I’ve been connected to Lookout Landing in some way for close to a decade now, spending the vast majority of those years as a perpetual lurker, sometime commenter and two of those years as a writer. Over those years, I’ve had the pleasure of reading a countless amount of wonderful pieces from all of the phenomenal writers who’ve made their way through this lovely little corner of the internet. Picking my favorite Lookout Landing pieces is so very hard. It’s a great site. It’s a great community. The stretch from May to August this year where my life suddenly became unexpectedly busy and I had to be away from Lookout Landing so very much killed me. Lookout Landing is the best, both the writers and all the community members–past and present–have made damn sure of it.
And now, because I’m tired of rambling, here are my favorite Lookout Landing pieces:
Favorite Recap: “The Mariners earn a series sweep against the Reds after 5-4 victory”
I was with LL for months before I felt comfortable taking on a recap duty and it’s pieces like this that caused my hesitation. Matt is, and forever will be, one of the two or three best recappers in Lookout Landing history. The way he approaches recaps in a unique-yet-fun-yet-informative-yet-most-definitely-entertaining way never stops amazing me, and this recap is perhaps my favorite example of his.
The Mariners had defeated the Reds, 5-4. It was a sweep, sure, but it wasn’t the most entertaining game. Matt could’ve easily typed up a quick summary with a few jokes and some gifs and called it a day.
Instead, we get this masterpiece: the telling of a tale of a meeting between Jack Z and Chone Figgins in a Buffalo Wild Wings in the year 2016. There are humorous moments, of course, but Matt approached it in the most sincere way possible. By the time I finished reading it (twice), I felt like I understood everything: Z, Chone’s decline, the Cruz signing, all of it.
Favorite Trade Piece: “Goodbye To Ichiro, The Man They Called Something”
During the Sullivan years, the Mariners played a lot of bad baseball. A lot. The wonderful thing about Jeff was that, in the darkest of times, he somehow managed to put together these words that perfectly summarized how everyone was feeling at a time where no one really knew how they were feeling.
When the Mariners traded Ichiro, it hurt. It was time and it made sense and he would get a chance to make the playoffs, but it hurt. In those few hours immediately after, we were all chickens with our heads cut off. Ichiro was no longer a Seattle Mariner and everything was wrong. We all were struggling so much to put into words what Ichiro meant to this organization, and then along came Jeff:
Now begins the process. There's never been a thing like Ichiro, there'll never be another, and we were the lucky ones blessed. In so many ways, we haven't been blessed at all, but in this way and few others, we've been fortunate. Recognize how fortunate.
Favorite Project: “Ken Griffey Jr. as told by the people”
Peter Woodburn and Nathan Bishop
I mean, it’s really hard to beat tons and tons of personal stories from the Lookout Landing community regarding what Ken Griffey Jr. meant to them. I wasn’t really involved much with the creation of this, but I got to see the whole thing go from a small idea to the beautiful finished project, and I am so proud of Peter, Nathan, and everyone involved for getting it together.
Favorite Fanpost: “Safeco Fences, From Another Point of View”
When the Mariners decided to move in the fences at Safeco Field a few years ago, several thought pieces were put out. This FanPost decided to look at the situation from another perspective: the fences themselves.
There have been so many wonderful creative writing pieces at Lookout Landing over the years, so much so that I’ve unfortunately had several leave my mind as time passes by. This one, however, has stuck with me. 61 months have been passed since it was posted, and I still remember oh so much of it.
Give it a read if you have the time.
Favorite Satire Piece: “It Dawns on Miguel Olivo”
Lookout Landing has a long history of satire pieces and this one has always been my favorite. Jason Vargas. Miguel Olivo. A conversation about how to get crappy hitters out. What more could you want from a situation?
Favorite “I don’t even know how to explain it, just read it” Piece: “Ump Ire”
The umpires need to be stopped, as Eric explains so wonderfully in this beautiful longform piece.
Favorite Headline: “Mariners Begin Process of Eventually Dismissing Dave Hansen”
This was Jeff’s response to the Mariners hiring Dave Hansen as hitting coach. I died.
Favorite Piece that caused widespread confusion: “Mariners announce ‘Color Blast’ uniforms”
Nathan created mass hysteria last September, sending out a satire piece in which the Mariners unveiled ‘Color Blast’ uniforms. It was a clear mockery of the NFL’s ‘Color Rush’ promotion, but that didn’t stop several Facebook/Twitter/etc users from sending out their opinions on the uniforms. Many were negative and angry. Some loved them and were very sad to learn it was fake. It was nonstop entertainment.
Favorite History Lesson: “The story of Brian J. Giles, in the sense that we are all Brian J. Giles”
After four years at Lookout Landing, Patrick said goodbye in the best way possible: via a history lesson about Brian J. Giles, the 1990 season, and the seizing of moments. Patrick has told so very many wonderful stories over the last few years, and I look forward to him telling many more.
Favorite Piece that hinted we might have a serial killer on staff: “Seattle Mariners coaching and front office connections”
What in the actual hell, Isabelle?
Favorite Personal Piece: “The road to the Wild Card goes through the Oregon Trail”
There are so many things that go on behind the scenes at Lookout Landing that community doesn’t see. Even if you’re heavily involved with us on Twitter, you’re still missing a lot. One of the best things about writing here is the relentless encouragement you receive from the entire staff whenever you have an idea, regardless of how absurd it is. Everyone is supportive. Everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. No idea is off limits, really.
So when I went to everyone and asked how they felt about me using The Oregon Trail to predict the playoffs, they all went for it. I was just the minor league/prospect writer and had only put up two or three pieces that strayed from this all year. It didn’t matter to them: I was pursuing this silly, ridiculous, stupid piece.
I am so thankful for this staff, and this piece is always a great reminder of that.