NASHVILLE (Dec. 12, 2023) — PBATS is proud to announce the induction of Rick Griffin and Mark Letendre into the PBATS Hall of Fame. Both Rick and Mark have had long and illustrious careers in the world of baseball, and are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the game.
Let’s learn more about the inductees!
Mark Letendre boasts an impressive career in athletic training, including several meaningful accomplishments both on and off the field.
A 1978 graduate of the University of Maine, Letendre, has played an integral part in the creation and growth of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society. His career in the dugout spanned over parts of 3 decades, including 18 at the Major League level with both the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants. During that time, Letendre was tapped to represent the National League in the 1987 and 1994 All-Star Games.
He was selected in 2000 by the Commissioner’s Office to develop and oversee the first-ever comprehensive medical care program for the 76 umpires in MLB, which he continues to supervise and manage. This enabled PBATS to stretch its “branches” within the MLB world, tightening our relationship with MLB.
Letendre also sits on the Board of Directors for the Baseball Assistance Team which allows PBATS to help those in need in the baseball family. Mark has also been an instrumental part of the PBATS Alumni Program, an important liaison between our society and the NATA.
In Mark’s early days, he was one of the first to organize the NSTEP program which was an important PBATS program for the education of the harmful effects of spit tobacco for professional baseball players. Mark played a huge role in the success of the program.
Additionally, when PBATS found itself in a bit of financial stress, Mark came up with the idea of the Product Review Showcase which not only was a big financial winner for PBATS, but also continues this day to be a successful financial stream for PBATS.
Mark is a legendary athletic trainer with many awards and accolades to his name. The University of Maine Hall of Fame induction is just one of the many accolades Mark has received during his illustrious career. He has been awarded the National Athletic Trainers Association’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2010, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2011, the University of Maine Foundation’s President Abram W. Harris Outstanding Alumni Award in 2014, and the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society Visionary Award in 2015. And in 2020, he was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame. Mark is also a part of the Manchester Central High School Hall of Fame and the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester, NH Hall of Fame.
Rick Griffin, longtime athletic trainer for the Seattle Mariners, has had an incredibly impactful career in the world of athletic training and continues his pursuit to grow the profession to this day.
The 2017 season was Griffin’s 35th as the Mariners’ Head Athletic Trainer since joining the club as only its second-ever Head Athletic Trainer on Feb. 3, 1983. On Aug. 13, 2017, Rick worked his 5,500th career game with the Mariners, and he finished the year with 5,543 career regular-season games worked, as well as an additional 34 Postseason games.
Following the 1999 season the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society named Rick and his staff the Major League Baseball Athletic Training Staff of the Year, and following the 2013 season Rick and his staff were honored with the Martin-Monahan Award as the best medical staff in MLB. Rick was inducted into the Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association (WSATA) Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (NWATA) Hall of Fame in 2022.
Rick has been an athletic trainer for the American League All-Star Team four times (1987, 1995, 2001 in Seattle and 2010). He is a sought-after lecturer on sports medicine topics, including touring Australia in 1982 and traveling to Japan to lecture the Japanese Baseball Athletic Trainers Society in Nov. 1994, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2014 through 2017, and he was the athletic trainer for a group of MLB All-Stars who toured Japan taking on Japanese All-Stars in October 1996. Rick has been instrumental in growing the profession of athletic training worldwide and has managed PBATS’ international program for many years doing incredible work.
Additionally, Rick has served on the NATA Professional Education Council, NATA International Council Member, NATA Hall of Fame Committee Member, NATA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman, and the National/International JATO Liaison Member for the NATA. He has received numerous awards, including the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, Major League Baseball Athletic Trainer of the Year, Seattle Mariners President’s Achievement Award, MLB Martin/Monahan Award for Excellence, and the Keith Peterson Life-Time Achievement Award in Rodeo Sports Medicine.
He has also contributed his impressive knowledge of the profession and all things athletic training through publications, interviews, presentations, and various speaking engagements as he works tirelessly to educate younger athletic trainers both in the US and on the global stage. Rick’s passion for the world of athletic training is simply unmatched.
The induction ceremony will take place at the 2024 MLB Winter Meetings, where Mark and Rick will be able to enjoy the celebration with their family, closest friends, and colleagues.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mark and Rick into the PBATS Hall of Fame,” said Ron Porterfield, President of PBATS. “Throughout their careers, both of these men have exemplified the best of what athletic training in Major League Baseball has to offer, and we are honored to recognize their achievements.”
For more information or any press inquiries, please contact: email@example.com
ABOUT PBATS: The mission of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) is to serve as an educational resource for the Major League and Minor League Baseball athletic trainers. For more information, please visit www.pbats.com