SEATTLE -- There are many reasons why Padres manager Bud Black enjoys his annual trip to Seattle for Interleague games against the Mariners.
The Mariners, after all, were the first organization for which Black played. He was a 17th-round pick in the 1979 Draft out of San Diego State University.
Better still is that Black attended high school two hours south of Seattle in Longview, Wash., where he also played two seasons at Lower Columbia Community College.
"It's great for me," Black said before Monday's game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. "… I think that any time that a player or manager goes back to where they were raised … it's just one of those things that feels good."
Black spent parts of three seasons in the Mariners' Minor League system before being added to the 25-man roster late in 1981. He made his Major League debut on Sept. 5 of that season at Fenway Park and allowed a wild pitch and an RBI single to Rick Miller.
Black pitched the following day against the Red Sox and allowed two baserunners before facing Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski. On a full count pitch, he threw a fastball to Yastrzemski, who took the pitch.
"Right down the middle," Black said
A handful of Black's friends from Longview typically make the trip to Seattle for games. Some call or text ahead of time to let Black know they're coming. Some, well ... they just show up.
"Not a game goes by where someone from junior high or college says 'hey,'" Black said.