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The Hometown Nine

The Hometown Nine is a fellowship designed to address barriers frequently encountered by student-athletes, especially young people of color.

Our Why: All Young People Should Have Access to Sports

When young people participate in sports, it benefits their physical and mental health. Sports can build self-confidence and leadership skills and contribute to academic success.

But not all kids have equal access to play. According to 2019 research by the Aspen Institute, the University of Washington, and King County Parks, organized sports like baseball and softball are too expensive and culturally exclusive for many young people. Youth of color, kids from homes that don’t speak English, young people with disabilities, and children from lower-income families all face significant barriers to organized sports. In addition, girls consistently enjoy less physical activity than boys.

The Mariners are determined to help change this situation. We are committed to ensuring all young people in our region have an equitable opportunity to play baseball and softball.

The Hometown Nine

Goals

  • Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in youth baseball and softball by investing in the athletic, academic, and social development of student-athletes, especially young people of color.
  • Ensure 100% high school graduation rate for all Hometown Nine Fellows; provide guidance to help secure partial scholarships for 75% of participants who wish to play baseball or softball at the collegiate level.

The Hometown Nine is part of the Mariners’ "On BASE" (Baseball and Softball Everywhere) initiative to provide programs that improve playing opportunities for young people of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, physical ability, and economic circumstances.

How It Works

Meet the Hometown Nine

The inaugural class of the Hometown Nine was announced in September 2020. Over the course of a difficult year of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Hometown Nine Fellows have made amazing strides both on and off the field.