When the idea was proposed that we should collectively raise a glass to toast the Seattle Mariners this season, I chose the aspect of the Mariners that I feel has been most improved this season: Safeco Field.
Now that I sit and type out these words, I realize that toasting to Safeco Field is a bit odd for a few reasons, most specifically: beers are really expensive at Safeco. But I guess what I want to cheer is the crowd and the experience at Safeco Field. I want to raise a toast to the Seattle Mariners for actually making baseball fun to watch in person again.
I’ve only been to a few games this season, mainly because MLB didn’t consult me when assembling the schedule. On May 14, I most noticed the change in overall atmosphere at Safeco. The Mariners lost that game, 9-7, because stupid Albert Pujols hit a stupid three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. But leading up to that point, the Mariners had to stage a late-inning rally to even take the lead they would eventually lose again.
That late-inning rally, all in the eighth (or a bit in the seventh), turned Safeco Field into an electric environment that I have not experienced at a baseball game in well...forever. I’ve never been to a playoff game at the Kingdome or Safeco, a combination of being too young in the mid 90s to drive myself up to Seattle and then being in college in the early 2000s.
On May 14, people weren’t just doing the wave because that is what people do at baseball games. The wave was effectively and rightfully killed by a legion of people hungry for a Mariners win. The crowd was standing up and cheering and screaming their lungs out when Robinson Cano came up to hit. The crowd was standing up and cheering and screaming their lungs out when Nelson Cruz came up to hit. The crowd did that for virtually every player in that game.
Prior to May 14, I attended most baseball games because I like watching baseball games and shooting the shit with friends. I enjoy Safeco Field for its relaxing environment and as a good way to watch the sun set after a busy day.
On May 14, I remembered that games at Safeco Field can be electric, fun, heartbreaking, exhilarating, and every other emotion between. So I’d like to raise a $12 large microbrew to Safeco Field, and the return of enjoyment to the SoDo District of Seattle.