Friday, November 19th, 2010
Mariners will be back this summer
Betty Feliciano steps up to be Grand Lake general manager
By Ryan Hines
When Betty Feliciano was a young girl, she remembers playing baseball with her brothers in the backyard.
While her brothers went on to play baseball in high school, Betty's love of baseball was put on the backburner as athletic opportunities for young women were not available at the time.
That love of basesball still resides in Feliciano, and she now has an outlet to express her love for America's pasttime.
Feliciano was unanimously approved by the Grand Lake Mariners board at their October meeting to serve as the Mariners' general manager for this season.
The Mariners were at a crossroads last month after previous GM Wayne Miller resigned after 14 years of service: Find a new GM quickly or risk pulling the Mariners out of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League for a one-year hiatus.
Feliciano is an avid fan of baseball and didn't want to see a Celina summer with no Mariners, so she volunteered to serve as the Mariners' GM.
"I really didn't want to see the Mariners pulled out of the league for one year, because it might signal the beginning of the end for the Mariners in Celina. I think the Mariners are an asset for the community and I felt it was important to make sure that they would be back," said Feliciano. "I love baseball. I can remember playing baseball with my brothers at the age of five or six in the backyard. They got the chance to go on and play baseball while they were in school and I didn't get that opportunity to do so. Maybe this will be a way to satisfy that baseball itch that I have had forever."
First order of business for Feliciano and the Mariners' board is to find a new manager, as Joe Marker's stay as the skipper for Grand Lake lasted just one season.
The Mariners have narrowed the potential managers list to three candidates with a contract having already been offered to one.
"We think that we have found a manager - we have a verbal agreeement - but there are still some things on his end that need to be taken care of before he can be officially announced as the Mariners manager," said Feliciano.
While this will be Felciano's first year as GM of the Mariners, she has been a proud supporter of the wooden bat summer-league team for several years as a fan and board member.
"Prior to 2007, I was just a fan of the Mariners. In 2007, I housed a pair of Mariners players and had a great experience with it. For the past two years, I have been on the Mariners' board and housed more players. It has just been a great experience," said Feliciano. "The nice thing about being the GM, is that I have a lot of great people to work with that are helping to make the transition easier. I'm gaining more and more confidence with everyday."
Feliciano was quick to thank Miller for his contributions.
"Wayne isn't the GM anymore, but he's my go-to guy when I have questions on things that come up," said Feliciano. "He has been a huge help to me for putting me in contact with people that I need to be in contact with for this to all work. Wayne and former Mariners manager Mike Stafford have been very helpful in the recruiting of players."