In the warm summer months of the Pacific Northwest I will find myself sitting watching America’s pastime, in the city I call a second home, Seattle. I will make the four-hour trek north and find my “secret” parking spot that no one has seemed to find out about for 20 years.
When I walk around the spiral staircase up to the entrance, the front of the stadium will be bright pink and will say “T-Mobile Park.” Except, to me it will never be T-Mobile Park, I will look up and see “Safeco Field.” In 2018, T-Mobile bought the naming rights for the Seattle Mariners Stadium, and the name change took effect in 2019.
I will remember the days when I was two feet shorter and wearing a hat far too big for my head with the cap hanging over my eyes, glaring up at the big sign for the first time.
It won’t truly feel nostalgic until I walk through the right field gate, because the lines are always shorter there, and see the beauty of it all. On the field I will see the faces of young faces of the Seattle Mariners. Players, such as Julio Rodriquez, Ty France and Jarred Kelenic. They’ll always have a good fan base hanging down behind the dugout, stretched out down the first base line.
Although I will stop and think it looks relatively small compared to the first time I visited, I will remember seeing the swarm of people that extended all the way back five rows behind the dugout. I will be in the same spot where my mother bent down and told me who Ichiro Suzuki was. At the time those words made absolutely no sense in my mind, but I’m thankful she told me because I’ll never forget it.
I’m not sure where I’ll be sitting, but I know I will never sit in center field, because you can’t see the Jumbotron. If I f eel nostalgic I might sit out above right field, in the comfort of the “Hit It Here Cafe.” I will never sit inside because Momma Meyers always said, “Baseball is an outdoor sport, we sit outside.” My fondest memories come from the “Hit It Here Cafe.” If I want to feel 12 again, I will order the chicken strips with a root beer.
During the game I might look to my left and see strangers, but really I will see my little brother Parker and our cousin Connor creating a monstrosity of a beverage. It consisted of water, salt, pepper, lemons, a single french fry, part of a chocolate fudge brownie, and a cherry to top it all off.
When I turn to my right, I will remember the time when everyone was on their feet swinging the white rally towels as Austin Jackson came to the plate with a tie game in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Los Angeles Angels. The 2014 Mariners were one game behind a spot to make the playoffs with only two games left in the season. Jackson had a runner on first and third with one out. He hit a soft grounder to the second baseman, who dished it to his shortstop for one out.
However, Jackson beat out the throw to first, and Brad Miller crossed home plate as the winning run and the Mariners walked it off for the victory. I remember the sold-out stadium erupting into pure chaos.
Sadly, I also then remember driving home the next day listening to the Athletics win their final game, ending the Mariners playoff chances. It wouldn’t be the last time I was disappointed. Seven years later, as I sat in the club seats above the third base line, Shohei Ohtani and the Angels got their revenge from their loss in 2014. They eliminated the Mariners from the playoffs – in the final game of the year.
From the annual Mother’s Day trips to the birthday games and my dad’s “It’s bobblehead night, we have to go” trips, I remember them all. Sooner rather than later, I hope I will be sitting in Safeco Field listening to the sound of America’s pastime, a fanbase that just won’t stop believing, and the guy sitting in the nosebleed seats screaming, “Come on, blue, that was a strike!” To all of that I will raise my souvenir glass and say, “To another season of disappointment.”
AT A GLANCE
T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field)
What: Home stadium of the Seattle Mariners
Address: 1250 1st Ave. S in Seattle, Washington
Getting There: If you’re not driving, take the metro to the stadium.
Tips: Download the parking app “ParkWhiz” for easier hassle-free parking.
-The stadium only allows clear see-through bags/purses.
-Best places/things to eat inside the stadium: Ivar’s Seafood and Chowder as well as the Garlic Fries
Arrive: At least an hour beforehand, especially on bobblehead nights.
Schedule/Ticket info: Schedule
Local radio/TV: Root Sports TV, MLB TV