My friend, Alan Schuster, created and runs MyGameBalls.com. It’s a great site for baseball fans who like to attend games in person and come away with a few spheroidal souvenirs. We’ve met some great guys through Alan’s site. I like to do what I can to give back to the site. This offseason that took the form of writing a short article that is currently posted on the site. Go over to MyGameBalls.com and check it out.
Here’s the article in its entirety (although you should really go to the site to read it. Here, just click the picture below and you’ll magically be transported through time and space, all the way to MyGameBalls.com):
I was at my parents’ house in late January. Whenever I’m home, I spend time poking around in the closet of my boyhood bedroom. When I moved out years ago, I left a ton of baseball cards and other baseball stuff in there. It’s always fun to go hunting and see what I can find. This time, I found something really cool: The official program of the 1977 Seattle Mariners inaugural series against the California Angels.
When the Mariners played their first ever regular season game on April 6, 1977, I was one year old and living in Southern California. I did not attend this game. Not even close. I’m not entirely sure how I came to own this program. But it is pretty darn cool. So I thought I’d share it here.
Let’s take a look page-by-page, starting with the cover:
Now, I should explain that I took all of these pictures with my cellphone camera. So some of them are just fine and others are blurry. Sorry about that. I didn’t take my normal camera on this trip. As we take look at the program, I’ll make a comment or two when I feel like it, but mostly this entire is just going to be page-after-page-after-page of the program.
It was a different world back in 1977, and the program features several advertisements that I highly doubt would be included if the Mariners debuted in 2013. The first such ad was inside the front cover:
…and the rest of your 1977 Seattle Mariners:
I like this idea — the compiled 1976 stats of the players who became the 1977 Mariners:
Whoever originally owned this program, gave up on scoring in the seventh inning (weak, original owner. weak!):
Here’s a good ad. Back in college, I banked at SeaFirst (which no longer exists) and was very happy with their banking services:
In addition to the first game, I also missed helmet night and ball day (boo, me!):
Seattlites were new to this Major League Baseball stuff, so the M’s thought it the fans could use a little (very little) lesson in baseball statistics:
And a lesson in scoring a baseball game:
And a lesson on the controversial Designator Hitter position:
I’m guessing note many of these guys are still around…
…and I wonder if Fred Genzale is the father, uncle, or brother of Henry Genzale who….uh, oh…did Henry Genzale retire? He’s been the M’s visiting clubhouse manager since (at least) the 1990s (or maybe he was the equipment manager back then). (Note: Henry Genzale also let me serve as the Mariners bat boy for a spring training game back in 1991, which was a completely awesome experience for which I will be enternally gratetful to Mr. Genzale).
Okay – here is hands-down the best advertisement in the program:
Here is an absolutely beautiful sight:
I sure wish I had a 1977 Mariners pocket schedule. But this 1977 Mariners regular season schedule will have to do:
Another ad you wouldn’t see in 2013 adorned the back cover of the program:
There you go: Official Mariners history!
Hope you enjoyed it..