SEATTLE — A young woman from the Tri-Cities area has blazed a trail all the way from her local baseball field to the Major Leagues, landing her dream job with the Seattle Mariners.
KIRO 7’s Ranji Sinha talked with Yvette Yzaguirre, aka YY, who explained how she got to where she is today.
When Yzaguirre was asked if working for the Mariners was her dream, she responded: “Oh, 100%.”
Growing up in the Tri-Cities area around baseball wasn’t a pastime for Yzaguirre — it would one day become her career and lift her and her family out of poverty.
“I didn’t think about essentially doing anything else,” Yzaguirre told Sinha.
When she is not running bases at T-Mobile Park, she is running so much more. Yzaguirre explained how she became a marketing representative with the Mariners, a lofty position she strived for.
Part of Yzaguirre’s family immigrated from Mexico and worked in the fields near the Tri-Cities. Her parents would sleep during the day and pick food at night.
During those times, Yzaguirre had turned to the baseball fields that were across the street from the fields, and she and her siblings occupied themselves at the baseball fields.
That foray on the diamond drew the attention of families and coaches.
“We started announcing games, keeping official scorebooks, selling concessions (and) selling tickets,” Yzaguirre said. “It just really gave us a sense of community and a place to belong, which I thoroughly believe now as an adult, realize that they saved our lives.”
Yzaguirre had wondered if baseball could be a career. She said she went to work to find out, learning all she could about working for teams.
“We were fortunate enough to have two options presented to us and just lucky that I fell in love with baseball,” she explained.
Yzaguirre became a first-generation college student and studied marketing and management. She landed internships and worked for teams such as the Connecticut Tigers, Spokane Indians and Tacoma Rainiers.
“I just ultimately really wanted to recreate that sense of community that those folks gave me and my siblings. And it’s just been incredible,” she said.
She eventually landed her dream job with the M’s — many of the ads and sponsors that fans see around the ballpark are managed by Yzaguirre.
“Ultimately, I get to activate sponsorships,” she said.
Yzaguirre said many people guided her to her goals. She finds it ironic that on game days, she often gets to guide those throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
“I will walk them to the warning track. Sometimes I’m walking pretty fast because I’m like we were on a timeline and then I remember, oh yeah, these folks probably haven’t gotten to do this before and you know, let’s take it in.”
Her dream job was a result of hard work but she would soon have that dream darkened a bit.
After restart, the Mariners had given her a suite for a game so her family could celebrate her success.
“In the seventh inning, he (dad) called everyone in from the seats to the suite area where it was a little bit quiet(er) and shared with us that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And so, sorry that gets me a little bit,” Yzaguirre said. “So we found comfort in the Mariners.”
Yzaguirre’s father is doing better and her family supports her career.
The Mariners’ motto is “Sea Us Rise” — her family has seen her rise, since baseball to her is more than a game.
“My whole goal was to create a sense of community for other people but also have the Latin community feel like they’re invited here as well. When things get really hard sometimes because life is hard, one of the things that remind me that things are going to be OK is just watching the game,” she said.
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