Mariners’ 33-year-old rookie is ‘a blast to root for’

May 11, 2016, 9:54 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm

Maybe it’s his name. Maybe it’s his five home runs in just 50 plate appearances. Maybe it’s his flair for the dramatic. Maybe it’s his belly.

Whatever it is, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil told Seattle’s Morning News that Mariners first baseman Dae-Ho Lee has quickly become one of the most fun Mariners to root for.

“I’m not sure if it’s the fact that he’s so big — he’s got kind of a paunch, a little bit of a gut — but the fact that he’s a home run hitter certainly helps,” O’Neil said. “He’s hit five home runs now and he’s had the game-winning hit in three different games. He’s a blast to root for.”

Related: Mike Salk: Now is the time to enjoy the ‘sweet spot’ of Mariners baseball

The Mariners signed Lee this off-season after the 33-year-old spent 15 highly successful seasons in Japanese and Korean baseball leagues.

The Korean sensation — whose nicknames are Big Boy and Pig Tiger — added to his lore again Tuesday night, slugging an opposite-field, three-run home run in Seattle’s 6-2 win over Tampa Bay. But, even more adorably, prior to the game, Lee handed out gifts to each of his coaches and teammates: personalized sunglasses printed with each individuals’ name and jersey number.

Then, of course there is the immense fun people are having with the rookie 33-year-old’s name (pronounced Day Ho-Lee). There’s the great expression “In the name of all that is Dae-Holy,” as well as these even more classic T-shirts that are sprouting up around the stadium.

And, just in case you missed the power that generates from Lee’s cartoonish leg kick and, generously listed, 287-pound frame:

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Mariners’ 33-year-old rookie is ‘a blast to root for’