Ryan Divish

With the spread of COVID-19 still raging and in-person events impossible, the Mariners have scrapped their annual winter caravan tour that featured players and staff traveling all over the state and making stops in local communities.

Instead, the team announced on Tuesday it will have virtual community tour. Because it will be held on-line and not in person, it has allowed the team to widen the event to fans outside of the state of Washington and throughout the entire year.

From the press release: “The 2021 Mariners Care “Virtual” Community Tour, presented by ROOT SPORTS, will include live online sessions with Mariners players and broadcasters taking questions from fans and visits with patients and staff at hospitals all around the region. All events are virtual. More information, including details of how to access and participate in events digitally, will be available at Mariners.com/CommunityTour. The site will be updated with details about additional events as they are added to the schedule including upcoming news on skills clinics for youth baseball and softball players and a virtual story time for kids.”

“Connecting with our fans this offseason is more important than ever,” said Mariners executive vice President Fred Rivera said in a statement. “Because we can’t travel to two dozen communities to sign autographs and meet with fans in person, we’re going to utilize the technology many of us are using as we work from home to reach out to our fans across the region and get everyone primed for the start of baseball. With activities planned throughout the year, we look forward to seeing our fans in person as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The tour will feature online meet-ups with Mariners players and broadcasters and live question and answer sessions. All fans can access those sessions via the Mariners YouTube channel, but fans in specific regions will be sent special links to submit questions. There will also be prizes available in each session.

Here’s the latest schedule of community tour events ..

Tuesday, January 19

Fans: Northwest Washington & British Columbia

  • 3:00-3:30pm – Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver B.C. (Non-public event for patients, family and staff of Canuck Place.)
  • 5:00-6:00pm – Live Q&A with Rick Rizzs, outfielder Braden Bishop and infielder Ty France
  • Mariners YouTube Watch link –https://youtu.be/dRMO8laogmo

Friday, January 22

Fans: Southwest Washington & Oregon

  • 5:00-6:00pm – Live Q&A with Rick Rizzs, pitchers Justin Dunn and Keynan Middleton
  • Mariners YouTube Watch link – https://youtu.be/s54clFvJkG8

Wednesday, February 3

Fans: Central & Eastern Washington

  • 5:00-6:00pm – Live Q&A with Rick Rizzs and pitcher Wyatt Mills and outfielder Jake Fraley
  • Mariners YouTube Watch link – https://youtu.be/EtEJxuDl_r0

Wednesday, February 10

Fans: Alaska, Idaho, & Montana

  • 5:00-6:00pm – Live Q&A with Gold Glove first baseman Evan White and third baseman Dylan Moore
  • Mariners YouTube Watch link – https://youtu.be/9w9_ZKgpLWQ