Sunday, September 14, 2008

RIP Rosie

One of the most famous Mariners--with her own ESPN highlight reel--passes from this mortal coil:
Rosie Santizo, one of their most popular and visible employees in the 1990s, had died at age 29.

Santizo, who was from Bellevue, had been working for the Israeli baseball league as part of her goal of becoming a major-league general manager. She was killed in a traffic accident in Jordan.

....Many Mariners fans remember her for her beyond-the-call-of-duty work as a ball girl down the left-field line at the Kingdome. Santizo gained national attention during one 1998 game against Toronto when she came off her stool and dived after a ball hit into the corner by the Blue Jays' Craig Grebeck.

The only problem was, it was fair. Luckily, Santizo's sprawling attempt to flag down the ball barely missed. The umpire awarded Grebeck a ground-rule double. The Kingdome crowd went crazy in saluting Santizo. Her efforts were shown on highlights shows coast to coast. And Santizo, just 19 at the time, reacted with the charm and humor that were her hallmark.

"In midair, I was so fired," she told a reporter.

....After leaving the Mariners, Santizo began to make her mark in another area — helping Latin players. Of Guatemalan descent and fluent in Spanish, she worked for the Red Sox teaching English in their Dominican Republic baseball academy, and also developed a career-development education program that is still used by the Red Sox's international players.

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