The Seattle Mariners sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that long term President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Armstrong has decided that he will retire at the end of January.
Armstrong provided the following statement:
"Thirty years ago my family and I were given a wonderful opportunity to move to the Seattle area and become associated with the Seattle Mariners. We quickly grew to love this community and this team. Through all the good times and the not-so-good times on the field since 1984, the goal always has been to win the World Series. My only regret is that the entire region wasn't able to enjoy a parade through the City to celebrate a World Championship together.
"After much thought and reflection, it is now time for me to retire and enjoy as much time as possible with my wife Susan and our family. The recent deaths of several good friends have really had an impact on me and helped crystallize my decision. This was a very difficult, very personal decision, but I know in my heart that it's time to turn the page and move to the next chapter of my life.
"Thanks to our outstanding ownership, the franchise is stable and will remain the Northwest's team, playing in Safeco Field, a great ballpark and great example of a successful public-private partnership. The team is in good hands and positioned for future success. I am thankful for this important part in my life and I will always bleed Mariners Blue. Susan and I plan to continue to live here and remain involved in many community events and causes."
Armstrong, for all of the anger and vitriol that has been directed toward him over the years, is a very important figure in Mariners' history, as without him, the club themselves may very well be history. He was George Argyros' right-hand man when he initially came aboard the good ship Mariner, but he was ultimately very instrumental in organizing a group -- along with Slade Gorton -- to keep the M's from being sold to investors in Florida. Nintendo of America's purchase of the Mariners allowed them to remain the Seattle Mariners, allowed Safeco Field to be built, and so on.
That said, Armstrong has served 28 of the last 30 years in the position of President and Chief Operating Officer for Seattle, and during that time the Mariners have made exactly four playoff appearances, winning their division only three times.
As the press release states, "The Mariners will now begin the process of finding a successor and determining a transition plan."
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