How Mariners president Catie Griggs is breaking barriers

The final time the Seattle Mariners have been within the playoffs—that might be 2001— we have been all nonetheless renting films from Blockbuster or seeing Harry Potter, the film, for the primary time.

That drought, the longest post-season one in North American skilled sports activities historical past, ended q4. The group is now scuffling with the Houston Astros within the American League Divisional Series.

But that’s no longer the one historical past the franchise has made during the last yr or so. In July 2021, Catie Griggs changed into Seattle’s president of baseball operations. She’s no longer most effective the primary ever feminine president in Mariners historical past, she’s additionally the one feminine with the “president” name in Major League Baseball.

Griggs, 40, not too long ago talked to Yahoo Finance about her adventure—and her cutting edge paintings with the Mariners during the last 15 months or so.

She is spectacular by means of any measure. The abridged model of her CV: Griggs enrolled at North Carolina State University at 14. (Editor’s observe: that’s no longer a typo.) After getting an MBA at Dartmouth, she sooner or later landed at Turner Sports in Atlanta. Griggs then moved directly to football’s Atlanta United FC the place she changed into leader trade officer.

Catie Griggs is introduced as the Seattle Mariners new president of business operations by John Stanton, the team's chairman and managing partner, during a baseball a press conference on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Catie Griggs is presented because the Seattle Mariners new president of industrial operations by means of John Stanton, the group’s chairman and managing spouse, throughout a baseball a press convention on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Baseball then again has at all times been part of Griggs’ lifestyles, relationship again to her Little League days and rooting for the Durham Bulls minor league group in Raleigh, NC.

The not unusual thread in all the ones studies? “For me it’s about the fans,” she defined. “It’s about how we use sports to bring our communities together—and in baseball we have 81 opportunities to do that throughout the year.”

Griggs has taken the ones alternatives and has made her mark in a large approach.

The Mariners, for something, supply price tag holders some of the cutting edge and fan-friendly studies in baseball.

T-Mobile Park is the primary to make use of each Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” cashierless generation—and Amazon One palm-scanning tech within the Mariners “Walk-Off Market.”

“Fans can swipe their credit card,” mentioned Griggs, “walk in, get food, concessions, tchotchkes and walk out, avoiding the line altogether and we’ve seen tremendous returns so far.”

“Fan-friendly” additionally way pleasant costs. If you may have ever been to a recreation at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park—the place beer and hen tenders for 4 generally is a bank-account breaker—you already know this is a large deal.

Griggs has obviously taken observe. She applied 28 “Value Games” at T-Mobile park together with tickets as little as $10 and snacks beginning at $3. “We realize our community represents a lot of different people with a lot of different economic abilities,” she defined. “We believe we have an opportunity and an obligation to make the ballpark a place where everyone can come together.”

The Mariners even took a swing on the work-from-home revolution. Griggs’ “Work From The Ballpark” promotion final month incorporated a price tag, a five-course lunch, and area to your pc for an afternoon recreation vs. the White Sox. And in fact, a robust wifi sign was once a part of the bundle as neatly.

“We know for day games a lot of folks have to work,” mentioned Griggs. “So if you have to work, we can give you a pretty cool backdrop to do it.” The final analysis? “It really is about how… we leverage the incredible asset we have at T-Mobile Park to (make sure) we’re creating an experience that works for everyone.”

Griggs, in the meantime, is simply getting began— and Seattle’s fanatics can be expecting extra such inventions down the street.

As for making historical past, Griggs advised final yr that gender was once much less vital to her than being judged by means of her accomplishments. But she did have some recommendation for younger women hoping to damage into the sports activities trade with the function of changing into, like her, a game-changer.

“You don’t have to be anything unique,” mentioned Griggs. “It is really important to be yourself. But with that being said, it’s helpful to see someone like you and know that there are people that can do it—and therefore, you can do it.”

Dave Briggs is an anchor for Yahoo Finance Live. Follow him on Twitter at @davebriggstv.

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