Sports are designed to facilitate the creation of memories; the companionship of watching a game or match with someone, the camaraderie of screaming in unison with thousands, the agony of defeat and the ecstasy of victory.
Baseball, in particular, lends itself to preserving minutiae with its long history, churning rosters and breadth of stats. “Remembering Some Guys” is, after all, a popular activity and segment on many a podcast. Miscellaneous years, facts, names, numbers wriggle deep into the recesses of our brains, unbidden, taking up residence with impunity.
I’m often amazed and a bit appalled in equal measure by the capacity with which my brain has retained some truly useless baseball information (Nobody needs to know how to spell “Rzpecyznski” from memory), and am certain I’m not alone in that sentiment around here. But today, I challenge you to learn - and remember - some new names.
Lucia was a mother of four and a volunteer in her community.
Hao “Helen” Tong
Helen owned Sapphire Spa in Ballard, which had perfect five star reviews across both Yelp and Google.
Lilyjane was raising an 11-year-old daughter.
Ivette “Ivy” Wallin
Ivy was a graduate of Ingraham High and a talented artist.
Anna “Maxx” Lopez
Maxx majored in biology, was a beloved bartender and adored animals - particularly her two wiener dogs.
Crystal was from Texas and had earned a degree in psychology.
These are just some of the women in the Seattle area who were victims of domestic violence homicides since 2020. In 2020 in Washington state, domestic violence offenses comprised 49.7% of all crimes against people; 20% of homicides in that year were domestic violence offenses. Nationally, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually, and 1 in 2 female murder victims and 1 in 13 male murder victims are killed by intimate partners. The Washington State Coalliton Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) and the Mariners have partnered on the Refuse to Abuse campaign since 1997, during which time more than 1,000 homicides in Washington state have been as a result of domestic violence (data available through June 30, 2022, not including suicide or police intervention fatalities stemming from intimate partner violence).
Perhaps the most sobering statistic of all: Domestic violence is 100% preventable.
WSCADV is working to create a world where all people can live and love freely without fear because living a life free of violence is a basic human right, and their mission is to end domestic violence through advocacy and action for social change. And one of their core events each year is the Refuse to Abuse 5K, held at T-Mobile Park.
It’s an event that makes me proud to be a Mariners fan (this partnership is, to my knowledge and research, the longest-running such partnership in MLB) and particularly proud to be part of the Lookout Landing community. For nearly a decade, LLers have written about and participated in the Refuse to Abuse campaign, and this year is no different.
The event (3.1 miles frolicking through T-Mobile Park, culminating in a trot/shuffle/sprint on the field) takes place this Sunday, June 4 at 9 a.m., but registration closes May 31. Please sign up to join Team Lookout Landing, if you’ll be there in person, otherwise, you’re welcome to donate. And beyond this Sunday, there are many other ways to take action to help end domestic violence.