out last time he was here. It’s ‘Rales.’ He keeps it interesting.”

Raley confirmed that, though he refrained from going into specifics.

“There’s something about this park,” he said with a smile. “It doesn’t like the Raley family.”

Raley should get another opportunity or two to leave a mark in Cleveland this week, with the Mariners playing Game 2 of their series with the Guardians at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a 10:10 a.m. game Thursday in the series finale. Mariners Radio Network coverage on Seattle Sports begins at 2:30 p.m. with the pregame show for Wednesday’s game, and 9 a.m. on Thursday. Click here for details on how to stream Mariners broadcasts from Seattle Sports.

This post includes details from an Associated Press article.

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