Local product Adam Cimber describes ‘surreal’ 1st appearance pitching in Seattle as MLB player

Apr 16, 2019, 5:43 PM
Adam Cimber pitched in his hometown of Seattle as an MLB player for the first time Monday. (Getty)...
Adam Cimber pitched in his hometown of Seattle as an MLB player for the first time Monday. (Getty)

There was a particularly nerve-wracking situation during the bottom of the seventh inning in Monday night’s Mariners game.

Mariners’ rally comes up short in 6-4 loss to Cleveland

Trailing Cleveland 3-1, the Mariners had the bases loaded with two outs as All-Star Mitch Haniger came to the plate, prompting Cleveland manager Terry Francona to bring in submariner Adam Cimber to face Haniger.

The 28-year-old Cimber is a local product, having played for Puyallup High School and UW, and it marked his first MLB appearance in his hometown of Seattle. But the moment was made that much more agonizing for those of us at 710 ESPN Seattle because we work with Adam’s dad, Russ.

Russ Cimber is the longtime production director for all of the radio stations at Bonneville Seattle, which includes 710 (trust us when we say you’ve heard his voice countless times on commercials on the station), not to mention an all-around great guy. So in that moment it kind of felt like a lose-lose situation. If Haniger gets on base, sure, the Mariners possibly inch closer, tie or take the lead in the game, but Adam Cimber’s moment is ruined. But if Cimber records the out, the Mariners were just a little closer to their losing streak hitting four games.

Well, at the end of an intense and exhausting nine-pitch at-bat, here’s what happened.

That’s about as good as the Cimbers could have hoped for.

Both Adam and Russ Cimber joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore on Tuesday and shared what Adam’s big debut at T-Mobile Park was like on either side of the chalk.

“Just disbelief. It was all so surreal,” said Adam, who missed out on playing in Seattle during his rookie MLB season in 2018 due to a July trade from the San Diego Padres, whose lone trip to Seattle wasn’t until September, to Cleveland, which had already played its annual series in Seattle by then. “Just from warming up in the bullpen down there and looking to my right and seeing a bunch of old neighbors and friends and family and kids that I’ve coached. It was crazy that I was getting the opportunity to go out and play on this field that so many of my idols growing up used to play on.”

While Russ wasn’t the one on the mound, he might have been more full of nerves than his son.

“Much more nervous than him. Absolutely. It was surreal,” Russ said. “It’s always been the Mariners – when he was growing up he had a life-size Griffey poster on his wall, a Mariners room. Kinda full circle to come back and play at T-Mobile.”

In another example of things coming full-circle, Adam has a history with Haniger. They were teammates and roommates playing summer ball for the Green Bay Bullfrogs in the Northwest League in 2011. Adam, who has a 1.35 ERA and minuscule 0.30 WHIP in nine appearances this season, gets bragging rights for now.

The interview with the Cimbers also covered how Adam came to throw submarine style, what it’s like to stay at your parents’ house during an MLB series and much more. You can hear the full segment in the player embedded in this post or download a podcast at this link.

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Local product Adam Cimber describes ‘surreal’ 1st appearance pitching in Seattle as MLB player