Former Mariners infielder Lenny Randle is best remembered in Seattle for a single play. On May 27, 1981, he got on his hands and knees and blew a slow rolling ground ball out of bounds.
It was one of the few notable things that happened to the Mariners in their early years. That year was a mediocre season, in a series of other mediocre seasons by a mediocre baseball team, but Randle was involved in another notable off-field incident in 1981 — the recording of a funk song about the Kingdome.
Randle had always been interested in performing, starting during his childhood. He thought his family was like The Four Tops or The Temptations.
“We thought we were musicians and artists and singers,” Randle says. He assumed he would be a musician when he grew up, but was pretty good at baseball and was instead drafted by the Washington Senators.
His song about the Kingdome started as a joke between players during batting practice, but during the 1981 players strike, Randle organized shows with other Mariners at clubs around Seattle where the song was performed and eventually he went down to California and recorded the song with his brother and 10-year old niece.
Randle left Seattle in 1982 to play professionally in Italy and the Kingdome was demolished, though, his recording of “Kingdome” gained a little bit more popularity after it was reissued on Wheedle’s Groove, Vol. 2 — a compilation of Seattle Soul and Funk.
Listen to the story to hear how a baseball strike lead Randle to record a funky ode to the Kingdome.