STH Early-Bird BP, King Felix, & Little Grandma at Safeco Field (8/6/2013)

On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, we attended our second game of the season at Safeco Field. It was the second game of the M’s series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and hopefully it is the last time we will ever have to see the Blue Jays play in Seattle. I like my Mariners home games to feel like home games! Unfortunately, a Mariners vs. Blue Jays game in Seattle feels more like a Blue Jays home game than a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre.

Kellan took a nap on the drive down to the ballpark…

…and missed the nice view of Mt. Rainier. It was a beautiful day.

The M’s made up for the fact that the ballpark would be packed with obnoxious (very non-Canadian seeming) Blue Jays fans by hosting a season ticket holders’ early bird batting practice. I was excited for it because, even with the Pen opening early, Mariners fan never really get to see the Mariners much during BP. And I wanna see my M’s as much as possible!

The season ticket holders early BP gate was on the southeast corner of the ballpark:

And the M’s had a welcome banner and a bunch of people ready to hand out snacks-and-whatnot to the early-bird season ticket holders:

While it felt like there was a decent amount of people in line by the time the gates opened, inside Safeco Field felt gloriously empty. At the outset, Tim and my dad went midway down the RF line…

…and Kellan and I pulled up some seats right behind Jason Phillips…

…, who was playing catch with Hisashi Iwakuma.

Pretty quickly, Charlie Furbush tossed his warm-up ball to Tim.

Thanks, Charlie!

Meanwhile, Jason Phillips and I chatted a little bit. One of the main things I remember him saying was, essentially, that it was too bad that I had to see the Blue Jays while I was in town because it wouldn’t feel much like a Mariners home game. He nailed it.

Shortly after Tim and my dad joined us, Kuma and Jason finished playing catch and Kuma tossed the baseball to us.

Thanks, Kuma!

Tim and my dad decided to head out to RF, where most of the other season ticket holders also went once BP started up. I didn’t want to take Kellan in the sun so we headed over to the shady LF foul corner.

There were ZERO other fans on the entire LF side.   ZERO! For a long, long time. It was crazy.

Right when we got out to the foul corner, Danny Farquhar mosied out there. I asked Danny if he wanted to play catch. He responded, “No, but I’ll throw you guys a baseball.” And so he did:

Thanks, Danny!

Tim should have joined us in LF. Check this out:

My dad was hanging out in the front row ready to catch a homerun (that never came to him), but Tim didn’t like the sun so he sat in the shade for a bit.

Eventually, a ball was hit down the line and it came to rest (essentially) below us. Erasmo Ramirez came over and tossed it to us.

Thanks, Erasmo!

Kellan asked if he could throw the ball back to Erasmo, so I asked Erasmo if that would be okay. He agreed and, while standing on the edge of the grass (across the warning track), he stuck out his glove to give Kellan a target. And Kellan threw a bullet right to Erasmo’s chest. It was mighty impressive.

Kellan really liked throwing a baseball to a player so he asked if he could do it again when Farquhar was in the vicinity. I asked Danny if Kellan could toss him a baseball. He said sure and he tossed one up to me, and then Kellan rifled it back to him:

Meanwhile, Tim joined my dad down in the sun and ended up getting a toss up from Henry Blanco.

Thanks, Henry!

Kellan and I decided to circle around to CF to meet up with Tim and my dad. The season ticket holder day was officially awesome. The Pen was open…

…but everyone had to stay down there, except for “us” season ticket holders (my folks are season ticket holders!).

When we were above the Pen, we saw Tim and my dad in the corner in CF. Just then, Kuma tossed a ball to Tim and he dropped it into the gap:

Kuma then went into the gap, grabbed the ball and tossed it to Tim again.

Thanks, Kuma!

Shortly thereafter, we met up with Tim and my dad in CF. Then something unexpected and awesome happened. When balls get hit in the gap, the ushers grab them (usually either a guy named Adrian or Tim’s favorite usher “Tim C.”) and give them to kids. Well, a ball got hit down there, Usher Adrian grabbed it, and instead of handing it to Kellan, he tossed it to him from about 5-7 feet away:

The ball smacked (gently) off of Kellan’s chest/left shoulder, rolled down his left arm and settled snuggly in Kellan’s glove. It was officially Kellan’s first ever unassisted catch of a baseball at a Major League game!

Way to go, Kellan!

Thanks, Usher Adrian!

We celebrated by taking this funny picture of a squinty-eyed Kellan and his new baseball and Tim with the ball Kuma had just tossed and re-tossed him:

Next, a Mariner hit a homerun and it bounced into the open OF gate and rolled up and then down the canvas cover over the tunnel between RF and RCF. When it rolled down, it went right to Yoervis Medina. And Medina tossed it to us.

Thanks, Yoervis!

Next, we decided to circle all the way back around home plate and back to the LF foul corner. On the way, Michael Morse…

…autographed the ball that Kellan had caught (with help from the lady who is attached to that arm – she was in the lower seats that were roped off and she was able to hand the ball to Morse and get the ball back from him for us).

Back in the LF corner, we got one more ball from Lucas Luetge…

…who had to toss this ball to us several times before we finally got it.

Thanks, Lucas!

And that was early-bird season ticket holders BP! It was awesome!

We headed back out to CF for Blue Jays BP:

We sat in the front row behind Mark Buerhle…

…who was the only Blue Jay I recognized.

Blue Jays’ BP was a yawner. Very few homeruns. Almost non-existent toss ups. Blue Jays fans everywhere.

So we headed to the kids’ play area:

And the boys had a blast!

Eventually, my mom and a very special guest joined us in the play area. We decided that we should all head over to our seats on the 3B line. On the way, we stopped to get a picture at the King’s Court throne:

Look at that! It’s my Little Grandma!   (Since we were kids, my brother and I always called my mom’s mom “Little Grandma” and my dad’s mom “Big Grandma”).

This was our first ever four generation Mariners game! Since my Grandpa passed away last January, my Grandma had been living with my folks for a couple months and she had started joining my folks at almost all of their Mariners games. She really enjoyed it. I hope she continues going in 2014.

By the way, my Grandma was 91 at this time.

Besides early bird season ticket holder BP, I was also very excited for this game because King Felix was going to be on the mound for the M’s. Unfortunately, it was not Felix’s night.

In fact, Jose Reyes lead off the game by hitting a homerun on the very first pitch of the game:

By the way, I officially cannot stand seeing huge numbers of fans cheer against the Mariners at Safeco Field – not cool!

I can’t really remember what the deal was with our tickets for this game. We had my folks normal season tickets in section 141, row 23.  But I think we had 2-3 other seats that were right in that vicinity, but not necessarily together. So when we reached the section, my folks talked to their normal usher about getting us all together. We ended up sitting together toward the section where there were plenty of empty seats.

And a Mariners employee who I totally recognized sat right behind us during the whole game:

I chatted with him a little bit. At first, I thought it was Anthony Suzuki, but he was not. Whatever his name is (I’m not sure), he said he works with Kuma. He sat there the whole game and seemed to be fairly busy on his phone and his iPad.

My best friend since sophomore year of high school, the one and only Paul Samione…

…, was at the game with his brother, Kevin. Paul is the one leaning toward the aisle and laughing. His family shares some amazing season tickets. Throughout the game, Paul and I texted about our desire to never see the Blue Jays play in Seattle again.

Not much was doing offensively for the M’s in this game. Raul went down swinging in the second:

Mike Morse followed with a single to RF…

…but he didn’t score.

But this didn’t prevent us from having lot of fun:

How could we not with this beautiful view on this beautiful night:

The boys enjoyed some ice cream (as usual):

And they clowned around in the seats all night:

Guess what? This looks like Seager is about to hit a homerun…

…, but did didn’t.

In fact, the M’s didn’t score until the seventh, at which point the score was already 7-0 (six runs being charged to King Felix!). The M’s scored 2 in the seventh, but it was too little, too late.

But, as I said, we enjoyed ourselves anyway (well, except for having to put up with all of the Blue Jays fans). See, here’s proof, see my dad smiling despite the lop-sided score:

Lucas Luetge was a bright spot. He pitched two scoreless innings in relief:

But, lo-and-behold, the Mariners fell to the Jays by the final of 7-2. The game ended on a high pop out, which allowed me and Kellan to get down to right here by the time the final out was made:

On his way out, home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott placed a baseball into Kellan’s glove.

Thanks, Blue!

Before heading to the cars, we got a family photo back at the seats:

We waited for the place to clear out a bit and then took a slow walk around the concourse toward the outfield:

I took this panorama from the concourse in CF because, hey, why not?

There is an elevator in the back of the Moose Den that my grandma needed to take down to the street level:

On our walk to the cars, the boys posed with a nice red fire hydrant across the street from the LF gate:

And they played around with the lights in the ground outside the Clink (the Seahawks’ stadium):

Then we had a nice and restful drive back to my folks’ house.

Hey, it was a great day at the ballpark. Despite the loss, I was pretty excited just thinking forward to our next game, which would feature the induction of my all-time favorite player, Ken Griffey, Jr. into the Mariners Hall of Fame!

2013 C&S Fan Stats

21 Games                                                     
 
19 Teams – Mariners, Royals, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Yankees, Dodgers, Reds, Nationals, Marlins, Pirates, Blue Jays, Twins, Tigers, Mets, Brewers, White Sox, Braves
 
34 Ice Cream Helmets – Mariners 2, Phillies (jumbo) 4, Phillies (normal) 2, Red Sox 2, Yankees 2, Orioles 4, Nationals 2, Pirates 2, Blue Jays 2, Tigers 6, Mets 2, Reds 4
 
103 Baseballs – Mariners 22, Royals 4, Phillies 19, Rays 2, Orioles 7, Dodgers 3, Umpires 8, Reds 9, Nationals 3, Marlins 4, Pirates 1, Blue Jays 2, Twins 3, Tigers 1, Mets 3, Yankees 2, Brewers 2, Red Sox 6, White Sox 3
 
11 Stadiums – Safeco Field, Citizens Bank Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, PNC Park, Rogers Centre, Comerica Park, Citi Field, Great American Ball Park
 
33 Player+ Photos – Oliver Perez, Lucas Luetge, Hisashi Iwakuma, Carter Capps, Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, Andrew Bailey, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Carp 2, Koji Uehara, Will Middlebrooks, Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Gomes, Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen, Rick Anderson, Tom Gorzelanny, Joe Savery, Jonathan Pettibone, Carlos Ruiz, Charlie Manuel, Justin DeFratus, Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, Larry Anderson, Gary “Sarge” Matthews Sr., Kyle Kendrick, Ryne “HOF 2005” Sandberg, Michael Stutes, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Rajai Davis
 
12 Autograph – Hisashi Iwakuma 2 (English & Japanese), Carter Capps, Ryan Hanigan, Jesus Tiamo, Mike Carp 2, Ryan Rowland-Smith 2, Felix Hernandez, Rajai Davis, Michael Morse

 

1 Comment

Man, it seems like Phillips has been with the M’s forever. Or at least it seems that way to me. NIce write up bud!!

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