Washburn, dad share unique bond
Pitcher excelled under father's tutelage, community support
SEATTLE -- A father-son bond strengthened by athletics began nearly 30 years ago in a small Wisconsin town, grew even stronger in an even smaller Wisconsin town, and now flourishes on a farm in middle-America.Jarrod Washburn's dad, Mike, has gone from police officer to husband to father to coach to factory worker to keeping the family farm operational while the Mariners left-hander goes about his business at ballparks around the country. "Two years ago, I convinced my dad to quit his job and to come work for me," Washburn said, cracking a big smile. "I run a tight ship, and he's the kind of guy you want working for you, a real good employee, a guy who is always doing something to stay busy." And Mike, now 56, never has to worry about company downsizing.
And with things having turned out better than he could have ever imagined while growing up in rural Wisconsin, Washburn returned home and bought a farm, hiring the one person who deserves much of the credit for his success.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.