Showdown of hometown favorites in the Annual Everett Cup
Tradition abounds at Everett Memorial Stadium. As is the custom, for the last decade and a half, the stadium will host the annual exhibition match against pitting the Northwest League against the Pacific International League. Over the course of 14 years, the Everett AquaSox have battled the Everett Merchants for the prestigious Everett Cup.
The Frogs have had the upper-hand dominating the Merchants with 7 consecutive wins; the Merchants have in fact only won just twice in the history of this matchup. But make no mistake about it, each and every year the Merchants have come out swinging (literally). Last year’s encounter saw the Merchants jump out to a 3-2 lead by the 6th inning. Fireworks came early in 2017, when the AquaSox’s Onil Pena, Austin Grebeck and Joe Venturino would present the Everett faithful with a 7-3 win.
Old Frogs and new
Memorial Stadium will see a new field and new faces in the 15th edition of the Everett Cup. But there will be a couple of familiar faces too. Frog’s manager Jose Moreno. Returning for his 2nd year—in his 2nd stint with the Aquasox, Moreno will pursue the challenge of molding young men into the future Mariners superstars. With a career regular season record of 117-111 in Everett, Moreno will use his all his experience his 18 years of coaching and managing to get the Frogs back into the playoffs.
Everyone’s favorite pitching coach Moises Hernandez will make his return in 2018. The brother to King Felix Hernandez (does that make him a prince or a duke?) Moises will see his 3rd year on the club and 8th overall helping out the Mariners.
What about the Merchants?
While the story of the AquaSox is inextricably tied to Major League Baseball—as they have been the Single A affiliate to the Seattle Mariners for decades—people may not be aware that the Everett Merchants have for years played a highly competitive brand of baseball here in our hometown. So just who are these guys?
The Merchants comprise younger players, most of whom are still in college and almost every single one of them are from Western Washington. Locals may even recognize many of the kids as almost half the team lay claim to Everett (or other towns in Snohomish county) as their hometown.
While the Pacific International League doesn’t get the mainstream attention that the NWL does, it is worth noting that over 40 MLB players have been developed from their ranks. Players like Jason Bay, Willie Bloomquist, Jacoby Ellsbury, Marc Rzepczynski, Tim Lincecum, and Bucky Jacobson all came from the PIL. The Merchants in particular had the honor of showcasing Lyle Overbay back in the 90s. A total of 7 Merchants have made the MLB and countless more have been drafted.
The Merchants had an amazing 2017 when they went 16-6, and made it in the playoffs all the way to the National Baseball Congress World Series, where they lost to a team of former MLB players, the Kansas Stars, including MVP Ryan Langerhans, formerly of the Seattle Mariners.
The Merchant’s success can be attributed to Harold Pyatte, a true Washington State baseball treasure, Pyatte has coached, played for, and been the heart and soul of the Everett Merchants for over 40 years! A member of the National Baseball Congress’ Hall of Fame, Pyatte has won the NBC World Series (1988) and intends to win another before he hangs up the cleats.