I hadn’t been to a baseball game since the early 80s, and as a matter of fact, the only two professional games that I can recall ever attending were when my uncle was in from Belfast and my father (who is also from Belfast) and I tried to explain the rules of the game. The other time was to attend a concert by The Beach Boys that was being held post-game 1983. I have lost the poster for the Beach Boys concert years ago, which is a shame, as it was rather cool from what I remember – a massive baseball as the sun over an ocean with a surfer in the foreground.
Both games were held in the Kingdome, that cement monstrosity that was a Seattle landmark. Now we have two stadiums in its place – and I don’t want to take away from either one, but there was something about the Kingdome that was special. Sure it sucked for concerts, but for sporting events it was great.
Since it’s been well over 25 years since I have attended a baseball game, it stands to reason that I have not been able to attend one at Safeco Field, one half of the new duo replacing the Kingdome. Last year I was going to take August to his first baseball game, and even had the tickets in hand. The morning of the game, however, he got violently ill over and over and over and over.
Previously I had been looking for a day game that wasn’t on the weekend to take August to, but couldn’t find one that fit into our schedule. I could write a whole other blog post about game times and convenience, but I won’t. Suffice to say that I wasn’t planning on going to game that started at 7pm. Then Marianne came out. While Laura and I were trying to figure out what to do with Marianne while she was visiting, we found out the Boston Red Sox were in town to play against the Mariners. This was far too good of an opportunity to pass up. Marianne is a Yankee’s fan (though we don’t hold it against her) so she was eager for a chance to root against her home team. It was decided then I would not only take Marianne to the game, but also August to his first baseball game. Yes, despite the fact that it started at 7pm.
Not having been to Safeco Field, I was eager to explore the ballpark. Thankfully, so was August and Marianne. Not only are there some amenities specifically for kids, but a decent number of food vendors as well, though vegetarian options are hard to come by. The one place where I found a veggieburger was rather hidden and the patty was cold. Still, that didn’t dampen spirits much, as the three of us were enjoying watching the warm-ups as well as checking out the different view options. What did dampen our spirits a bit was the cost of jerseys. Holy mackerel, that’s some price – something like $120. The cheapest sweatshirt was $60. I bought August a new baseball cap (with flames on it looking rather cool) as well as a foam finger to waggle around while cheering. That was it, and it was somewhat expensive.
We found our seats, which were good, though rather high up, but we could see plenty of the action and had a great vantage point to explain the intricacies of the game as they came up. Far too much “junk” was consumed by August (cotton candy, soda, fries, kettle corn, etc.) but he was having a great time.
12 innings later (seriously) a number of spectators were leaving. We decided to move down to the lower section not only to get a closer look at the field, but also to be a little closer to the exit. It was 11pm, way past August’s bedtime, and it was showing. While he admitted as much, he was still adamant about not leaving until the game was over. Being in this new position on the main level of the ballpark allowed me to not only get a great shot of Ichiro at bat, but allowed Marianne to (technically) have her picture taken with Ichiro as well.
After the 13th inning, it was over, and we were one of the first people out of the park, over to the parking garage, and made a quick getaway. Despite the late night and loss to the Red Sox, it was a fun evening and one that I hope to be able to replicate at some point in the near future.