Burt Reynolds takes act to spring training camp with M’s
PEORIA, Ariz. — He knows the question is coming because at some point it has to be asked. “The name?” Burt Reynolds asks. Yes, the name. It has to be asked. Because thus far, there is little known about Burt Reynolds the baseball player, who finds himself part of the Seattle Mariners spring training camp. He’s spent the last three seasons playing in independent leagues on the East Coast after getting released by the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
“I’ve been hearing it forever,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know what to say. It’s just a name.”
He’s a 25-year-old outfielder who has never played above class SingleA, yet he’s with the Mariners and with a locker at the end of the clubhouse right next to $240 million star Robinson Cano. It just happens that Reynolds is Cano’s cousin, and the Mariners’ biggest off-season investment wanted his cousin to get another shot at impressing a major league club.
“It means a lot. He was playing independent ball and to be able to get a shot, get a chance, it’s really good to see your family,” Cano said.
Reynolds understands why his name raises eyebrows when someone notices it on Seattle’s spring roster.
He has become more comfortable as he’s gotten older to where he can chuckle at odd exchanges in the past.
Like when he was on a flight to Florida and the captain of the plane announced that “Burt Reynolds is aboard today.” Reynolds had to inform the crew that they were mistaken.
“The flight attendants had a blast,” Reynolds said. “It’s going to happen. I have the name. I’m just used to it now.”