MLB Lamb returns to his hometown to play for the Mariners

Last month, on August 6, Seattle baseball player and major Jake Lamb made his debut as the third baseman and defensive player for the Seattle Mariners.

With the support of his family and a large portion of Seattle cheering him on, he said, “You shocked me in that first game. It was awesome!”

The Lamb family has been sporting the Queen Anne for over 50 years.

Jake’s father John was raised in Queen Anne and chose to stay in the neighborhood with his wife Dion and their four children: Dan, Jake, Megan and Dylan Lamb. Growing up in Queen Anne, Jake played Little League and other sports.

Ed Artis, a Queen Anne resident and naval superintendent who trained young men from elementary school through college, recalls training the Lambs. He trained two generations of Lamb boys in Saint Anne: John and his siblings, Pat, Tom, and Jake and his siblings.

Artis said that younger ages are for making memories that young people will take with them for a lifetime. At this age, he said, children should learn how to play and develop their love for the game.

“At the age of 10, anyone can be anything,” Artis said. “If you have love and want to do it, and your family’s character and support, you can do things other people can’t.”

Artis said he wasn’t surprised by Jake Lamb’s arrival in the major leagues. He described Lamb as a very good young player who was distinguished by his focus and ability to coach.

“His father is the real reason behind his existence,” he added.

Jake remembers his father’s training and attending several games.

“I was lucky because he always said yes,” Lamb said. “He was always there. Dad never said no.”

Like his son, John Lamb played for the Queen Anne Little League, and when he became a father, he coached his children’s teams. He’s coached everything from Tee-ball and Little League to soccer and basketball, and played more matches than he can remember.

“I will not exchange it for the world,” he said. “It was the best time.”

In addition to his father, Jake also learned from notable coaches in the area, including Ray Atkinson, head coach of Lincoln High School, who also runs the Atkinson Baseball Academy. Jake is remembered as “a very talented player with a very mature leadership.”

Atkinson said 12-year-old Jake wasn’t the strongest or the fastest but he had the mentality that he was going to be a key player in the league and a nice swing on his left hand.

“We love to have these right-handed players who hit on the left,” Atkinson said. “It’s special.”

This puts Jake in the company of some of baseball’s greatest players who have also made left and right throws: Ted Williams, T Cobb, Yuji Berra, and former navigator Ichiro Suzuki.

Until high school, Lamb was always one of the youngest players, but that never stopped him.

“I always played just for fun,” he said. “I really believe that children should do all sports for as long as possible. It helps to grow and become more athletic.”

In his case, this was true. During Lamb’s junior year in high school, he finally hits a growth spurt.

The lean young man that Atkinson coached grew into a 6-foot-3-inch player who won a scholarship to the University of Washington.

It was amazing,” Jake Lamb said. “We played every day.”

The Husky baseball was a Lamb’s dream come true.

While he was playing for UW, his dreams got bigger and he started thinking, “I could enlist.”

This led to pressure, but Lamb said he knew he needed to keep his focus in the game and just play.

Three years into college baseball, he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round and was an All-Star in 2017. Since then, he’s married his high school sweetheart, Hannah, and has played for the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

This year has been really great,” said Jake Lamb.

For the first time since 2014, he has returned to playing AAA baseball.

“It was where I needed to get darker and play every day.”

Then the Dodgers summoned him.

“We were winning matches and living on the beach,” he said. “I thought life couldn’t get any better than this.”

Then I did. When he was told he had been traded with the sailors, he called his parents and told them, “I’m going home!”

It’s been a whirlwind of activity ever since. Jake and his wife packed the house and the dog and headed home to Seattle.

“We’ve had a lot of texts and emails,” Deonne Lamb said. “We’re so excited to have Jake in the house!”

And after all the games she’s attended for her four children over the years, she still looks forward to more.

“It’s fun,” she said. “We’ll be able to watch more games!”