I had a fun time writing the story that ran today on the relationship between Husky softball superstar Danielle Lawrie and her brother, Brett Lawrie of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Brett was the Brewers’ No. 1 pick in 2008 — the final No. 1 pick chosen by Jack Zduriencik as Milwaukee’s scouting director before he left to become the Mariner general manager. In that former capacity, he obviously spent a lot of time around the Lawrie family while scouting Brett and assessing the Brewers’ chances of signing him. Brett, who was a senior in high school at the time, had accepted a scholarship to Arizona State University, but wound up signing for a reported $1.7 million bonus.
Brett and Danielle both had very nice things to say about both Zduriencik and Tony Blengino, who was also active in the scouting of Brett Lawrie as Zduriencik’s assistant scouting director in Milwaukee. Blengino was one of Zduriencik’s first hires after getting the Seattle job, bringing him aboard as a special assistant.
Here’s Danielle Lawrie on Zduriencik: “I know him really, really well, actually. When Brett signed with the Brewers, they flew our family there. So I got to go and meet all those guys, watch Brett hit BP and all of that. Jack Zduriencik is the sweetest guy. And Tony, Mac (M’s scouting director Tom McNamara, who also worked for the Brewers).
“They’re all such good guys. Its sounds funny, but I know if I needed something — ‘Hey, this little girl needs something signed by this player,’ — they’d say to me, give me a call, and I’ll get it to you. When you have that connection with someone, you know they’re respectful and good people.”
Here’s Brett Lawrie on Zduriencik: “He’s moved up and doing great things for the Seattle Mariners now. He followed me everywhere. He was at the world championships, followed me in my draft career, followed me in Dominican Republic. He also follows my sister as well. He always knows what she’s doing. He paid very close attention to what my family was up to, which told me me what kind of guy he is. Tony Blengino followed me as well.
“They kept a close eye on me, which was awesome, and they were very understanding through the whole process. It was a shame to see them go to Seattle, but it’s a business. I’m very happy for them. I know he’s going to do great things for that organization.”
Here’s what Zduriencik had to say about the Lawries in an e-mail Tuesday: “We took Brett #16 so we liked him a lot. He can hit, he’s athletic, physical, tough kid, wants to win, i.e. Danielle. Both are enormously competitive individuals. I love her career + achievements; extraordinary! He’s a future ML player. Both will be and are successful and have that “not to be denied” mentality. I’m proud of both of them + their families.”